A collection of connected stories examinng issues of parenting, systemic and interpersonal racism, and class conflict in gentrified Brooklyn.
The People Who Report More Stress is a collection of interconnected stories about a man named Eduardo. A deeply introspective, class-jumping, gay, Latinx public health advocate living in Brooklyn, Eduardo is all too aware of the stress that both hierarchy and capitalism are taking on his body. In "The Six Times of Alan," a brown-skinned parent of an adopted child with a deeper brown shade of skin finds himself in a dilemma—what to do about a simple conflict between his kid and the white child of another parent at the park who has framed his son as a menace. In "Midtown-West Side Story," Álvaro, a restaurant worker struggling to support his family, begins selling high-end designer clothes to his co-workers, friends, neighbors, and the restaurant’s regulars that he gets at warehouse prices out of a Hoboken basement from his shady friend, known only as “El Flaco.” Speaking to issues of parenting, systemic and interpersonal racism, and class conflict, Alejandro Varela deftly and poignantly expresses the frustration of knowing the problems and solutions to our society’s inequities, but not being able to do anything about them.