This photo is from a trip I took to Sorrento, Italy while studying abroad in London:
Why, yes, I am in fact a twelve-year-old boy on the inside.
"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People
Every time I hear this song, I always hear the lyrics as "You better run, better run, faster than my bucket." I refuse to learn the real lyrics because I don't want to say goodbye to this image in my head:
At home when Dant Jemina and I make pancakes, we always make chocolate chip pancakes. Now when I go out for breakfast and see plain pancakes on a menu, I'm like, "Pancakes without chocolate? WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU?"
I have always enjoyed driving, though I have never been very good at it. I particularly enjoy driving alone—other people tend to comment on the aforementioned terrible quality of my driving and make me feel self-conscious, which results in even worse driving.
Soon after getting my driver’s license I went through a phase where I often went out driving at night with the distinct intention of getting lost. From there I would spend hours and a fortune in gas trying to find my way home. It made me feel like some kind of badass explorer, charting new territory out on country roads late at night with only a dilapidated barn and some road kill for company.
One night I ended up about an hour away from home at one in the morning in a little town called Fairlawn. Fairlawn is so little, in fact, that it has an eleven o’clock pm curfew for minors—a curfew that I was unaware of.
I did not drive slowly on my nighttime explorations. After all, badass explorers did not drive slowly into the night. They sped, with the wind on their heels! So I was going 77 miles per hour in a 65.
Right before the turnoff for the highway, I saw red and blue blinking lights in my rearview mirror.
I pulled over and a mustachioed officer in his mid twenties approached my car. He asked if I was aware of how fast I’d been going, then how old I was. He made me follow a penlight with my eyes several times. He seemed disappointed when it became clear that I wasn’t drunk or on drugs.
He explained Fairlawn’s curfew policy and told me to call someone to come drive me home—I wouldn’t be allowed to drive home on my own. So I called my mother and told her that she and my father would have to drag themselves out of bed to come pick me up.
Wooster is about forty-five minutes away from Fairlawn. I had also woken my parents up in the middle of the night and Officer Mustache would not let me wait for them in my own car.
This state of affairs led to me sitting in the back of a police car for nearly two hours.
I spent the first thirty minutes of this imprisonment in a coil of nerves about how angry my parents would be about having to drive all the way out to the middle of nowhere in the wee hours of the morning.
But then, well… I started to get bored.
Officer Mustache sat up front, poring over a book of ordinances, searching for the official record of Fairlawn’s charmingly Footloose-esque curfew policy. When I had been stuck in the back for forty-five minutes of painfully awkward silence, I cleared my throat and in a high, nervous voice, I asked, “So, how’s it going?”
He didn’t even glance back at me, just replied, “I’ll find it in a minute, you’ll see.”
“No,” I said. “I mean, like, how are you?”
Now he paused and looked through the grated barrier at me. “I’m all right, I suppose.”
Another long silence, then I squeaked, “Did you always want to be a police officer?”
He scratched his chin thoughtfully. “Nope. I wanted to be a fighter pilot.”
I was silent for several seconds. “Well. Being a police officer is about as close as you can get to being a fighter pilot without actually being a fighter pilot.”
“Huh,” was the policeman’s only reply, but I think he appreciated my comparison. When I later received my ticket, there was no mention of my absurd curfew violation.
Part of me wondered if Officer Mustache made the whole damn thing up. I later confirmed on the Internet that he had been right about the curfew, and had simply chosen to give me a break.
At heart he wasn’t really Officer Mustache, he was Officer Fighter Pilot.
Forgiver of Curfew Violations, Mustache Extraordinaire, and Captain of the Skies!
The first hundred or so times I heard "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears, I thought Britney was singing to some dude named Babyn.
"Sargasso Sea" by Suzanne Ciani
This simple pairing of strings and piano here is so full of emotion, my poor little Grinch-sized heart can barely take it. This is my gift to you writers out there like me who work best with instrumental music.
P.S. I promise it won't be another ten years before my next update. After months in the revision cave, I am ready to query with Moorhouse and am committing back to at least one post a week.
Thank you so much to you Velocininjas who have checked in through comments or email during my hiatus. (Should I start calling it a sabbatical? That sounds classier, I think.) You all deserve chocolate and flowers and flowers made out of chocolate and chocolate made out of flowers. Or maybe not that last one.
Dan Rice: It must suck to be the creator of a television show and to have your show cancelled. It’s like the network decides to execute your baby because it wasn’t popular enough at school. (Pause.) That was not a very good metaphor.
“Daydream” by the Beach Fossils
This is a definite soundtrack song. I imagine a convertible gliding along a rainbow-lit street to this song, with the sound of the surf in the background.
You know those words that you mispronounce for years in your head because you’ve always read them and never actually heard anyone say them out loud? I get mad at those words for not being pronounced the way I originally thought.
Like you, ravine. Raveeeeen. I mean, what the fuck. You should obviously be pronounced “ra-vine” and now I’m angry and feel like I have to read The Secret History all over again.
"When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin
I realized I've never featured Led Zeppelin, one of my very favorite bands, on here and that it was a damn shame. For those of you non-New Yorkers who drive ever, this is a great song to cruise to.