Throughout my years of being a deep thinker lost in over-analytical, near autistic introversion, I feel like I have continually met guys whose brains I sync up with perfectly. I can easily rattle off a list of them, dudes whose bodies seemed to be useless flesh, a boring vessel simply meant to carry around what was the piece de resistance – their monstrous, overworked brains. We’d sit around and let the conversation flow like a burst dam, easily lobbing philosophies back and forth and usually making me wonder one question over and over again: where are all the hyper-intellectual girls?
Writing this dedication provided a unique challenge in that what I wanted to say made me wonder if I was sexist, mainly because the person I want to toast is both someone I think is really cool, inspiring and…a girl! Gasp!
Maybe it’s just my aversion, either through laziness, shyness, fear, confusion, or, once again, just plain old detached introversion, towards interacting with females, but on the list of girls with whom I’ve really felt the same vibe of those aforementioned conversations, I can only think of but one: my friend Liza.
The words ‘smart’ and ‘funny’ are thrown around a lot when guys sing the praises of girls. I don’t think you’re allowed to have that ‘aw shucks’ speech in a cliche romantic movie or sitcom where the guy gushes why he likes the girl without throwing those two words in there. But I don’t meet a lot of girls whose necks seem to strain from the abundance of mental activity or whose sense of sarcasm seems to be suffocating them. The kind of smart where you want to read an essay from them and the kind of funny where you want to shove them onto a stand-up stage. Liza has both of those.
2013 was the year that two girls in their early 20′s helped me rediscover who I was. That statement could be a springboard for comedy, but it’s actually true. My exhaustively ranted about Miley showed me why I was out here in Los Angeles in the first place (one way or another, make them feel it), and talking to Liza helped me remember a very important fact: that this is in you from the beginning whether you like it or not.
Back when we met at Jons, Liza was the all-too-relatable quiet girl who gave me a glimpse of her awesome mind by actually knowing what ‘The Room’ was. Giggling over the ‘Guerrero Street’ tortillas commenced. Back in those days, I caught moments of the repressed personality that would later seem so obvious shining through the introversion.
I might feel weird about going this in depth about someone if I didn’t feel her story in my heart because it’s mine as well. When I finally got into good conversation with Liza years after initially meeting her, I not only flipped over how well it flowed, but also by how much I saw the old me a few years back, the talent pulsating inside, yet still unsure of itself. Eventually I saw what should have always been obvious -that she was one of us. The comedian blood runs through her veins, the sarcasm drips from her mouth, the disgust with idiocy circles her brain. This was why I left New Jersey for Los Angeles. I was possessed and how I felt about the whole thing simply didn’t matter.
Hanging out with Liza was probably the most fun I’ve ever had with a girl, forcing me to wonder, as I said, why I was so surprised that a girl could actually be so cool. I guess a lot of times I think of females like they’re all my grandmother – I’m not going to be fake with them, but I’m going to change myself into something more tame because I know that’s what they require. But Liza and I just rode a conversational tsunami of obscure references, stupid, vulgar jokes, hatred of social norms, and, most importantly, a mutual love for the numbing powers of marijuana and the uplifting joy of ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’. The time we stayed up the whole night and ended up smoking and watching those emo-tastic Canadians at seven in the morning was a vision of everything I could ever want out of life.
I do meet and talk to a lot of girls who are cool, but goddamn it, no one makes me take an interest like I would in Kurt Cobain or Charles Bukowski or Andy Kaufman. No female makes me hunger to see what’s lurking inside of them. None of them make me want to lock them in a room with a pen and paper and just see what comes out. But Liza has it in her.
So to you Liza, I say, there are very few things in this world I can claim to be an expert about, but this is one of them. You have it in you. I had to wait to hit 30 until I could fully wrap my mind around my talent and what I wanted to do with it. I’d like to see you advance a bit quicker than that. It’s a trip to see the moments where I know you’re unsure of yourself, as I can already see the path, but feel like to point it out would be disruptive and dismissive to the natural order of things. But you are going to do great things. I believe in you and I want you to know that all it takes is believing in yourself as well.
I kind of want to tell you to sit down and start reading and writing constantly, and yet I feel like there’s a piece of advice that no one really gives. Go and just waste your 20′s. Go out and get stupid drunk and get into misadventures and trouble, and fuck up at work, and soak up this goddamn town you’re lucky enough to be in like a sponge. Live out the dream of every teen who feels like they’re in a jail cell in high school and just take every day as a chance for ‘No I don’t have a life plan” enjoyment. Until…
Until one day, maybe around your mid to late 20′s you will wake up and feel something weird inside of you. And it will be there. Your mind will race with excitement and uncertainty and you’ll rush to a piece of paper or computer and it will just flow. You’ll have years of archived stories and experiences and thoughts and suddenly every night of feeling like liar and a fake, of not having the motivation to pick up that book and read, or to try and take the thumping passion seriously, of hating yourself for not forcing the words to come will be made up for by the fact that they will now be flying out of you at a speed both pleasant and confusing. And you’ll sit down and bang out ‘Coconut’ so quickly it’ll make your head spin and you’ll read it over and think ‘This is me writing?!’
And so, my fellow geek mutant, now that you have blossomed and become semi-attractive as all hell (book title there, maybe?) you have officially become the most dangerous and powerful thing in the universe: a beautiful woman with a brain. Now go out and conquer the world, or, maybe, you know, for now, just blaze up and see what’s on Netflix. The talent will be there waiting.
If it’s ever playing hide and go seek with you, I’ll always be here to encourage you, to make it come out into the open and shine like it’s supposed to. I love you, miss you badly, and care about you in a way that makes us ‘SMOKE THE EMOTIONS AWAY!!’ folks feel weird inside.