I answered the Proust Questionnaire. Vanity Fair has famous people take it when they’re desperate for material. Seeing as I’m in the same boat, I had myself take it.
If you’re a writer (and I know you are) and you like talking about yourself (and I know you do!) then give it a try too.
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A perfect sentence. Preferably I’m the one delivering it.
Failing that, tits will do.
- What is your greatest fear?
Never writing something perfect. Which sounds trite. But it ties into my deeper fear of never being seen the way I want to be.
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Persistent, creeping pessimism.
- What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Bland conversational predictability, which I also deplore in myself.
- Which living person do you most admire?
Myself in the near future. I never quite become him, though.
- What is your greatest extravagance?
A debaucherous food and beverage intake on par with Emperor Nero’s.
- What is your current state of mind?
20% Hopeful, 15% Sorrowful, 65% Drunk.
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
- On what occasion do you lie?
- What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Well, I look like a really tall mouse.
- Which living person do you most despise?
Me, in the recent past. I don’t mean like, me in September 2016 but me always in the past. I’ve always felt that way, always broken down the game film and agonized over everything and thought you could have done that better. I’m self-absorbed, basically.
- What is the quality you most like in a man?
- What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Non-American. American girls are princesses and they live inside apps. That, and they have a grating accent, which to be fair is the same as my own.
But familiarity breeds contempt, and goddamn, if I’m gonna be stuck on this planet until the lights go out, I’m gonna go see what else is at the buffet, ya feel me?
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
The word “hashtag,” as in, I use it verbally. But I’m safe because that is always funny and it will be funny forever.
- What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I have to get trite again, but it really is creativity. And the development and struggle therein. It’s an unrequited type of arrangement, because I get it right so rarely.
- When and where were you happiest?
There were seven weeks in China in the summer of 2007. I was traveling with the funniest people I’ve ever been around. The dynamics and alchemy were a happy accident, and we all came alive. I didn’t stop laughing the whole summer. Life and the world itself was just a dumb little game back then.
Oh, and then a few years later when I discovered beer.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
I can’t shuffle a deck of cards. Is that a talent?
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Joke answer: My hammer toes.
Real answer: I actually would change myself so I’d have more of the same. I’m pretty driven and have fewer friends and experiences than I should because of it. But it’s paid off a little. I just want more drive.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In high school, a friend threw a Starburst at me from the other side of the library and I caught it in my mouth. That’s also my best memory from high school, because I didn’t get laid in high school. Or kissed!
- If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
- Where would you most like to live?
- What is your most treasured possession?
Well, I’m sort of an international hobo. I have nothing. I rent a place with Winnie-the-Pooh sheets and no AC for a pittance and the motorcycle’s a rental. I can bag up my shit and be on a bus in 20 minutes.
Wait no, I have three tailored suits. They’re my children.
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
- What is your favorite occupation?
Does it have to be an occupation I’ve held?
I’m not funny enough to be a comedian but I’d love to have been one. I like listening to podcasts (Joe Rogan Experience, etc.) where they discuss their creative process, slowly building joke after joke until it’s a bit – and it turns out comedy’s similar to writing in a lot of ways. So the answer is: comedian.
Either that or a really sick rapper.
- What is your most marked characteristic?
Being the tallest guy you know.
- What do you most value in your friends?
- Who are your favorite writers?
Stephen Hunter and a little Murakami too.
- Who is your hero of fiction?
- Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Because I feel like a widespread cult won’t form around me until after I die, when news of my death will drive people to my blog.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
Tom Brady, Bill Burr.* Also Drake.**
*see “comedian,” above
**see “rapper,” above
- What are your favorite names?
I really like Chinese and Japanese names. To me they sound exotic and stately. Which I guess is the same thing as a Chinese man marveling at the regality of the name “Bubba Sparxxx.”
But I have a Japanese friend who calls me “Fred-san” and fuck, it sounds badass.
- What is it that you most dislike?
Young, attractive people really bother me.
- What is your greatest regret?
Any time I’ve lacked empathy while on my conquest for kicks. (I don’t mean sneakers).
- How would you like to die?
Painlessly, in the epicenter of a nuclear blast, before the age of 40.
- What is your motto?
Make them count (I’m referring to hours).