Alicia Kennedy, Food & Drink Writer

old blog

a note, a ramble, a brief manifesto

During Cry & Wine, while I was in the DJ booth with boxes of cookies set out in front of me, I told my friend Melissa that I wouldn’t be really resurrecting the bakery, that too many permits had expired and it would cost so much money and my life is so different now. With a glass in one hand and a cookie in the other, she made a sweeping gesture and said, “These aren’t your only friends anymore!” She was right. There were 15 or so people in the bar who were my friends, who’ve made my life in Brooklyn so much better than my life on Long Island. The cookies are still my friends, yes. But so were all these humans and more, and so were the songs, and so are words, and so are cheap Mexican beers and tequila shots, and so is every time I go over the Williamsburg Bridge, whether on the J or on my beloved bike.

I’ll still make cookies for whoever wants them. They’re still the most adequate expression of my love for the world, a pure thing. That’s what was always weird for me in the back of my mind when I was very serious about running the bakery: I’m not really a person with a pure love for the world. I’ve always been political and angry with this desperate desire to exist joyfully and though I fiercely loved being a baker, it never quite locked in for me. I fight and have always fought mentally conceiving of myself as a writer, because it would involve too much rejection and failure and hard work. Language is all I’ve really got, though. Even when I was working on my set, I was writing. Songs were words; BPM, grammar. When I was baking: ingredients, words; ratios, grammar. The work that pays me the most, copyediting, is the most me job I could possibly have; what stresses me out about it are the circumstances under which I do it.

It feels silly to me to be many things at once, but who isn’t? I said jokingly about something in work chat last week that “I feel like I already have mad brands.” I’m a copy editor. I write. I VJ/DJ. I somehow stumbled into being really good at and knowledgeable about vegan home cooking. There used to be a person in my life who was frustrated by me, who saw things I was interested in as “whims.” Because of that, there’s still an embarrassment in me about it. While working on something recently, though, I went through a journal from the end of 2013 through mid-2014 and saw I’d written, “My ecstatic mind is not a defect.” This was something I’d only learned at 28. Like a lot of women, I had tried my best to hop into a box and stay there. Like a lot of women, I figured out it wasn’t for me.

Everything about our culture says, “get really good at one thing and do it forever.” I felt like I was already really fucking good at something professionally by the time I was 25 and it made me have a nervous breakdown, because life is long in the day-to-day. So I’ll keep being guided by whims, getting good at shit just because I feel like it, and writing everything down.

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