Thursday, March 3, 2016

DC 1980's

The Belmont Grocery in the Adams-Morgan Neighborhood, Washington, DC, Summer of 1984

Nihilism, drinking and dancing; and the brilliant new music…and hormones ruled the night.  Life was so heady in the '80's.  Didn't it seem like nuclear war was just around the corner?

We were lean and fabulous; pale, cold and tough:  the hair, the shoes, the style and fashion, the daring and wanton will to play all night long….

Julian Schabel, "The Patients and the Doctors", 1978

Of course, it ended in a train wreck relationship which was soul crushing but inevitably sobering.  A painful marriage that broke all chains of communication and the 80’s ended years early.  Our Neo-Expressionism died quickly, having grown too big for its britches and ironically usurped by the menial and anonymous “Neo Geo”…

Peter Hailey, "Two Cells with Conduit", 1986

I still mourn.  All of it:   Bad choices, the heat of the moment, the broad laughters and sweat on the club’s dance floor.  We were using and abusing with deep passion and regrets, walking home in the frozen night straight into the next onslaught.  

And then it was gone, and for what?  Shaved heads, goatees, and Metallica (which we all took as a joke), and junkies from Seattle?

It had to die.  It was a brilliant flash and we who survived re-emerged Born Again.  We looked away, not to some new thing but to the common; as if it were a new thing.  Our friends had marriages and children, careers…then we too….

We were radiant children of a time and place: 
altogether unique and lovely.