Elegy for 1991

I want to illustrate themes from Left of the Dial using scenes that are like bootlegs that didn’t make the final cut in the memoir.


I was 25 years old. Everywhere I went I’d wear mini skirts and skimpy tee shirts.

A friend lived in the Bronx. I’d take the 2 train there. We went to her friend’s apartment.

The white kids were listening to NWA. I remember lyrics to the effect of “bitch-slap the ho.” I didn’t protest at the time because I was entranced with the scene.

Nirvana came on the stereo. I danced like there was no tomorrow. My friend wanted to exit. I loved to dance so wanted to stay.

We parked ourselves in an all-night diner. I had scrambled eggs. It was midnight.

I headed home on the 2 train no stranger to traveling long distances in the early morning. I lived in a studio by the beach on Staten Island–my first apartment.

I’d hung a framed photo on the wall of a little girl with an Italian horn necklace, mirrored sunglasses, and an upturned nose. She exuded confidence for a girl so young.

The friend and the framed print are long gone. NWA has been inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.

I realize there’s no sense in pining for that lost time. Yet it reminds me that even in the midst of pain there are pockets of joy.

I tell those of you reading this blog now:

Open those pockets. Find the joy.

Joy is always to be found.


Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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