here’s the story:
when i transferred at lewis & clark, my sophomore year, there was a senior who played guitar and made the girls swoon and who everyone was always going on about, whose name was jonas. there were always posters for his shows and i kept hearing “jonas jonas” all over the place but i had no idea who he was. one day i was sitting in the computer lab in the library. i had a half an hour before my class and i had HAD to write one and a half pages, stat. but sitting next to me were two seniors, one was on a computer and the other was just standing there, talking away. these seniors would not shut up; they went on and on about their graduate school plans (nyu film school, what ever happened to that?) and their THERAPISTS and all kinds of shit that i couldn’t tune out. it was horrible. all i needed to do was concentrate for thirty minutes, but these kids were totally oblivious.
i should have said something.
instead i did poorly on the assignment i was writing, and after class, went home and wrote an anonymous rant for the school paper (which i was writing for at the time) about the two inconsiderate (cocksucker?) seniors. i included all the details of their conversation. personal details. about their therapists.
maybe a week later someone finally pointed out big-time guitar guy jonas. turns out, he was mister nyu film school. and i was the jerk who writes anonymous rants about the most beloved lc pioneer around.
after that, i was filled with guilt. i kept seeing jonas everywhere i went. it seemed to me actually that i mostly saw jonas when bad things were happening. like the day i left my bike on the trimet bus and i was sitting on the curb in front of tobacco town, crying my face off, and jonas drove by. it seemed funny, and music related, since jonas was basically the elvis presley of palatine hill (that is where lewis & clark is located; sort of an lc inside joke that you can make now too!). so i wrote an article for the school music journal, the telegraph, titled (by my brilliant friend/telegraph editor, sierra) “jonas x and the wrath of god.” i just found the article in my stack of old writing i need to organize and it starts out like this: “i think god is using jonas x to punish me for my bad behavior.” the whole piece is about what a jerk i am and how awesome this jonas must be. here is a pretty typical line: “if i get on the shuttle after having some sort of horrible day…there is jonas x’s face staring happily out the window reminding me how small of a person i am to do something so lame to such a good guy.” the story ended with: “never publicly ridicule minor celebrities, even by accident. god will always punish you.”
i thought the article was pretty funny myself. and so did other people, it seemed like. but jonas never commented on it. in fact, he never spoke to me at all. i continued to only see him from a distance. it was kind of strange but he was a cool senior and lewis & clarkers can be very serious about their social stratification. anyway, awhile later, after he had graduated, i was over at my grandma joan’s house when she mentioned that the son of her friend had gone to lewis & clark and recently graduated. “do you know jonas x?” she asked me.
this by itself was great, that we had this connection, but then my dad pointed out that i actually played with jonas when we were babies and in fact, there WAS PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE to back this up:
the only thing for it was a follow-up article for the telegraph, “jonas x strikes back,” complete with baby picture and pedigree information (jonas’s dad was once a grad student in my grandma’s department and my grandma used to stay at his grandma’s apartment in sweden). that article ended like this: “but since then my jonas fervor has died down. sure, it sort of blew my mind to see him standing next to me at a dave egger’s reading a mere two days later. but really, isn’t this what i should expect from jonas x? because nowadays my hypothesis has changed somewhat: god isn’t using jonas x for anything because, my friends, jonas x IS god.”
again i thought this was pretty funny. clearly, i didn’t know the guy. he was on the same level as celine dion (you know, my fifth cousin?) and that’s how i wrote about him. and the situation became funnier to me as time went on because he seemed to be either ignoring me or completely unaware of my existence. last june i found that picture from the original article on my parents’ computer and wrote this blog entry. it wasn’t something i spent much time thinking about, other than when i needed a crazy story of the weirdness of the universe to tell people.
then, the other day i was talking online to my friend (gang name) mariposa. he’s hip and with it and all about the internet and he told me about this website, okcupid. it’s like a dating site sort of. the thing is you just answer a bunch of questions, endless questions actually, and they match you up with people. i answered about 100 questions, purely for entertainment i swear, and then i decided to look at my matches, why not? so i scroll down, past the tech guys from berkeley, etc. etc. and there, nine down, is jonas.
i’m telling you, it was the greatest thing i ever saw. i wondered how i could be so lucky; how something so randomly hilarious could happen to me. i’ve never gone on a dating website before, and when i do, WHAT? JONAS? all the other stuff about god is a joke. i don’t believe in god at all. but random luck? it couldn’t have smiled any brighter. so i call my grandma and my mom and dad and brother and deirdre and tell mariposa online and clare marie and everyone thinks this is a great story, you should maybe contact him, right?
so i send him this message on okcupid:
you’re jonas x, right? you were one of my matches; you were like my ninth person down. my name is lizzy and i’m not sure if you know me but i went to lewis & clark and wrote some articles for the telegraph sort of about all these strange things somewhat related to you. i guess my grandma is friends with your parents and we played together when we were very very little. now, of course, i go on this weird dating website to answer questions and you are one of my matches. that’s strange, right? anyway, i think it’s pretty nuts but seeing as i don’t think i’ve actually ever met you, i have no idea what you might think. it’s probably weird to have a stranger write about you like you are some sort of celebrity. but i see from your profile (and also i called my grandma about ten seconds after i realized it was you, which kind of sucked because this is such a good story but it requires me to tell my grandma i am on a dating website) that you are in the bay area. i live in san francisco, in the mission. y
ou probably think i am a huge creep; that would make sense. but if you don’t, i would be really interested in meeting you sometime. okay. the end.
i went about my business, cleaning the kitchen, drawing pictures, and then he wrote me back:
Hi, Lizzy. That is a funny coincidence. I do remember you and the articles you wrote about me in college. They were pretty strange, but I won’t hold them against you. It’s in the past. I do have one request, though: please stop writing about me. Your blog is one of the top hits when someone Googles my name. I checked it again today. I would appreciate it if you would take down the posts about me. I’m not trying to be a jerk—but put yourself in my shoes and maybe you’ll understand. Thanks. Good luck with your MFA program.
<!–i felt like such an idiot. totally rejected. totally humiliated. i took down the posts and wrote him an effusively girly apology.
<!–but by twenty minutes later, i was angry and i’d reconsidered. here’s why:
<!–<!–1. this is america and i’m not going to let some humorless dick tell me what to write, no matter who his parents are or how adorable he was to the female population of palatine hill.
<!–<!–<!–2. it isn’t true. google his name, you get his dubiously authored wikipedia entry. google his name on BLOG search, you find me. which has been done about twice, i can see it on my stats, by someone who lived where he used to live and someone who lives where he does live now. INTERESTING.
3. i never asked for him to not hold the articles i wrote in college against me. i was kidding about being a creep. if anyone is a creep, it is the guy who refuses to accept the fact that i was giving his act free publicity by writing about him. and i was doing my job by writing about music at our school. if anyone is a creep, it is the guy who responds to world’s funniest coincidence and an offer of friendship with some sort of asshole “request.”
<!–<!–<!–<!–i will however remove his last name from my blog. not because he asked (because he didn’t; that would have been a different thing entirely) but because i don’t want to give him the free publicity anymore. in the whole time i wrote about him (and let’s be honest, it was a totally of six times–including the anonymous lc rant, a baby picture online and the post i had about seeing him on okcupid, which was up for approximately two hours–out of the two and a half years of writing weekly for lewis & clark publications and the 400 plus entries in this blog) i always wrote about what a great guy he allegedly was, a good musician and totally cool. everything i said was a) based on his public persona and b) completely complimentary and c) really about me.
<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–<!–now that it turns out he is a jerk, i’m not wasting anymore of my small amount of internet power on this guy. i don’t really care what he thinks or if he likes me. i sort of did, like yesterday, but on closer examination, yep, i don’t. what i do care about is being honest, as long as i’m not hurting anyone, on my blog or wherever. and since i fail to see how a baby picture or a reference to someone’s college career is detrimental to anyone’s image, i’m not going to be able to honor his request. i’ll probably email him and let him know. though really i would rather just change his wikipedia entry so it says “minor american poet” instead of just “american poet” and not talk to him again until i am famous and he wants his book signed and he is telling all his friends he knows me, and i can say, “what? jonas who?”
<!–oh and you know what else? okcupid is BAD with matches.