A little plea…

None of us are leaving, so just keep that in mind. I understand that we had our largest two buildings taken right out of the sky, and that definitely got us down. I understand that our economy went to shit, that our taxes went up just as our income and property value plummeted, and that certainly gave us pause. I know that we had a winter that seemed to last from mid September 2002 to mid May 2003, and my boots and I were pretty pissed off about that. I know that harsh winter ended just as swampy-ass summer started, and that might have been my biggest disappointment. And sure, I know that you shut down the power on a night when the air wouldn’t move and the temperature would drop from 88 to 87, then back to 88 with 70% humidity…

But, we aren’t leaving.

I’m not trying to be brave here or yell in the face of my tormentor because I have run out of options, and I know I’m not in an action movie. I’m just saying, we can’t leave. Those of us who are here, are here because we can’t do our thing anywhere else. Everyone who can be somewhere else is gone by now. But what you have now are all the poor people who can’t afford to move, all the rats and the cockroaches, and all the artists who can’t do our thing anywhere but here.

I know that I can put on a show in any city in the country. If I can do it in Carrboro, I can certainly do it in, say, Des Moines. But I can’t walk down the street in Des Moines with the same freedom from judgement that I can here. I could shave a smiley face into my back hair and walk shirtless for six blocks down 6th avenue at 5:30, and people would just roll their eyes and move past me. I can put on a play that is two sumu wrestlers throwing pies at each other for half an hour, and people would ask why I wasn’t taking any narrative chances.

People say what they want to here. And they say it loud. I have all the social conventions well documented in the back of my head. But here, they are optional. If a crazy person starts being too crazy, some New Yorker is gonna tell him to shut up. Everywhere else, there would be this enormous lag time while the crazy guy just keeps getting crazier and crazier and everyone around him will hope that the police will show up.

So, in any case, we can’t leave. We would if we could, but we would be less happy. So, do me a favor. Let’s say you have driven off everyone you are going to. Let’s say that the people who need that social structure and nicer weather have all moved to Florida or Connecticut or, God help them, Los Angeles. They’re all gone. So give us a really nice long autumn. Give us a fall with the colors and the sweaters and the rosey cheeked girls that I remember from high school in New Jersey. Give us three months of gorgeous weather and lazy heroes who aren’t on call. We’re gonna fight all winter, we’re gonna fight the next attack, and we are going to fight all next year. So, just a few months of peace as a present to those staying, please?

Either way, we’re not leaving.