Have you ever devoted a not-insignificant amount of your time to what you knew to be an exercise in fear and futility? Stolen precious minutes from your rapidly depleting days on this planet to scream into a void of pointlessness? I have. I have stared into that very abyss and returned to tell the tale of how I spent hours DMing fun facts to a bevy of celebrity crushes in an attempt to feel — truly feel — the feverish joy of brushing digital fingers with an object of far-flung desire.
The celebrities had little in common aside from status, follower count, and not knowing who the fuck I was, rightfully and understandably. What began as a thought (wouldn’t it be funny to DM slide my celebrity crushes?), developed into a gimmick (I should entice them with fun facts!) and slowly crumbled into a painful reflection of who I am, and perhaps who we are, in this modern society (what is the internet?).
Why do you do the things you do? is a refrain that lulls me to sleep most nights and took on particular resonance during this endeavor. Did I hold out a glimmer of hope that it would yield a date with Ben Schwartz? Yes. Has it? No. And it never will, for I am but a speck on this digital landscape and demanding the attention of those I do not know in order to…what… validate my inability to create literally anything with my own two hands? Which says more about me than any reply from Rihanna or Sir Ian McKellen ever could. I am, in a way, baring a part of my soul I didn’t know existed when I share these screenshots, which capture my hopeful and foolish attempt to delight my crushes with fun facts, only to go unanswered.
Fun facts are not all that fun. Shouldn’t knowledge be fun, generally? What separates a fun fact from a regular fact from an inconvenient truth. Being ill-equipped to make such distinctions myself, I used this article from Reader’s Digest. Is it folly to believe that fun should be a frequent part of one’s existence? I know not, but I do know I sent a DM to John Boyega about butt shaped robots.
I consider myself a bigger figure than I am.
Even knowing that most of the messages would go unseen or seen by a personal assistant at best, I was still reticent to reach out to some public figures. Could I burn a bridge with a single ill-placed mention of aging? Would my facts about the universe somehow be interpreted as threatening (if you consider a reminder of all that we don’t know, all that we may never live to touch a threat, then yes) or cause for alarm? Why did I feel like I was ruining my chances at something by doing this? I have been tackling my risk aversion and fear for years now and I feel like I have not come far at all. Quincy Jones has yet to acknowledge that the man with the world’s deepest voice makes a sound only heard by animals.
Navigating the line between a public and private existence. Eventually, I lost my will to exist in the truly mundane and completely random. Seeking order where there was none, curling my fingers towards what I could control, I eventually started sending facts about cats (the domesticated animal) to the members of the new production of CATS (the musical). I hesitated but because Jellicles are, this Jellicle do. None of the members of the upcoming movie musical version of CATS have responded to me at this time.
Feature photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images.