I’m trying to think of something funny to write. You see, I am supposedly a writer. Meaning that among my variety of artistic talents, I excel at writing. Writing is the only real way I can express myself. The only way that the world can understand me. Plus, the old line “Oh me? I’m a writer.” always gets me laid at the Columbia undergrad mixers.*
I started this new blog in an attempt to forge a new identity on the internet, hence the YouTube video and a later post involving cotton candy. And, I have several really great ideas that I think will aid me… in the weeks ahead. You see, if I were to post these ideas NOW, one of two things would happen.
One, I would re-introduce myself to the internet, guns blazing; only to be followed by fear and artistic bankruptcy. Writing under deadline – you must know – is like baseball: if you don’t know how to strand your runners on first and second base, there’s no way you’re hitting an RBI. Second, I would re-introduce myself to the internet, serious and pontificating, mooning over things like sexual positions and whether or not I think it’s “awesome” that Hollywood is making a Voltron movie. Women would surely line up around the block to sleep with me, but soon recognize my indifference, and leave me; the critics would think I’m a pompous know-it-all who couldn’t conjugate his way out of a wet paper bag. I would eventually die alone and penniless, but not before I become resoundingly fat (like, Orson Welles-type proportions) from a diet of cheeseburgers and triple-sugared churros.
So I ask you – dear readers – who wants any of that to happen to me?
Therefore, I’m left alone to struggle. To be honest, it’s something I relish: the challenge of a good writing session. It’s too hard nowadays to find any time to be original. It’s way easier to pretend you’re someone else. That’s why everybody has loved everything I’ve ever written: because no one has realized that I’ve been publishing a different page out of Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls every day, for the last year. And, the fact that I’ve gotten away with such an obscene gesture blows my mind – especially with all the critics right now saying stuff like “Matt Fried has the makings of a mature Hemingway. Which is odd because he’s only 26.”** But, it’s not my place to judge myself in the eyes of other people: that’s a job for ex-girlfriends and the religious.
Anyway, what’s the real point I’m getting at in all of this? I guess perhaps that part (read: all) of this fear to produce something totally original is out of an overwhelming need to sound interesting. Because the only people we do pay attention to anymore are the interesting ones. But, actually, I am not interesting. I’m just a young man who grew up in New Jersey with a mother and a stepfather. I went to high school. I went to college. Nothing spectacular. I also possess a crippling set of abandonment issues – ones that have led to episode after episode of sexual and ethical faux pas, like something out of Shakespeare, except with much more emphasis on being 19 and horny.
But, you don’t want to hear about any of that.
And that’s kind of sad, because then, I don’t know what to write about. All I do know is that I’ve lived in New York City for almost three years. Though that seems like a long time (which most of my life has felt like), it barely scratches the surface of a life well-lived in The City That Doesn’t Sleep. There is still a bigger story to be told. So, anything that I could essentially invent for you right now – that would seem hilarious – is only the tip of the glacier of my talent.*** What is interesting, or at least sounds interesting, right now will be NOTHING compared to what I will one day write for you in, say, a decade.
So now, I hope you understand my dilemma. Here I sit, staring at my laptop, wondering if I should even bother with sharing my brilliance at all. Because sometimes: to just grin and bear it, to put complete faith in only yourself, and set aside that need to be something that other people want you to be, is the scariest thing you can do in any art.
Not to mention: no Columbia undergrad would ever fuck a normal guy.
(*This technique only works for me, not you. Don’t be the dick walking around Columbia University, claiming to be Matt Fried. My family is Jewish, meaning I know at least six lawyers.)
(**Frank Rich, The New York Times)
(***The span of my talent is medically proven to be the size of THE UNIVERSE’S largest glacier)