I will NOT be writing the next great American novel

Yeah, I rocked the bowl cut...

Yeah, I rocked the bowl cut…

I was a kid with delusions of grandeur. Surprising, considering, well, I grew up to be an adult with delusions of grandeur. Okay, “adult” might be a strong word, but you know what I mean. I always wanted to be someone. Well, that’s not entirely true, until the age of 6, I wanted to grow up to be a tree… but again, you know what I mean. I wanted to be the kind of well-recognized name that would get stopped on the subway for an autograph. Yeah, evidently, even though I’m famous in this unrealized dream of mine, I was still humble enough to take public transit. I was that guy. Or at the very least, I wanted to be the type of person who academics would bandy his name about at stuffy academic cocktail parties. Well, I’m 25 now: still no closer to making writing my living, but that hasn’t stopped me. instead, I’ve changed my whimsical fantasies of fame into the desperate hope that maybe I’ll get famous after I die, like Monet.

I’m not counting on it though. I mean, white, male raised in affluent suburbia? It’s hardly the stuff of great fiction… or even mildly interesting non-fiction, come to think of it. Sure, I could play up the emotionally unavailable parents angle, but honestly? Besides being disturbingly predictable, I’m not sure what else there is to say. Daddy didn’t show up at my father-son basketball game. My mother’s idea of quality time was making gelatin breasts with grapes in them. Oh yeah, I should probably clarify that my mother is a radiologist and breast cancer specialist, otherwise that last one might seem a little weird. The fact of the matter is, I had a pretty good childhood. Well, okay, there is the emotionally stunted man-child, incapable of expressing emotion without drinking or maintaining a healthy relationship, but that’s normal, right? Oh… it’s not? Well, still, that’s material that a shrink can milk long enough for me to single-handedly pay for his new Audi, not exactly the stuff of the great American novel.

I was the coolest in high school.

I was the coolest in high school.

But it’s okay. That whole alarmingly well-adjusted childhood? Well, soon after I went off to college, my dad called me up to tell me that my mother had left him. She had been having an affair for the past 10 years. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “That’s terrible,” right? Well, if you’re a sociopath like me, all you can think is, “jackpot!” Okay, maybe those weren’t my exact thoughts. First, I had to get the images of my mother in flagrante delicto outta my head… but I finally had it. This is the type of angst-y, self-indulgent drivel that affluent suburbanites like myself flock to. Seriously. I mean, have you even read The Catcher in the Rye? Totally up my alley.

Then it dawned on me. America’s divorce rate is 51%. Divorce and infidelity is old news. Besides, how morally reprehensible would it be to cash in on my parent’s failed marriage? Instead, I could cash in on my sexuality. I mean, come on, growing up gay in small-town Ohio? That’s the kind of thing those bitter ol’ queens at Yale and Harvard love to pedal in their Lit classes. I mean, partially to see if they can stir up some “curiosity” in the student body, but hey, it could work. Then I realized… well, I mean, sure I got picked on and made fun of, but by and large, most people were pretty cool about it. Oh, well, one time a kid carved “fag” into my locker, but yeah… that was pretty much it. I didn’t bring a dude to prom because, well, seriously, how gay is going to prom? I didn’t get beat up because, well, I could hit back. Yeah, by and large, it was a pretty emotionally isolated period in my life, but without a lot of controversy.

An incredibly well-adjusted adult, right?

An incredibly well-adjusted adult, right?

And there you have it. Oh, and I went to art school (biggest waste of my time) and here I am now. So, yeah, not exactly the greatest work of Americana. But that’s okay. I’m still hoping something really terrible will happen so I can write about it… and then Lifetime will make a movie about it where I play myself opposite my on-screen boyfriend, Rob Lowe. Eh, I’ve been indulging the delusions of grandeur for twenty-something years, why stop now?

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4 thoughts on “I will NOT be writing the next great American novel

  1. Love the stream-of-counscious-y honesty in this piece! And UGH I feel ya. Sometimes I’m all like, “my book is amazing,” and then other times I’m like, “NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP HISTORY,” and then most of the time I’m like, “Ooh, cheesecake.”

    • Thank you for the compliment which segued into… what I’m assuming is your future as one of The Golden Girls? If you were asking me to join the cast, my answer is yes, but only if I get to be Rue McClanahan…

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