PLACES AND CIRCUMSTANCES I HAVE FELT MARLON BRANDO LEVELS OF COOL
- •At a Jewish Hillel retreatI was, improbably, the cool bad boy (relative to the crew) and everyone wanted me for sports teams. It was awesome and surreal. Felt like a sitcom lead.
- •Bringing beautiful girls into comic book shops to buy magic cardsI have seen dudes freeze up when I come in (usually with a platonic friend who's coincidentally beautiful) and ill show off how nerdy I can be and still (implied) kiss girls. I like to give 'em hope.
- •Being utterly in the zone when rappingBig risk and big reward for how cool I'll feel. Anything less than greatness is vaguely humiliating. I have, on occasion, entered a prophetic state of rhyme spitting and it's like catching the Holy Ghost. It's what I imagine being truly good at sports feels like.
- •Once I was recognized by a group of beautiful girls in New York...Because of my twitter. We were standing outside a bar and while talking (already cool!) they asked if, wait, Lev Novak? One asked me out on the spot and I cooly rebuffed. Especially important? I was with two newer friends who had just moved to New York from Cleveland and I was showing them brooklyn. I felt like a god.
- •Teaching at my schoolKids treat me with adoration, parents with grateful awe, colleagues with bemused pride and confidence in my skills. It feels good to be good at your job
- •Getting fan mailThis happens every now and then, usually for pieces I write about depression or anxiety. They're always so sincerely appreciative. It helps me be less cynical about my writing and makes me appreciate having any voice at all.