My Answers To The Question, “Oh, So You’re A Writer? What Do You Write About?”

When I’m in a hurry: “I write a blog.”

To my friends: “Gaaaaaah, I just wrote this piece of sh-t thing, gaaaah.”

To a hot girl at the bar after about five drinks: “Do? …A writer, actually. No; mostly about sex and power. And about the lies that we all tell ourselves. (Extending my arm towards her.) …It’s really good, you should check it out.”

In a job interview: “Well, for the past seven years, I’ve written for a variety of websites, including AOL. Social media, SEO optimization, you name it.”

To the clerk at Wells Fargo Bank, yesterday, while trying to open up a new “Super Saver” account:  “My job?  Ha ha.  I — unnnnnhh. I write for the internet?” (This leads to a conversation where she thinks that I know how to program computers.) “Ha, ha, no. I really don’t know tha-aaaat much about computers. I write articles that appear on the internet. Like, personal essays? About my life? And some essays about pop culture?”

My mom’s answer: “Well, I’ll tell you one thing this boy doesn’t write. Letters, and emails, ha ha. Not even a ‘Hey, mom! This is where I am and this is what I’m doing!’ And his grandmother has been asking him for a letter for the last ten years–” (She continues in this vein for the next fourteen billion hours or so.)

My step-father’s answer: “You know what he should write? A sonnet sequence about giving his mom an ulcer, ha ha.”

In ancient Greek: “????????? ??? ????’ ??’ ??????? ????.”

In Latin: “Facilis descensus Averno: (noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis); set revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras, hoc opus, hic labor est.”

To this one guy at my alcoholism halfway house: “The football score? But I just checked it. MMMM, okay, fi-iiinne.” (Thirty seconds pass.) “24-17. No; the Giants are still up. …No, I’m writing an article. For, like, my job? No, it’s really not a blog; I don’t like calling it a blog. Blogs have like pictures of kittens on them, ha ha.”

To this other guy at my alcoholism halfway house: “…And the site’s called ‘Thought Catalog.’ Have you heard of it? No? …How do you become a writer? Well, see, originally I won a contest… No, you would probably try starting out with smaller websites first.” (This leads to a fifteen-minute description of the movie script that the guy is writing — “Mostly I’m into movies” — which, I swear to God, was the most confusing conversation that I’ve had in my entire life.) “…Way, wait. So two sets of identical twins? And which one is the serial killer again? And the lead detective is his… brother, okay. Okay, and you’d do this all with… CGI?  No; my agent really doesn’t do that type of thing. Well, sure. …Any idea for a movie is potentially a good idea. It’s in all in the execution. I mean, Star Wars, that sounds like a stupid idea if you just say it, ha ha. I mean, a guy rescues a princess and blows up a space station–?” (He cuts me off.) “Unhhh, sure, I can take a look at it when I have a chance.”

My ex-girlfriend’s answer: “Ugggh, all he ever does is write about how many girls he’s slept with.”

To myself, in a dark night of the soul: “Jesusf–kkkkingchrist whatamidoingwithmylife? Okay, okay. Stop freaking yourself out, dude.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Thumbnail image – A la recherche du temps perdu

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