A few words about the writing of HICK:
Of course, there are loads of essays, interviews and reviews on HICK. Below, I’ve listed a few of my faves for your clicking and reading enjoyment.
I have never really been able to put my finger on how HICK actually came to be amidst the teeter-totter existence I had fashioned for myself.
I had been writing it for years and never really giving it the attention it truly deserved. I had been living a higgledy-piggly life in Echo Park, going to the Short Stop, the Gold Room and the Little Joy and never ever waking up before noon for season after season.
I had been in love, been in hate, been out, been to this new place, been to that new place, been back in hate, been back in love. I had tried and quit an endless series of jobs. With glee.
Maybe it was just this. Looking back. It might just be that I was sick of myself. Sick of it. All that glittered was no longer gold. All that east side snark I was practically constructed of had not amounted to much.
And I was angry. Angry with myself for having actually fallen for it. Friends that weren’t exactly friends. Nights upon nights like grasping for straws. What had I done? I’d graduated from Bryn Mawr and wanted to hoist myself into the abyss, into what was “real,” into a kind of Bukowski- does-Echo Park indy film of my own making in my own mind. And for what?
Elliott Smith was dead. Barragan’s and El Conquistador were being ushered out. All the sudden there was apothecary font on the storefronts, places we used to score. It was gone. That magic. That microcosm of quiet dysfunction had somehow been discovered and now there were people from other cities who knew about our little secret. Our precious, whirling, delicious, dirty, decadent Echo Park. The secrets inside the broken down wooden houses on the hills had somehow escaped up up up through the trees and betrayed us. Sometimes people would now even drive over from the west side. Shudder.
The lucky thing. The only good thing. Was the three mangled journals I had been carrying around with me from existence to existence around Echo Park: Vestal. Champlain Terrace. Cerro Gordo. Princeton. Park. Quintero.
Let’s be honest. The last chapter of HICK was written at four am after a staggering bacchanal in the hills somewhere above Echo Park Blvd with my boyfriend, a dealer, a world famous celebrity and two trust fund kids smoking something much worse than pot in the basement.
And that is all you need to know about HICK.
- Andrea Portes