originally performed at Miss Spoken, on March 25 2020
Back in January, I got together with a friend for the first time in about a year and a half. We caught up on a lot of the shit going in our lives, and we talked about our plans and dreams and goals and self-betterment for the coming year.
I was going to get back into writing music again, she was going to focus on housekeeping for her small business. It was gonna be a great, transformative year for both of us. We even got creative and made plans to produce our own live lit show together later in the year.
We said we were gonna “heal our trauma and produce shows” in 2020 and that stuck with me. It was my mantra for the year.
Well, March apparently had a WHOLE bunch of other plans for me, including producing NO shows this year – more than likely – and about 200% more trauma!
And on my birthday month, no less!
The disintegration of my hopes and dreams for the month of March were reflected in via my regularly changing Twitter display name, which started off triumphantly as “Keidra’s month”, then changed to “Keidra’s month is CANCELLED” and then shifted to “Keidra says STAY HOME”
Based on the news this week, I’m trying to come up with a pithy way for my Twitter display name to say “Keidra says the American healthcare system is shit and I refuse to let people’s lives become collateral damage in order to line the pockets of the country’s wealthiest people”
So needless to say, I’ve been riding the struggle bus this month, as we all have been, seated at least six feet away from each other, but riding the same bus nonetheless.
To be honest with you though, having a birthday month in quarantine hasn’t been completely disruptive to my life in general. I’ve been working remotely full-time for about the past five years, so spending most of my days in silence and learning to socialize with my co-workers through sharing memes and Spotify playlists on Slack has been my norm for awhile now.
I also have a disability that makes getting around at night hard for me so I wasn’t making big out of the house party plans for my birthday anyway. In many ways I was made for this moment, for good or for ill.
And while I am reluctant to see a bright side for any of this, I can’t help but notice that finally, the rest of the working world has acknowledged what disabled and chronically ill people have been saying for years: that remote working, for many professions isn’t an impossibility, or *that* much of a disruption, but it takes a global pandemic to see these as easy, and obvious accommodations. So I’m looking forward to if/when this ends, throwing down for this issue.
The other bright side, if you can call it that, is seeing the ways that my family, my friends, my co-workers have all taken the time to be gentle with ourselves and each other. That is, once the panic wore off a bit. We all check in with each other a bit more often, we ask “how are you doing” and actually listen to the answer, we send love and comfort and support whether it’s physical, virtual. through snail mail, through pictures and videos of our pets, our babies, or in my case, my k-pop plushie dolls.
(Not to derail this entire essay but if you wanna see good-ass content follow my instagram @keidrachaney or my Twitter @lilguyzworld – that’s guyz with a z – because I am about to make some epic k-pop plushie music videos this weekend because I have a lot of creative energy that I need to channel into something with low stakes.)
So anyway, my birthday is on the last day of this month and to be honest, things are changing so rapidly I don’t dare to make any firm birthday wishes or even set plans for this year, outside of enjoying some wine and watching Netflix, but my hope, is that as best we can, we can continue to fight against the socialized urge to be productive, and towards leaning into the very human need for connection, to love and be loved, and come out of this together with self and community care as our shared responsibility.
So I guess between the k-pop doll videos and my wish, maybe my goal of producing shows and healing trauma will come true in 2020 after all.