I don’t know what this book is, let alone what it is about. I do know it’s an edited transcription of things that crossed my mind from the ages of 28 to 33, which happened to be the calendar years of 2015-2020; I took the duration of the pandemic’s quarantine to polish it, and, at the now ancient age of 35, in mid-2021, I’m publishing it as this book.

The passages in this book are aspirationally bits but I misnome them essays. All have some version of a punchline, but conveniently, my definition of punchline includes provoking thought and not having a punchline.

I will say that much of this originated from ideas I had for comedy bits during my one-time hobby of performing stand-up comedy at open mics in New York City. I did some 150 of those. I never got particularly great at performing stand-up—the nervous energy I exude does not elicit laughter—but I did enjoy doing it, presumably in the same way that some people enjoy self-harm.

I tried to do new material each time, once or twice a week, which forced me to begin a fierce writing habit, largely during long subway rides, typed in Gmail drafts. I did increasingly fewer open mics and spent increasingly more nights alone writing. At some point, I migrated the scattered email drafts to Word, resulting in a wildly disorganized jumble of incomplete sentences, long-winded rants, and the occasional punchline.

But one day, reading that mess of words, a meta-thought occurred to me. Maybe I could turn this into a book. Then, I did that; this.