Prose, chapbook, 52 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
America holds its bootstrap myths dear. The dignity of labor, the virtue of meritocracy, the power of a college education to facilitate upward class mobility. Service chronicles a firsthand experience of millennial disillusionment: graduating into a recession & facing how threadbare those myths really are.
Service is a prose record of the author’s first two jobs out of undergrad: one at a theater / nightclub, the other at a tobacconist / cigar store, both in Harvard Square. Through anecdotes & reflections, Service chronicles the surreal experience of being a minimum wage worker beside one of the most prestigious universities in the world, in constant contact with the elitest of the elite, as well as tourists, students, runaways, & the local unhoused population.
Assembled ten years after the fact, Service is a document of unlearning, as well as the physical & emotional experience of a particular kind of labor. Most of all, Service is a begrudging love letter to a place, a time, & the people who made it bearable…& even fun.
Neon Mashurov (NM Esc) is a writer from Brooklyn and the post-Soviet diaspora currently pursuing an MFA at the University of San Diego’s cross-genre writing program. Their music writing, as NM Mashurov, has been published in Pitchfork, Stereogum, The Fader, IMPOSE Magazine, and elsewhere. Their poetry, as NM Esc, has been published or is forthcoming in We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, Black Warrior Review, Bombay Gin, Hobart Pulp, The Recluse, the Poetry Project’s House Party series, The Felt, Peach Magazine, Ghost City Press’s summer microchap series, and multiple chapzines. They are the current editor-in-chief of Alchemy, UCSD’s journal of experimental translation.
Bottlecap Features #32