Post tagged with


Being There With Kathy Acker: New Year’s Eve, 1979

Happy New Year, all! Barring breaking news, The Local will return next Tuesday. In the meantime, enjoy community contributor Tim Milk’s tale of a New Year’s Eve we can only hope to match.

ackerIllustration: Tim Milk

“You’ve got to go,” my friend insisted. She thrust the invitation into my hand. New Year’s Eve, 1979: It was touted as the celebration to end all celebrations. The glitterati of the art scene were due to attend, as the hostess had connections to all the dealers, artists and buyers. As for myself, who was still quite new to New York, the specter of beautiful people closing in around me gave me the willies.

“Okay,” I said. “What will we wear?”

“Wear what you want. I’m not going. I’ve got a date. But you’re going,” my friend commanded. “Get out there. Do it! Meet people!” She then gave me that look. “Don’t you dare stay at home.”

I’m shy by nature, and this was especially true in my 24th year. Nonetheless, my courage was bolstered by the thought that there might be something to eat at this place. I may not always succeed in working the room, but eating is always an easy fait accompli.

Like any new-to-town rube, I arrived too early. Alone, I crossed a great empty ballroom, decorated like a sultan’s palace. This was clearly an affair for the fortunate few. Studding the walls were tables swathed with satin: the cocktail bar, the champagne station, and then the oasis where canapés and wine awaited. The hostess, in a glittering gown, was all hither and thither with last minute arrangements, so I was able to pass unobserved to the table of food.

“Felipe” was the name emblazoned on the tag of the fellow who was guarding the sumptuous spread. He looked me up and down and narrowed his eyes. Who let this scruffy punk inside?, they seemed to say. As I shrunk from his malevolence, the hostess called out, “Felipe! Quick! Over here!”

With a snort, Felipe departed, leaving the spread of goodies to tempt me. My hand drew close to snatch a morsel, when something suddenly took hold of my ankle. I jumped. Read more…