The first novel I wrote was titled Suburban Legends. It was 600 pages long. That’s one of the many reasons it was never published. The story ends in the middle of night, on an empty country road, with two teenagers in a parked car. The car rolls up a hill. Mark my words. I will write another novel that ends the exact same way.
When I was a boy in Fayetteville, New York I would catch snakes in the woods behind my house. Garters, black racers, rat snakes—all stinky little buggers. I kept them in trashcans and deployed them when needed. Don’t worry, they weren’t venomous, but you don’t tell your enemies that. Karma has its way, of course, and at the age of seven, I found myself on the edge of a cliff in the Australian outback, face-to-face with one of the world’s deadliest snakes, the innocuously monikered eastern brown. It reared back to strike. I let go my grip of the rocks. It’s one of the few times I have almost died. Trashcans are for trash now.
It’s nothing special, I know, but I like to brag that I have run two New York City Marathons. Not very quickly, mind you. The reason I brag about this is to bring attention to the fact that we all do things we claim we will never ever do. And we all do things we claim we will never ever do again.
While chasing down a bachelor’s degree at Drew University, I won a prize for writing the best play of the year. The play was titled The Gun on the Wall, and true to its name, it featured a gun on a wall. Yo Chekhov, check this. The gun does not go off in the end.
I am married to Cate. She is a wonder.
Notable celebrity sighting of 1988: Weird Al on a plane. Hawaiian shirt, yes, but his reception was nothing like that scene in The Naked Gun. Had it been 1984, I might have fainted from the excitement.
I entered this world in Northern California, a day after the birth of legendary hobbit and Drive Shaft bassist Dominic Monaghan. Certain calculations lead some to posit that one of us is the reincarnation of Mao Zedong. My money is on Dominic.
To receive a master’s degree in cinema studies from New York University, I was required to watch all three hours and twenty-one minutes of Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. I am a better man for it.
There was a time when I lived on the West End of London. Six years later, I lived in suburban New Jersey. I came home to my New Jersey apartment one evening and found a manuscript for a novel on my coffee table. The return address on the cover page was the same as my former flat in London, down to the very number. I didn’t recognize the title or the author’s name, both of which I have since forgotten. A girlfriend had unwittingly placed the manuscript there. Just a bit of extracurricular reading from her day job. I promptly told her that it was banished from my home, for fear that I would open it and discover that I was its protagonist. I was reading a lot of Paul Auster at the time. To this day, I haven’t the faintest idea what that novel was about.