Shoot Out The Lights: 3  

Over the last two and a half years, this page has brought me into contact with literally hundreds of people scattered all over the world; from the girl who would become my girlfriend to the guy who wrote me and said that he couldn't read my page anymore now that I had a girlfriend. From the guy who sent me pictures of roadkill squirrels to the people who tousled my hair online. People who write for video game magazines, people who write video games and people who play them obsessively. Epic, rambling prose poems and one-line responses from people telling me to chill out. The crazy blonde teenager who climed to be my biggest fan and my worst enemy and the guy who wanted a picture of my facial mole 300 pixels wide. The Australian who adapted an entry into a drama monologue for his acting final and the Bostonian who wrote a paper about the differences between me and Ben Schumin. The guy in a band asking me how to write songs and the guy working for the school paper asking me how to break into journalism. The crazy kid who sent me an envelope full of garbage and the guy who sent me wrestling posters from Japan. The people asking, asking, asking, "How do you get by? How do you survive in a world like this?" The woman in her forties who chastised me for even insinuating that I was thinking about shooting myself, telling me the story about how her son, my age, had taken his own life. Somebody claiming to be a friend of Mike Leigh, one of my favorite directors. John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, one of my favorite musicians. And people from the past, friends and enemies alike. All of these people, all of these stories. Some parts of doing this have ranked among the greatest experiences of my life. Others, not so great. The pleasure of opening up my mailbox every day and finding these people waiting for me, knowing that something I'd said had reached at least somebody. Thank you.

More tomorrow.