Ice Cream and Shrugging


Yesterday at the bus stop a fellow creature the gym ladies call “that particular element” asked for a hand—out, job, shake, off. That’s the door being female in public is walking through. It’s a drag, but mostly it’s ice cream on the sidewalk and shrugging.

For the Virginia Quarterly Review’s Instagram project, Lauren Berlant partners visual storytelling with a series of stream-of-conscious vignettes that unveil a certain melancholic resignation common to urban living.

Tamara Matthews is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor. Visit or find her on Twitter: @writingtoatee. More from this author →