by Shelton Bumgarner
I only write this out of extreme boredom and a love of writing, but let’s talk about that one, brief moment in time when I was “famous.” Andy Warhol famously quipped that in the future we’d all be famous for 15 minutes, so I guess those few months in 2006-2007 in Seoul were it for me.
I’m now doomed to shuffle off this mortal plain in relative obscurity.
But back then, I was a man on fire. I was DJing at the best expat bar in Seoul and was the publisher of the only monthly expat magazine. Really, I was only really all that cool for, maybe, a month. I think it was December. That one month in 2006, to date, has been the apex of my life to date.
Sadly, I wasn’t really even that happy at the time. I was obsessing over not only the magazine I was struggling to run, ROKon Magazine, but a young lady named Annie Shapiro as well. And I was quickly becoming overwhelmed at my DJ gig. So, if you really wanted to get all nitty-gritty about it, I’d say Christmas Eve, 2006 was it. That was the moment in time when I about as good as my life has gotten to date.
I learned a lot about what it’s like to be famous — or notorious — during those brief months. I learned if you’re famous, even in an extremely small pond like Seoul’s expat scene, people not only feel they have a vested interest in everything you do and say, they can eat you alive if you aren’t careful.
That’s why I know should I ever truly become “famous” — and the way things are going right now, I definitely never will — I will zoom from zero to hero back to zero in record time. I’m just too different and outspoken in a weird way for me not to offend entire swaths of the American populace.
But even to propose such a thing at this point is delusional in the extreme. I’m a nobody and always will be the way things are going. I just like to write, even though to date I don’t really write that well relative to the people I would be competing against for jobs I might be interested in. I’m self-indulgent, narcissistic and self-involved as this very post proves. I keep thinking I can figure out some easy, quick fix that will get me out of this horrible situation I’ve found myself in since I came back from South Korea the last time, but, alas, it’s not to be.
I have some structural problems in my life that can only be fixed through hard work, money and lots and lots of luck combined with time. Even under the best of circumstances I’ll be 50 years old before I dig myself out of this hole I’m in and by that time I can’t very well bang hot 24 year olds without being really, really, creepy. (Not that I can do it now, but you live in your delusional world and I’ll live in mine.)
So, here I am.
I barely have enough food to last me until I can get more, don’t have enough gas to do anything that is otherwise free and my life is at a complete standstill. I need to face my fears and get back to working on my novel. It may not make me famous, but it at least will give me hope.
And that, as of right now, is in short supply.