An Interview With the Writing Groupie That I’m Sleeping With
In movies and TV, I tend to admire self-reliant men; people who can defuse a bomb with nothing more than a can opener, a piece of string, and maybe some duct-tape. Guys like MacGuyver from MacGuyver, or Die Hard Guy from Die Hard. In real life, however, I am not one of these people. I lack internal resources. I give up easily.
A few months ago, I reported on the fact that I was quasi-homeless. Well, I’m still quasi-homeless, because, as I just mentioned, I suck and I lack internal resources and I’m not good with this shit. Since the last time I discussed this, I have stayed with friends, semi-friends, random strangers, co-workers…
And now, currently, I am staying with my own personal writing groupie, “Danielle” (not her real name), who lives in Tennessee, and who would like everyone out there to know that she is: (1) “Hot” and (2) “Fashionable.” In fact, she strongly urged me to mention those two things about her. Anyway, and so now I live with Danielle, who I met via the comments section of a website, after I had written an article for that website. Here is an interview with her where we discuss how all of this came about…
Me: Hi. Hey there, Danielle. Are you ready for your interview?
Danielle: Am I supposed to answer that part? Probably not. Okay… go.
Me: So, um, would you like to talk about how we met?
Danielle: I read a bunch of your articles and sent you a really stupid gushy fan letter on Facebook. I was probably drunk at the time. I didn’t really expect a reply, but you messaged me back eventually and told me you thought I was hot, so that was cool….
Me: I said you were hot? Did I, like, wait a while into the conversation, or did I say that right away?
Danielle: …Let me check Facebook really quick.
Danielle: Okay, found it. The subject line was “unsolicited message from a stranger” which at the time I thought was kind of cute and clever, but now I realize… not so much. And apparently I sent it at 4:42 PM, which means I was (hopefully?) not drunk. …You replied later that evening (7:31 PM); [you said], “Yes, all my hot fans always end up living in Tennessee or Japan or some shit.”
Me: Ri-iiight. I remember now. So flash-forward a couple of weeks, and now I’m living in your house in Tennessee. Would you like to discuss how that came about?
Danielle: I think it was a couple of months, actually. Anyway. Oh, okay, I remember now. I was at a party. A really boring housewarming party. So I was on Facebook chat on my phone and you sent me some random messages. The first one just said “um.” Followed by “we’ll, um, chat when you have time.” …I mean, I hadn’t really been in communication with you previously so I chalked it up to just being some random drunk message.
Danielle: Anyway, as I was saying, I was at that boring party so I wrote back… “Did something happen to warrant this “um” or is it just a random thing…?” Ohhh, I should mention I was also on Adderall at the time, which for me makes everything seem super serious and URGENT! And also I replied because you’re, you know, really hot.
Me: It’s very polite of you to say so. …And so, whatever else I wrote was compelling enough for you to let me take a bus to your house. Because I was homeless at the time.
Danielle: It had a lot to do with the fact that I was bored, and wanted to see if you would actually do it. I think we ended up talking on the phone the next day. We did. I found another FB message: “Oh Oliver, stop being so dramatic. If it’s that urgent you can text me. I’ve had enough champagne to give you my #. 901-XXX-XXXX.”
Me: You thought I was kidding, but then I actually showed up at the bus station in Nashville. At three in the morning. What did you think when you first saw me?
Danielle: (1) I felt relieved that you were the same person [as] in your FB pictures. (2) I felt relieved you weren’t fat. (3) I also thought that while you were quite handsome you… looked like someone who had been on a bus for 17 hours.
Me: The thing I remember about you is that I had just been on a bus for 17 hours. …And when I first saw you, you were on your iPhone in your car, and you WAVED ME AWAY, so you could continue your iPhone conversation. …I was a little irritated, but I tried to hide it.
Danielle: I was on the phone with my best friend, who was a little concerned that I was PICKING UP SOMEONE I MET ON THE INTERNET AT A GREYHOUND STATION AT 3 IN THE MORNING. We were discussing whether I should hide all the knives in my house, or whether I should keep one handy in case you were dangerous.
Me: ANY-way, moving on. And then you took me back to your place. Did we make out that night? I can’t remember.
Danielle: We came back to my place and I made you sit on the front steps smoking cigarettes with me for an hour before I would let you in.
Me: Not really an hour though.
Danielle: …Because, an hour is, you know, enough time to judge if someone is a potential psycho killer. It felt like an hour. I was really tired at that point.
Me: So, and then I think we made out. And then — according to what you told me later — after I fell asleep you went through all my bags, to definitely make sure that I was not a serial killer.
Danielle: Right. I think we made out on my couch for a while.
Me: The problem that I kept having was that you kept asking if I was a killer, but if you say “No,” then that just makes you sound like… a killer. It’s a real no-win situation.
Danielle: Right. No killer would admit that they planned to chop you up into tiny little pieces.
Me: Right. And now we live together. Do you have any thoughts about that?
Danielle: I wasn’t finished with my previous thoughts, Oliver.
Me: Oh, gosh. Please continue then.
Danielle: I bet you won’t include this, but after we made out you went in my room and passed out. And by passed out I don’t mean, like, fell asleep. I mean PASSED OUT. Diagonally. Across my entire bed. Snoring. Loudly. I couldn’t wake you up at ALL. I tried that thing where you scratch the bottom of someone’s foot, because someone told me they do that to see if people are dead, which is probably an urban legend. You didn’t react.
Me: I was tired!
Danielle: When shaking you and yelling loudly didn’t work, I… um… splashed some water in your face. (Sorry.)
Me: …What?! …Really?
Danielle: Yeah. But you were taking up my ENTIRE bed. So, at that point, I couldn’t go to bed because you were… taking up the whole thing. And I knew there was no chance of you waking up anytime soon. So I inspected your bags for weapons. The contents turned out to be really boring, but that was a relief I guess.
Me: Okay. So what are your feelings about living with me? Have there been any high points? Low points?
Danielle: One low point. [The] night you got here, I awoke the next morning to the POLICE banging on my door, notifying me that all of my neighbors’ cars had been broken into. But mine wasn’t. So I got all suspicious and paranoid again.
Me: Did you think I had done it?
Danielle: The thought crossed my mind. (Sorry.) …But where would you have hidden all the stuff that got stolen? So, no, not really. It was a fleeting thought.
Me: So you’re kind of my writing groupie, in a way. …Do you object to my use of the term “groupie” here?
Danielle: Kind of? I think you are kind of misusing it. Wouldn’t a groupie be into, like, a bunch of writers?
Me: Well, sure. …Actually, that seems like a good test. If some other writer had written you back, would you have let them come over and make out with you?
Danielle: I don’t consider myself a groupie. If the internet was a band, I wouldn’t be like, hanging around outside the tour bus…
Danielle: Another low point is your questionable taste in music.
Me: Right. This is the point where I start massively editing your responses. But never mind that. For the sake of diversity, we’re going to turn the interview over to you, and you’re going to ask the questions now. …So okay. Go.
Danielle: (An actual high point is that you do the dishes… sometimes.) Okay, I’ll ask you stuff now. (1) So, why me and not one of the 2 million other girls who leave you marriage proposals in your article comment threads?
Me: I’m suddenly remembering that I don’t like being interviewed.
Danielle: You hate everything.
Me: That’s untrue. …Um, because you looked really cute? Because when I talked to you on the phone, you had sort of a dirty/sexy voice?…To be honest, you were randomly on IM at the moment that my friend in New Orleans was kicking me out of her place.
Danielle: I like where this is going so far.
Me: …Anyway, and so I spent like a half hour chatting with you on IM, and then I finally got the will-power to ask if I could come stay with you. And you said yes. And I guess it’s sort of a tautology, because I wanted to stay with you anyway, but I really respect people who are willing to do random things like that. That’s really my favorite quality in a person.
And if you had asked me if you could come crash with me (assuming that I still had an apartment), I would have said Yes too. I would let any interesting person come crash with me, if they needed a place to stay. And so I liked that; that we were the same in that way.
Danielle: We are. Well, I would let any reasonably attractive interesting person stay with me, I guess. …Moving on.
Me: Moving on.
Danielle: So what was your first impression of my apartment? Were you freaked out by the insane amount of shoes [that] I own? Did you secretly judge my book/record collection?
Me: Do we have time to fuck before your friend comes over?
Me: Or should I answer these questions?
Danielle: I have to do my hair.
Me: Okay, great.
Danielle: Answer the questions, we can DO SEX later.
Me: Your apartment is fine. You have lots of Bret Easton Ellis books, which I like. I think I once considered buying the same Urban Outfitters couch that you have. …But you did tell me that you were rich, and you’re not really rich.
Danielle: It’s an IKEA couch. I never told you I was rich. I told you I don’t have a real job, per se. I told you I had enough money to live comfortably without working. …ANYWAY.
Danielle: Another question — was I more insane or less insane than you expected?
Me: Um, I think you represent better in writing than in real life, so at first you were more insane than I thought. But then for a while I thought you were REALLY insane. …And then it moderated and now I don’t think that you’re that crazy.
Plus, when I was first hanging out with you, you were on Adderall and shit, which didn’t help.
All right, we need to wrap this up, so I’m turning the interview back over to me now.
Danielle: Last question. …Oh, okay – fine. I had a really good one but FINE.
Me: Fine, fucking ask it.
Danielle: …When are you going to start paying me rent?
Me: Excellent. Well, this interview is over. …Hopefully we can have sex later on. Thanks; appreciate it, Danielle.
Danielle: You’re welcome, Ollie.
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