“that’s not usually where i keep the garbage can.”
“my stove. i used to have this plastic tupperware box to keep sandwich bread in. one time i forgot that the stove was still hot, and i put the box lid on it by mistake. there was melted plastic all over the place!” in the living room we flipped through a book entitled why paint cats: the ethics of feline aesthetics. “cats aren’t really my thing,” i said. “someone gave it to me as a gift.” michael and i agreed that why paint cats was a book we’d both want to own as a bizarre conversation piece, but we wouldn’t pay money for it. as people do at parties, we eventually went our separate ways. michael wandered off somewhere, and i went out to the front porch. there were too many people there–enough to cause the kind of loneliness that’s sometimes worse than the alone kind. i ran into molly, and we talked for a few minutes (she has an awesome green leather jacket which is the complete opposite of my awesome green leather jacket). “can i ask you a question?” she said. “sure,” i said. “it’s a personal question, it’s not web-related.” “okay.” “what’s one thing you know a lot about that nobody ever asks you about?” “oh!” i said, surprised. i’d been expecting the worst, as i do whenever someone asks for permission to ask me something. but it was an interesting question, one i’d not thought about before. i was quiet for a moment. molly smiled. “i like this question because everyone has to think about it before they answer, and every time someone answers it i learn something new.” “it’s a good question,” i said. “i guess it’d be the x-files, but more specifically x-files screenwriters. sometimes i can tell who wrote an episode just by watching it. also abstract expressionism, particularly the career of philip guston.” molly was so excited about my answers to the question that i got excited about it, too, and after we talked about screenwriting for a minute, she and ari and i asked some other people the question: ari: navajo indians
colin: being the child of hippies
jeff: making spaghetti sauce while watching mafia films.
kevin: said he would think about it. may still be thinking about it.
molly: urban planning in germany in the 1920s
zack: 12th and 13th century mongolian history i was surprised and delighted by every answer we received. i’d forgotten that people are three-dimensional that way. i spend most of my time at home or at work. when i’m at home i read or make jewelry or do stuff on the internet, and there’s not a lot of human interaction. when i’m working at the restaurant, i talk to customers or the other waiters. i’ve known most of the waiters for a long time, and i love them dearly, but it’s more a function of solidarity than of common interests. as much as i love my coworkers, i don’t feel like they understand much of what i say. i self-censor a lot. as a direct result of these things, i don’t feel like i belong anywhere. of late i’ve started to lose valuable parts of myself that don’t really have a place in my everyday life. that’s why sxsw this year made me so happy. i’d forgotten that i can be smart and funny and well-read and interesting. i’d forgotten that there are people like me who know what i mean and get my jokes. i’d forgotten that i’m three-dimensional, too. yesterday, finally, i applied for a job.