2018 Year Enders, Extra

Ways on the Mind: 2018 in the Middle of the Edge of Space and Time

A retrospective of both not so shameless plugs and a catalogue of a shameful work ethic

by

2018 was not all bad goings on entirely. There were, though few, positive and uplifting moments. Which ones you may ask? If you can’t think of one, then consider in August when this footage of a man slapping a Hippo’s ass and getting away with it was on the news (I was watching the footage from a convenience store television wildly hallucinating).

Though as you may know, reader, life can be equally unceremonious and high stress in any city. Between working and yelling in and at the inanimate objects the MBTA calls a transit system one is left at day’s end a mixture of bored and overly anxious.

Like you, our neighbor is always on the edge of something as well. On the edge of quitting their job, on the edge of breaking up with their partner, on the edge of getting back together with their ex. Many things we may hold near and dear are metaphorically slipping out of of your finger-less gloved grasp.

For me, being music editor of this website comes with a lifestyle that admittedly is gnarly. Take for example, my daily diet, which for most of the course of 2018 consisted regularly of: 3 cups of coffee, 6 rolled cigarettes, a gram of weed, two ciders, and whatever free food I could get or steal from my places of food service related work.

Other times, though, the life I lead is pretty sweet. And like any writerly masochist, the need to recount and forge a closure is, however one may weigh the freudian implications, compulsory to keeping at an arms length any form of reality wrought by dare I say the words American culture.

So take these words as a form of ‘talk show late-night rant’ and try to find your closure for 2018.

January 2018

For those unaware, I took over the music editor role for the hassle October 2017 with nothing more than dim dreams and a wild ability to put words on a damn screen. So in January, I was still a bluish green as Brain Arts Org was officially slated to take over the management of the Dorchester Art Project in January.

Simultaneously I was working a crappy fast casual food service job wherein, I served the fine denizens of Mass Ave overpriced food at for an underpaid gig. At this time I was living w my ex-roomies who, above all, know how to have a good time, where, for example we played a drinking game to the draconian echoes of Trump’s first state of the union address.

Meanwhile the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brenda Fitzgerald stepped down over issues with stock ownership in Tobacco Companies and all of Boston finally had good reason to hate Steve Wynn amid sexual assault allegations. Because everyone assumes casino moguls to be kind decent people for some reason?

Most Listened to Music:

February 2018

It’s almost too obvious to state just how bad the T was this month. Recently they’ve started putting PSA’s on transit routes stating that they are ‘getting ready’ for the coming winter. I write this on a crowded train on standby after I hang up a call with my job letting them know I’ll be five minutes late. I left a full two hours before my shift. The proof is in the Boston cream filling y’all.

As this was the first of many jobs I quit this year, the drug fueled benders were bending into some poor decision making. Though there were however, some good decisions made as well like doing some new things.

2018 was a year of firsts, my first dab, my first martini (and margarita), and also the first time I got rejected for being overqualified for a job, which in my degree of logic makes little to no sense.

Most Listened to Music:

March 2018:

It was an exciting March as far as Marches go. Scientists discovered water molecules on a planet 700 light years away from us, the Russia-Trump investigation got a step closer to feeling like Water-Gate, and my humble ass got a poem published for the first time by none other than Reality Hands.

FRIGS and Leopard Print Taser played a wild storm show at O’Briens early March, mighty HOST came to town and my piece on Kevin Wynd and Ruune both dropped. On the massive downside for the city, the announcement of the closure of EMF began to creep citywide and became a very real reality for the tenants and organizers of the protest movement that followed.

Most Listened to Music:

April 2018

April was one of those special months. I turned 25, was steadily employed and being paid (this does not last long), Barabara Bush died, and we as a nation got to a laugh at a giant corporation’s stupidity, bearing just how insensitive capitalism can be to the lowest level of workers. I’m talking about Starbucks’ dismal year.

And while Americans stood arm and arm, doing a very American thing in publicly kicking something when it was down, my leftie queer heart sang celestial dithyrambs in the church-halls that are very well imagined from my Sligo Pub barstool. I was quite contented by this, however 2018 may be the year that I say any high volume, poorly run business is a toxic enviornment — mid-level managers I’m looking at y’all —.

You know you can just carry tea and a canteen and ask for hot water at any cafe and they’ll give it to you, right? At least I will.

Most Listened to Music:

May 2018

With the coming of May means not only my second favorite holiday of May Day but also Waking Windows in Vermont. My very first journey through not only hipsters, but hippies (even worse) if I may add was detailed in my piece about Waking Windows. The world was in bloom and my dreams for a prosperous summer were large; maybe this could be the year, I thought.

Then, I got back to Boston, was forced to leave my job a few days later and came to the realization that drugs are expensive. That was still a tight weekend though. While I was working and finding another job, where both Gibson Guitar’s and Harvey Weinstein’s wood stopped, I can’t finish this. Talk about a bad year for that dude.

Most Listened to Music:

June 2018:

Oh yes, total employment and sinking further, deeper, into the void only to be lifted up by, in my opinion, The Hassle’s best show of the year in: New England Underground Fest 3. June was a good month though: I deferred my loans, began the way to max the fuck out on my credit cards and started free-lancing for some jerks. At this moment of the year I basically started to do everything that included not working or doing anything economical at all.

Meanwhile, the earth was almost destroyed by a close flying asteroid, the EMF community was in full uproar and there was like any tragedy, an unsettling feeling of hope at the beginning of any summer, or maybe that’s just indigestion.

Most Listened to Music:

July/ August:

Oh, unemployment bliss can only last forever and July and August were just those months to enshrine and coalesce much of the ethic that was displayed in my Tony Conrad piece written months later. Why this move against not working?

What a silly question on your part. Commission me, I’ll write a book.

Most Listened to Music:

September/ October:

Yes, these months happened and with the telethon prep, the telethon, and then the massive lead up to hassle fest while I was settling into another waged labor gig, I can hardly recall these months happening.

There was the fricking natural gas explosions in Northern Ma. I do not miss a chance to skewer a gas company; they really fucked it up in stark fashion, and quite crucially deserve public defenestration.

Most listened to music:

November:

Quite Possibly the most formidable month on this list. I was, the weekend of Hasslefest, at a wedding in Tampa, Florida. I also took some time to visit a friend outside of Ft. Lauderdale and though I did manage to transport vape cartridges onto a domestic flight successfully, weddings have a way of revealing just how disoriented one can be while witnessing a charade (I love my friends and I support them getting married, though I say a charade nonetheless) to celebrate how together some folks can be.

I must say at this point, checking my bags back at the Ft. Lauderdale airport was the last amount of money I had to top off a trip that also successfully physically and emotionally broke me as well. It was however good to get out of Mass, though I did find myself in Broward County, Florida, the place most infamous for not knowing how to count votes in the 2018 election cycle, and many previous ones as well.

Most Listened to Music:

December:

What a month to cap off an epic year. And when I say that, I say it with the utmost sarcasm. Infamously the night of the Boston Music Awards, I was completely incapacitated in the ER due to a still undiagnosed GI illness. Not only did this happen, a week previous, me and my then current, now ex-roommate had a falling out over, of all things, three day old soup. Naturally, A pre-christmas flu is the fondant on the wedding cake I can’t eat because I’m vegan and gluten free.

I did manage to snap a best of year ender this year, write this liquid gold you’re currently reading, be asked to do a reading — come out January 13th! — and even gain acceptance in this doozy of a yearbook compilation put out by New River Press.

Elizabeth Warren stated the she is running for president in 2020 to run a government that is not only shut down, but has on the whole, seen the most abominable, some may say the most greatest, most American year yet.

Things have to get worse before they get better they say. Though my queer ass is sick of working to pay the bills, anyone say Universal Basic Income anyone, because I am.

Most Listened to Music:

To 2019 Punks!

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Chris Hughes-Zimmerman //// is a poet & writer from Boston, Ma & music editor of bostonhassle.com. //// They can be reached at [email protected] or @crsjh_ via instagram & twitter.

For more of Chris’ musings, visit their medium page
& for the continued sustainability of bostonhassle.com & BRAIN-ARTS ORG. please consider volunteering or donating.

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