Here are the rules. Here is the excerpt of the week:

When I was single I used to go to bars with a friend of mine who had moved here from Austria. This guy was really literal…I’m talking Vulcan literal. We would have these long conversations about the inherent absurdity of picking up a girl in a bar. Either one of us could chat up a girl in a normal life situation, where there was some inherent subject to discuss. But in a bar there is no context other than “Hi, I’m going to try to pick you up.” We knew the idea was to make small talk, but that was the problem. Neither one of us cared to make small talk. If you didn’t have a concrete reason to talk to someone, why would you? Eventually, of course, I would have enough drinks that I finally would talk to a girl, about whatever, nothing, anything. And it was fine. But why did I have to wait for alcohol to kick in before I could disregard my need to be literal?

[Who am I? Read more and find out!]

Last week: We went through a tesseract with Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time.

The Nervous Breakdown is an online culture magazine and literary community. It was founded in 2006. Our masthead can be found here.

5 responses to “Who Am I — 111911”

  1. Zara Potts says:


  2. Gloria says:


    I have no idea who the guy in the photo is. I’m beginning to think that nobody knows what authors look like. If “a face made for radio” means you’re ugly, then “a face made for book publishing” must mean you blend into the background.

  3. Sarah Beth says:

    That’s Roberto Bolano in the picture.

  4. Richard Cox says:

    It’s definitely not me in the photo.

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