Sunday, December 4, 2011

rat boys from mars, and an unfortunate incident involving an inflatable whale

I'll be totally honest.

I was asked to submit a short piece for an upcoming anthology. You may have heard about it. It's got a website and everything. I won't say the title, but you probably know what it is.

I said okay.

I wanted to try to do it, and the editors wanted guys to write, because, as is the case with the kingdom of the written word, there are few male voices to be heard.

The anthology involved authors writing letters to themselves as teens. You know.

Um. I'll be totally honest again. When I told my agent I was thinking about doing it, he groaned.

I like my agent. I should have high-fived him on the spot, but I wanted to try.

I realize I have almost nothing to say to myself as a teen that would not be laced with f-bombs.

No part of my teen life was cute or whimsical.

I tried. I read several of the other submissions. They all sound so fun, perky, and shit like that.

I could not do it.

I kept looking for signs of misery and helplessness, and all I came up with was encouragement and dogged determination.



I mean, what can I do? I tried, but words like fuck and shit magically started coming up in my letter to my teenage self. I tried to be whimsical and bubbly, all you-can-do-this-kid! bullshit, but the absolute truth is there were no encouraging adult voices at all in my teenage life.

There are also almost NO photographs at all from my teen years.

Here is one of them (taken when I was 17):

Um. I was not a happy kid.

Dear Teen Drew: You are on your own. When you fall down, you have 2 choices. You know what they are. That is fucked-up, but it is the shitty truth. P.S. -- If it is any consolation -- surprise! -- you live to be older. Squee.

You know what I would rather do?

I would rather write a letter to my office.

Here it is (taken this morning, at 5:45 AM in California):

Dear Drew's Office:

You have let yourself go, man.

I think it is time we stage an intervention.

Since I do not have time to participate in an intervention with you, I am hoping someone else will pick up the ball and run with it.

I'd like to be all encouraging, promise that I have faith in you, and will still be here for you when you straighten the fuck out, and shit like that, but I am leaving for New York and I am afraid when I come back home nothing at all will have changed about you.

Let me clue you in: When men enter relationships with offices, they expect them to STAY THE SAME. What is all this change bullshit?

Just look at yourself.

The rest of the house isn't like this.

Well, I am only guessing, since I am not actually allowed to go into any of the other rooms.

But trust me: It isn't me, it's you.

I wonder if there is a place like the Betty Ford Center, or shit like that, where I can send you for 30 days so you can clean the fuck up, and then come back and be reintegrated as a decent part of the household.

Dear Drew's Office: Straighten your shit out.

I mean it.

I am at the end of my rope.