THE END OF THE 20TH CENTURY

THE END OF THE 20TH CENTURY
Photo by Volpin Props (copied from Flickr)

All the zines were printed at Lehman Brothers. All the zines were printed at Goldman Sachs. All the zines were printed at Merrill Lynch.

All of us had jobs temping. All of us rode the N and the R and the F into Manhattan every day. All of us thought it was hilarious our jobs didn’t involve doing much, but we weren’t paid much. All of us mocked the people we worked for, who worked there for real.

All of the copy rooms were chaotic. All of the copiers chugged out page after page. No one would ever know if you ran the zines off, stapled their spines, and brought them home.

All of us thought we were undercover. All of us dressed in clothes we would never normally wear. All of us switched identities after hours.

All of us found ourselves abandoned streets below Houston late at night. All of us crammed into filthy loud places to drink. All of us eventually gave up on having a good time and went home.

All of us approved of riot grrrls. All of us liked the anger. All of us thought there was change in the air.

All of the people who worked on Wall Street for real seemed oblivious. All of them lived in a different world than we did. All of them got to that other world on suburban commuter trains.

None of them knew what we used those copiers for. None of them knew what we thought of them. None of them knew what we did at night.

None of it survived the decade. We lost what we wrote or threw it away. Riot grrrls got co-opted.

The millennium ended with a Republican in the White House. Then planes slammed into the Twin Towers. The music stopped and the war began.     

Linda Mannheim

Linda Mannheim

Linda Mannheim is the author of three books of fiction, most recently This Way to Departures, a collection about people who've left the places they consider home. Her work has appeared in Granta, 3:AM Magazine, and Catapult Story. Eimear McBride wrote that 'Mannheim’s restive tales of her desiccated stretch of New York provoke and abide like a slap.' Originally from New York, Linda has been living in London since 2004.

Linda Mannheim is the author of three books of fiction, most recently This Way to Departures, a collection about people who've left the places they consider home. Her work has appeared in Granta, 3:AM Magazine, and Catapult Story. Eimear McBride wrote that 'Mannheim’s restive tales of her desiccated stretch of New York provoke and abide like a slap.' Originally from New York, Linda has been living in London since 2004.

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