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I'm not observant enough for journalism.

evan(dot)bryson (at)gmail(dot)com

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Sep
20th
Sat
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One of my very favorite things in this world is a small clamp light. I briefly wore one attached to my jeans’ pocket today.

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I am shooting a music video today with Night Auditor

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Sep
17th
Wed
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The Bookforum interns also work at the Times.

The Bookforum interns also work at the Times.

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Sep
14th
Sun
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Sep
12th
Fri
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Probably this is more than common we let on—but you come to a hotel, you like all the mirrors, you ask yourself: how exceptional do I look in this lighting? What little project can I make for myself while waiting for Kate to meet me downtown? Might I document this lonely flattering light? Why didn’t I get a per diem for food—I’ve got the corner suite—I’m a “Starwood Preferred Guest”—breakfast is free. What else is free. “2MB” of internet is free. I should shower and fix my hair. I should put in another diamond earring. The Irish Fest is happening two blocks down. Someone just sang the most keening version of “Wicked Game”—singing “I don’t wanna fall in love/with you”—and now, sixteen stories below, in the Military Park where they seem to be having this karaoke contest, someone has utterly emphasized Tom Petty’s line “with them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights.” 

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Sep
10th
Wed
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One of the banners I made has my housemate’s face on it. Taking this photo was really difficult for Tori because I kept murmuring “bae caught me slippin” while she pressed her eyes closed. I don’t know if she sleeps with bracelets on or not—I should have brushed them out. I made 8 unique 80”-tall banners for a race this weekend in Indianapolis, and I like this one the least, not for Tori—for its dull color.

This was a tops day despite the rain—you can see my good shoe is soaked through—and I was very jazzed that my banners didn’t come out torn up or fuzzed over; that they retract and stand. I also felt incredibly smug about getting to drive through the gates at the back of campus, wending my way to the parking circle of the Main Building. I always imagined who those people are who park right at the Dome—the President? (He walks over from graduate student housing; true story.) The Dean? (I also always wondered who makes all those corporate-exec style PR banners; it’s me.)

When I ferried the banners back into my trunk and tried to start my car this evening, its battery was dead. Campus security had to come and jump it for me. I took off my dress shirt and remained pacific in the crisp, tight white undershirt beneath, while the officer hooked up cables. I had forgotten, too, that I was wearing a shirt Allison made me for my birthday—screen printed on the shirt’s back is “I AM THE FUCKING NARRATOR.” I had felt the officer was short with me, at first—brusque. Then he warmed to me when I used my Hoosier accent, as I spoke softly and inquiringly. “I won’t burn up changing the battery, touching these screws?” It was probably the shirt that threw him.

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Tori drew this last night and left it on my cannoli for me to find this morning. It’s accurate.

Tori drew this last night and left it on my cannoli for me to find this morning. It’s accurate.

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Sep
6th
Sat
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Interruption

I’ve been waving at a man a few blocks up from my home all summer. I pass by on my late afternoon runs; there he sits, on a porch swing; we’ve developed a rapport of sorts; he calls himself the mayor of my neighborhood, which reminds me that only gay men call themselves the mayors of places. His name is Ed. He is gay, I found out today. I came onto the porch while he was reading. We had discussed before—as I passed by running—calling out—what he reads: not Harper’s, or The New Yorker or The London Review of Books, titles I suggested like an ass. “Do you read Good?” I would call out, at a race clip, and he would say, “What!” He reads about sports from the papers, and some of the business inserts. I came on the porch today because I had not seen him for three or so weeks and I thought it would be polite to converse with him, sitting across on a rocker. He was of course stoned out of his mind. “The Atlantic,” he said triumphantly, “on my iPad!” I didn’t say I hate The Atlantic, but I really fucking do.

I discovered his life is baffling him. He’s over sixty. He’s invited a 26-year-old straight friend to live with him, a “very handsome man, just a real specimen of the type—the type of ambitious young guy that likes to—likes to fuck girls—I guess—and is strong and silent.” So it ended up being an hour interview wherein I listened to this stranger process his debilitating sexual anguish regards an oblivious love object. “I’ve already promised him—if he’ll take care of me when I’m sick, he can have the house when I die.” I asked, “Are you sick and dying?” He said, “No—no—I just—I just watched basically my own dad die last year and it reminded me I am all alone. I’ve got no one. So—so if he wants the house, it’s his.” There were a lot of twists and turns. His speech was maybe rehearsed in his own head, had a kind of logic, or chronology, that satisfied revealing particulars. He admitted, for instance, masturbating along to the rhythmic pleasure-cries of whomever his housemate was banging: “I just think—you know—what has that got to look like, the way he works on women? I told him, ‘Bud, you gotta install a camera or something, let me in on the action.’ But of course those kinds of comments really freak him out.” I nodded. Nicholas told me not to interact with people in the neighborhood, especially old men. But I like it. I found him repulsive but I think only for his indiscretion, not his desires. Or, the way desire had warped him into a confession. It was soothing. It was like finding a perfect, real specimen of another type, albeit a depressive type, a real black hole of longing whose mass tempts you into orbit. After the hour I was obsessively, anxiously picking at my arms—and I excused myself to shower. “Well. I am sweaty and itchy.” I sped off.

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Sep
4th
Thu
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Gaffe

When I went to look at page proofs this morning, the sales rep greeted me again like an uncle. The booklet looks great. The graduate school is happy. We shook on it. Then he invited me on a tour of the press. He said, “Let me give you the nickel tour.” —I think meaning the tour you’re given for paying a nickel, or a tour that’s time-cheap; quick. He introduced me to the woman who oversees the production side of my booklet, and he repeated the bit about the tour only with a slip of the tongue. He said: “Well, I thought I’d let Evan in on the show, take him on a nipple tour.” He ticked his head for a beat and said, “Nickel tour.”

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