After Archives

“I say it because I want it to happen…

I write it because I don’t want it to be true.”


I begin with the lost: I read The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man for the first time some four years ago, sitting on a bus to New York. The bus, which had smelled overwhelmingly of pee at the start but had soon gained that neutral quality marked by the acclimation of the nose to the stench of life, had stalled in New Haven—had been stalled for the past hour and a half while we waited for a replacement coach to arrive and take us that last stretch of the journey.

I say we; I exaggerate. By we I mean me. Read more