Brooklyn Bacteria

Extreme close up of a radio dial. A rubber dildo shifts across the top of the dial, sliding it on. A burst of static and then a laconic male voice:

Neighborhoods are blossoming and bro-ing down. Ostalgie is blooming in Bushwick. Pause for a second before you say “Bushwick” again, because I don’t think you know what Bushwick means. I don’t think you know what Ostalgie means, either. I’d like to see you shitting into your shoulder-bag because you’re so frightened of the people around you that you think if they saw you shitting onto the ground behind a car they’d shoot you. So you shit into your shoulder-bag, taking out your computer, gingerly laying it down on the hood of a car of one of the strangers who live here. Zip the bag and buckle it and now trot, terrified, away from your squatting-site diagonally across the road to another intersection. No idea which way to go, but back the way you came seems real wrong. Better not to look too confused, though, so a confident bee-line takes you diagonally across the intersection. Daewoo going 80 rips your body in half, viscera spraying up and out along with the torn-apart shoulder bag. This is not how you’d hoped you’d die. Reincarnation is instantaneous.

A Union soldier lays dying in a tent. The doctor said he’d be back in an hour. The leg is gangrenous. You haven’t been reincarnated as the soldier, though; you’re one of the billion or so bacteria contributing to the gangrene. (Some gangrene is caused by bacterial infection.) You are a single-celled organism, cruising along a mouthwash-commercial universe with your single-celled friends.

The community of bacteria resembles Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A lot. There are grocery stores, Polish people, lots of 20 and 30-something writers, artists, people who work at publishing houses, non-profits, record labels, coffeeshops. Little kids. They are bacteria, not people, but the difference between the two is kinda nonexistent. They betray each other. They love each other. They help each other. They ignore each other. This—over the next six chapters, told from the perspective of the smartest, coolest, and most fun-to-be-around bacteria of them all—is their story.


Just kidding, I’m not actually writing a novel about a Brooklyn of bacteria living inside a dying Union soldier’s gangrenous leg.

(Or am I? Check back soon to find out! ;))

2 thoughts on “Brooklyn Bacteria

  1. Please let the answer be “yes.”
    The other day the German Chancellor appeared at the French Armistice Day celebration for the first time. The Great War is as far away now as the Civil War was in 1936. In 1936 Bushwick was still full of Germans, probably. Whatever.

  2. I’d need to start researching bacteria and the civil war and my own feelings about “my generation.” Sounds like a lot of work.

    Perhaps there could be a “flashback” chapter set in a Bushwick beergarden in 1936, featuring a character named “Frank Esther Noughreel”

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