I’m out the door with a checkered scarf cinched up like a noose. Saturday night: time to get lit up with some other people in a dark room and let some vodka tonics dissolve that outer shell we’re all trapped in. Time to go lie to some girls with accents. This is Seoul, you meet all types. I tell them I’m applying to grad school for history. If you are a writer you have to tell a lie like this, because no one ever goes out hoping they meet a writer. This isn’t a complete fabrication because I do like history; I read about motherfucking history all the time and this makes me a perennial bar trivia MVP. If I had Netflix I wouldn’t do shit, ever, because I’d be plowing through documentaries on the Punic Wars. But I’m not paying $30,000 just to read more history. But–grad school, yeah. I want to teach history someday, sure. I’m still young enough that this lie holds water. Next year I’ll need a different one.
These girls, they want to see ambition, but the right kind of ambition. Someone is going to have to pay for a minivan someday, remember. So they want dull-eyed jackoffs who are going for their MBA and will be able to afford boarding school tuition. That, or they want guys who play in live bands or have enough family money to go skydiving in New Zealand one month and reef-diving off Boracay the next. I really hope I meet a blogger tonight, no girl has ever said as she applied cherry-red lipstick. That is a historical fact. Unless you work for an entity people have heard of, you can’t tell a girl you’re a writer. There’s something about that one word that makes nether regions go Sahara dry. You can actually see the eyes glazing over. Saying you’re a writer is the ultimate cockblock, the avada kedavra of cockblocks. It’s the worst thing you could possibly do to hamper your bedroom prospects, short of castrating yourself with a leather hose and some garden shears. Because everyone is a writer. Name someone who isn’t. You might as well try to impress someone by saying you breathe oxygen. No girl Skypes home saying: Daddy, he’s, he’s great, he’s an unpublished writer.
So, you lie. You talk about getting drunk on ski trips and you tell the legendary tale of your friend’s 21st birthday blowout in Bangkok, but you don’t talk about your book. It’s like trying to hide a drug problem. It’s like being Bruce Wayne, having to go out and lie to people and pretend this other half of your life doesn’t exist. My name is Fred is this the kind of shit I have to do when I’m out. True story.