I don’t want to be anything flashy, guys, I’m not an asshole. I just want to be something simple, something understated: subdued flair. Hey, it’s just me, I’m just a person, you know, like the people you’ve known since you were young. I’m the boy next door, gone really smart (glasses) and to strange lengths to show my tattoo. What tattoo? This? Where? It’s nothing.

I’m just an average guy with some knuckles shoved under his chin, you know, like always. And if I’m looking off camera through cut eyes, I’m not angry, that’s just something I happened to think about in the moment, it’s an idea for my next bestselling novel. But these things come to me. What can I say? I’m not you. I’m an author. I’m an author! Can you believe it? It’s not a big deal.

Love me.

What? What do you think I said? “Love me”? No. That’s awful. That’s hideous. I won’t object if you do — but that’s on you. What is it you love about me? Is it my one long sideburn? Is it the way I’m not bald? I mean, I am bald, yes, but… am I? Am I, like, really? Take another look. Now try me in black and white.

Hey, I’m a cool guy, guys. Look at me. In any other situation, I’d be smiling, but I just got caught in this, like, thought, this insight, and I’m allowing you to see the process at work. I’m unguarded, I’m vulnerable with a — what? All right, I’ll turn my jaw a little to the side.

If I am smiling, I’m not looking at you. I’m looking down or to the left — Oh! Something’s so funny! You’d love it — if only you could see it! Only people like me can see it.

Most of the time, though, if I’m looking at you, I’m like, Are you serious?

Or you caught me staring off, in the middle of a thought, but the kind of thought reserved for people like me, not you.

Or my whole mouth is covered with my hand.

Or I’m lightly pinching my chin — but I do that all the time, guys. Who doesn’t?

Don’t be disappointed if I’m not this attractive when you come to the reading. I was taken on a good day. Maybe it was several years ago. Maybe I didn’t know the camera was there. Do you believe me? Good. It’s true. I’m an author. Hey. I’m an author. Did you forget that?