What's with all these hapless, ineffectual young men?
I’ve scrawled this question countless times in the margins of essays I could never quite finish writing. I believe it was that vague line of questioning which sent them, permanently, to the ghetto of my “Drafts” folder. Despite past failures, it's this impulse that opens the piece, in the body of a graceless young man with a foot fetish.
Why revisit a bankrupt pet subject? Maybe the associative space offered by video would give the reader—or the viewer—the freedom to make her own connections. The absence of a tangible text in video essays has always functioned, for me, like white space on a page. In lyric essays, white space is an invitation to linger, to slow down and allow the language to wash over you, through you. This associative quality offers some rhetorical leniency while, strangely, raising the burden of proof.
“You Are Here” was drafted aurally. Every edit meant a re-voicing of the piece. And when you have to read your work on repeat, out loud, you get a little merciless. Rhetorical bridges that felt tight on the page start to read flabby to the ear. So you betray certain instincts and cut them. And the piece starts breathing independently of you.
No surprise, then, that this piece landed somewhere unexpected. I thought I was writing an essay about young men. Turns out it was about women, about her, all along.