Lena Dunham or Grace Coddington,
I had this dream last night and in it I was leaving for somewhere. Octavia Spencer was there, too, but when I asked her to leave, she left. I didn't have a lot of time, and for some reason my stuff seemed to be sprawled out all over. And I had more stuff than I remembered. I kept opening drawers and finding a pair of jeans or a belt. Stuff I should definitely leave behind, but knowing me, probably bought excitedly. I become entirely one-track-minded in an effort to get on the road as quickly as possible.
There are days that I sit at my desk at work, googling the Illuminati or filling up countless shopping carts on websites that I never plan to buy from, and I think about the twenty-something's definition of success. Like, if I never woke up from that dream, and just kept packing, what would it all be for? I go the gym and am asked to enter my age on the treadmill. As quickly as time goes by, it sort of doesn't when you are forced to enter your age into a machine three hundred and twelve times a year. I'm twenty-something, and that'll go by in an instant (according to everyone that's passed it, and they will tell you ad nauseum), but I'm living in it, and I'm determined for it to be something more than a stepping stone to who I'll become. No, I'm serious.
Back in college, I remember the first day of class, asking the teacher if we were going to talk about the business of theatre at some point. She didn't laugh at this, merely quarter smiled and told me not to worry about it yet. I thought she was so zen in that moment but some years later, I'm left worrying (and kinda peeved at her, even though I'm semi-proud of her for losing all of that weight). Here I am, a degree buried somewhere in my parent's attic, and I'm still worrying about that and a constellation of other questions floating around in my head.
I reach out:
"Hey Judy, it's been a while since I've seen you (and I hate it). I see that you finally got Facebook and I want to hear all about how that's been. I remember your mom being very sick, and I hope she's doing better. This is kind of random and out of nowhere (I know, right?) but I was wondering if you knew of anyone in the industry that was hiring. Coffee date soon? Miss you and that lovely smile."
I arrive at one interview and announce that I'm here and when the girl asks with whom I'm to meet, I stumble. "Angela?" "Did you mean Alexis?" Of course, I meant Alexis. We can forget about that, right? As she walks back, I imagine, if she's anything like me, this will be the first thing she tells Angela, nay, Alexis. I'll have to win her over, but what an idiot I will call myself and tell others to call me if this whole thing doesn't pan out. What if this Alexis somebody laughs in my face? I fall quickly back into my dream, where she's chases me out of the office, and when I push the elevator button, it doesn't come. The receptionist joins in, hurling pens at me, screaming, "Her name is Angela!" When the elevator finally arrives, I realize (besides the weirdness of that whole situation) that I'm incredibly not cut out for any of this.
I seek clues:
I go under my bed and find a wooden box with my name engraved on it. I got it as a gift for my Bar Mitzvah (this is so the kind of thing my mom's friends get people like me). The box is filled with letters that people sent me in my youth. At the bottom of the box is five floppy discs. Maybe you're not thinking old school, but please accept that this is my version of old school ("You're such a baby!" -Some 30-something friend of mine). These floppy discs are full of my rants and raves to people I once loved (and some of whom I still love). I'll either read these again right before I die (provided a device exists that can read a floppy disc) or I'll burn them or throw them in a river whilst on a reality show.
The box also contains print-outs of some of my earliest writing. I take a moment to acknowledge things I've written in the past: "Your status on Facebook right now says you are alone. Thing is, if you reached out to me, you wouldn't be." I try to recall a time when I wasn't ironic and hung out at the Gap, stealing lotions and body sprays, thinking people probably wished they were me. I try to think about what that boy wanted out of life. I'm literally digging for answers. Suddenly, I can't even tell if this is real or if I'm still dreaming. Or if this was ever a dream at all.
Exhausted and overwhelmed and no closer to any sort of answer for a question I haven't even formulated, I have another drink. I decide to stick it out, convincing myself to be the guy that was there getting his feet wet. And the next day, when the fashion boys are running on empty, I'll get it, I'll be in on it with them, and the groggy somehow feels correct. And I'll exchange that signature all-knowing look of those trying to figure it out. I'll be whiney, but I won't be apathetic. I'm not going to say I know who I am, but I'm not lost. I'm not lost.
I don't know why I'm telling you any of this, but there's a big hurricane outside, and it's bringing out my introspective side. I just watched Tiny Furniture and just pre-ordered Grace: A Memoir and I'm just sure that you really get all of this. And this is why I want to be best friends with you, Lena Dunham, with you, Grace Coddington, in life or in fiction.
Evan Ross Katz