On why I sometimes turn off my phone to focus my full attention on eating a parfait

If you’re not from Queens, you cannot understand the health risks posed by acute exposure to Trump’s voice. That shallow, sordid grunting, an irritant as noxious as it is familiar, deserves its own NYSDOH advisory. It’s like standing on the BQE on a hot day, taking deep yoga breaths. It’s like eating the mutant baby seal you found at the bottom of Newtown Creek. It’s like going to Howard Beach. It’s a health hazard that we expose ourselves to, day after day, to fulfill our civic obligations, knowing it will probably poison us but seeing no other way.

This visceral sense of disgust has a lot to do with the place he came from. The place I came from. It's so easy to be proud of being from Queens, until you remember what it was actually like—full of fatuous authority figures and hypocrites and toxic chemicals and dirty money. It was always there, but we felt it didn't represent us. We never let it. We never voted for it. But it was there, stinking like the gentlest breeze over Flushing Bay.