My Notorious Neighbor just got back from spring break, which plays a vitally important role in his multi-million dollar media empire. He founded his company ten years ago, is in his early thirties now, and when we talked last night he seemed the most restless and — bored — with his job than I’ve ever seen him. He also finds himself in a position where the kind of people who seek him out — “These kids come to these places looking for our trucks, as soon as we drive up they’re all swarming around us” — are not the kind of people he respects or seems to like all that much. He was standing in the middle of his living room — “I’m getting rid of all this furniture, all this African stuff, you want any of it?” — smoking and talking a million miles a minute, looking good and fit and youthful in hip black threads even as he bitched out the younger generation like a cranky old man. “These were kids from Harvard and Yale who didn’t even know who Scooter Libby is.” He said, “I fear for our future.” He said, “These kids worship me. They look at me as their hero….How screwed up is that?”
He’s scheduled to appear on the Tyra Banks Show and wondered how he could get me on the panel with him. “You’re a writer,” he argued, “you could offer up your writerly perspective on the nature of spring break and stuff…How can I convince them to put you on the show? Have you written anything at all that’s, like, sociological or feminist or anything like that?”
Sadly, I don’t think ‘dark fantasy novelist’ fits the bill. No matter how you tweak it.