Erik Martinez

The Minimum
essay, 2022


The Minimum takes on an analytical lens with a gloomy hue, noticing the “shitty behaviors of those possessing a lot of money and doing nothing about it.”

In the essay, Martinez observes the physical environments around him through the mistreatment, picking up on the smaller details such as what they were wearing, how they said his name, whether they made eye contact, and the way these moments affected him over time.

As someone who has been through their fair share of being an artist making money in the food service industry, Martinez has a “few things to say about hating and loving it all simultaneously”. This piece came from a loving and vengeful place of wanting better for people in a similar situation as him. 

“The scenes I describe in the essay are me grasping at my physical reality, trying my hardest to feel alive, and remembering how the earth looked even when I wanted to die.” —E.M.


Erik Martinez is a writer and comedian from Houston, Texas. Today, he's stomping around New York City in big Doc Martens, telling jokes about shitty service industry jobs, and writing melancholic essays about heartbreak and being gay in a big silly world. Most of his inspiration is found in precisely those situations, a mixture of bitter and sweet.