A Brief History of Irrevery
The Origin of the Species
SHE came to New York. SHE got on the subway. There were long delays because someone pulled the emergency brake in the train ahead. SHE got off at the next stop. SHE transferred to a different train. That train was running on a different line during weekends. SHE got off at the next stop.
SHE spent the next 1,459 days on the MTA NYC transit, transferring trains, busking for money, and living off pizza crusts and subway-grate churros. At exactly 7am on what marked HER fourth year underground, SHE finally arrived at HER stop. The doors slid open, SHE got off the train, walked up the stairs, and out into the first burst of daylight SHE’d seen in a long time.
SHE took a deep breath of fresh New York air, started the long march towards the first day of the rest of HER life, and immediately stepped in shit. SHE stopped in HER tracks, groaned, and pulled HER boot up to survey the damage to its sole. Upon closer examination, what SHE thought was shit was not shit at all. A small, matchbook-sized black book clung to the grooves on the bottom of HER shoe. Curious and confused, SHE kicked at the book with HER other foot, flipping it onto its back on the sidewalk and exposing its cover.
SHE squinted HER eyes, still adjusting to the sunlight, and squatted down, leaning in to get a closer look. In the center of the cover’s black expanse, a grinning yellow happy face looked back at HER. Two pale human hands gripped the edges of the face with an urgency strangely not reflected in the hollow smile. SHE furrowed HER brow, pausing for a moment before reaching into HER rat-skin utility belt to take out a petrified churro which SHE used to poke open the book to its first page, which read:
Finding reverie in irreverence. Finding irreverence in reverie.
A state of joy can be reached through the rejection of what is considered proper. Smile. Put on a happy face. Grin and bear it. You are told this is what to do, this is how to behave.
Who is your other you? What is under your mask? An angry face. A sad face. Another happy face. Irrevery is what it sounds/looks/feels like to wear the mask, remove the mask, and come face to face with your other you.
SHE closed the book, stood up, got back on the train, started reading, and, when she got home four days later, set to work, translating the first installment of the happen-upon book into Irrevery Volume I: a full-length album, a book of illustrated lyrics by 12 different artists, and three films.
Irrevery Volume I is a deconstruction of anger, tracing its sources, measuring its internal and external tolls, recognizing and validating its justification, and seeing it for what it often is: a mask we wear to conceal fear, loneliness, and sorrow, first from others and then from ourselves.