Tonight is the last night that the nightmare known as Cabrini-Green will live to see the sun rise. Tomorrow morning, the last remaining building will be torn down. A sordid chapter of Chicago's history will be demolished, a literal Target put in place, to mark the site where so many lived and loved and lost their lives.
I haven't the knowledge or wherewithal to begin to write about the sorrow that the housing projects caused for many people. I have too much privilege to condescendingly describe the squalid conditions that low-income families were forced by necessity, birthright, actually!, to live in. So I won't.
Instead I want to talk about humanity. Fashion I'm discovering, exists in a sort of bubble that claps its ears around its head and plants its palms around its eyes. Folks go through their days blissfully unaware of the human suffering that millions endure each day - billions, really, if you want to get global - and instead finely hones its attention on the latest permutation of the college-tuition-costing Birkin bag. It boggles the brain to imagine, just for a second, all of the attention and time and money that is diverted (is that the right word? displaced, perhaps?) towards things that once the sand hits the coffin, don't fucking matter.
The only thing that matters is our humanity. Every kiss, every tear that is shed, every heart that is broken and put back together again and broken again and put back together once more, sometimes by the asshole who broke it in the first place. Every time you look something or someone so achingly beautiful your body responds in kind via goosebumps or a flutter in your stomach. Every single instance of pain, every moment of all-consuming love until the love inevitably runs out, every day of ambivalence that starts in your twenties and lasts for god-knows-how-long, every time you apologize for hurting someone you love even if you're disingenuous about it. This is a small glimpse of the human condition, and it's only thing that ties us all together.
All of the residents of Cabrini-Green lived through these all-too-real experiences just like you have. And that's why you should be aware of the demolition of these people's homes...because they are people. Human beings. It's so easy for those that have to ignore those that haven't got, but in the end we all up in the same six by four space and the haves become essentially quite meaningless. So while we're living our day-to-day lives (on borrowed time, I may add), I implore you all to not forget about those who are less fortunate. Charity events to pat yourself on the back and assauge some kind of guilt is not what I'm talking about. I mean, to like, look around your studio/apartment/luxury condo/house/mansion/whatever and be appreciative of the roof over your head. Be grateful every single day that you won the American lottery and weren't born into the cycle of poverty that's consumed more lives than you can possibly imagine.
I love style because in it, I can represent my own human experience. Dressing nerdy? Well, that's a reclamation of the torment I endured as a kid because I liked school and had literally zero friends (things that haven't really changed in the progressive years). Harnesses? A small way to announce to the world that I was born with kinks. And it's why I hope I never become jaded - I cherish my humanity too much. It's really all that we have.
RIP, Cabrini-Green. Hopefully your death will bring peace to your residents and will awaken those don't care from their human slumber.