I’m Scared That My Hundreds Of Unanswered Emails, Facebook Messages, And Texts Will Come To Life One Day, Band Together, And Kill Me » VSB

Featured, Theory & Essay

I’m Scared That My Hundreds Of Unanswered Emails, Facebook Messages, And Texts Will Come To Life One Day, Band Together, And Kill Me

iStock

 

The 100,000 word first draft of my book is due in September. (I’m currently a little over 60k.) Writing the book has caused my digital output to decrease quite a bit, but I’m still working; managing VSB, writing and editing pieces for VSB, and writing pieces for GQ, Slate, and The Root. I’m also a husband. And a father to an 18-month-old girl. And a Black man in Trump’s America. A Black man in Trump’s America who happens to live in the single Whitest major metropolitan area in the country.

Oh, and I almost died three months ago. (Actually, that’s a bit of a stretch. I didn’t almost die. I don’t think so at least. But for a month or so after my hospital stay, I thought that I did almost die.)

Alone, each thing listed would seem to have a considerable amount of stress attached to it. Combined, it would seem to be a tsunami of stress. A stress casserole. Stress goulash. Stress bukkake. But it’s pointless to even begin to think about any of that, when there’s a stress jabberwocky out there too; an angst and anxiety-inducing leviathan lurking in the shadows, patiently waiting to permeate my pours and piss in my milkshake. I see it each time I check my Gmail. Or log onto Facebook. Or browse my VSB email account. And even when I check my phone, and see my texts and missed calls. It exists in the form of the thousands of emails, messages, and texts I’ve yet to even read, let alone reply to. And they’re not all just spam. Many of them are from people I genuinely want to respond to. Texts from friends I’m totally not trying to avoid. Requests to speak at schools. Invitations to appear on podcasts or panels. Shit, at the time of writing, there are at least three emails sitting in my inbox from three separate publications where each are attempting to contact me because of money they each owe me.

I know what you’re thinking. (Or, rather, what you’re thinking about aside from the Burger King Mac n Cheetos. Because, once you became aware of its existence, how could you not spend every waking moment pondering the evil genius of macaroni and cheese wrapped in a cheeto?)

Damon, why don’t you just answer these emails and texts? Seems like a simple solution to a problem too simple to even call a problem. I hate you.

It’s a question I’ve asked myself numerous times. And each time after I ask it, I convince myself that the jabberwocky isn’t a jabberwocky at all. And I go to my email, confident and convinced that I’m going to read and respond to all of the emails I actually want to read and respond to. But then I see all of the other emails surrounding it. And then I feel guilty about the emails from months ago that I still haven’t read or replied to, thinking “Why should these new emails get special treatment? That’s racist.” And then I close my email completely, and go back to Reddit to search for conversations about Kyrie Irving. Maybe I’ll eat a waffle too. I like waffles. They’re a good substitute for when no pancakes are available.

The more this happens, the more I’m convinced that one day, I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night, and hundreds of pitchfork and lamppost and noose-wielding emails and texts will have surrounded my bed. And the oldest unreplied to message — who the rest of the messages have anointed as their leader and named “Sam” — will methodically approach me, say “It’s time” and lead me down a hallway of dampness, darkness, and deleted Google Hangouts threads.

I clearly need help. Or perhaps maybe just an intern. Yeah, I just need a fucking intern. Who wants to be my fucking intern? (To clarify, this doesn’t mean I want an intern who I also sleep with. Just an intern. To answer my emails and totally definitely not have sex with me at all. Also, if this intern wants, they can help me research romp-appropriate rompers.)

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • MsCee

    I created a whole new email account because I was tired of not being able to get caught up on all the ones in my old account. I feel you Daymoan. I wonder how those old emails are? They’re probably better off without me. I hope they’ve found peace and love.

  • “Burger King Mac n Cheetos.”

    Somebody needs to go to jail behind this sh*t. I feel like if this happened in Turkey or the Phillipines, Erdo?an and Duterte would use it as a pretext for mass killings.

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      But that commercial almost convince me to go to BK in nearly 10 years…

      when you start jamming during a commercial, you know it’s good.

    • siante

      Has anybody tried them yet? Are they legit? The fat girl in me needs to know.

      • I would eat Taco Bell before I tried these things.

        • siante

          LOL- I actually just found the Dame Drops review. I can always count on him for my food PrOn
          https://youtu.be/DLakrGamjyk

          • Quirlygirly

            This dude is hilarious..I love him

          • Another Man’s Rhubarb

            YES! love this fool!

      • Kylroy

        They are exactly what you think they are. If they sound good to you, you’ll enjoy them (I did); if it turns your stomach, experiencing them firsthand will not change your mind.

        • Jennifer

          #teamstomachturn

  • “..To clarify, this doesn’t mean I want an intern who I also sleep with. Just an intern. To answer my emails and totally definitely not have secks with me at all. Also, if this intern wants, they can help me research romp-appropriate rompers.)…”

    Whew..
    *safely hits send*

  • Megan Blanchard

    Intern? You need an assistant!

    • Val

      I thought they outlawed interns or something. No?

      • Wangari Kimiri

        They outlawed unpaid interns.

        • Jennifer

          Not in every field unfortunately.

  • Val

    If I’m not expecting your email it might not get a reply. Kind of like unexpected company ringing the doorbell on a Saturday morning. I may be home but I’m prolly not going to answer the door.

    • Val you and I are ><. Saturday morning doorbell rings are a phenomenon from humans who were dropped as children.

  • LMNOP

    I have 21,228 unread emails right now. For no reason. Probably none of them are important or from actual people.

    • AKA The Sauce

      Got you beat by at least 20k…thanks for playing.

      • LMNOP

        That makes me feel better about my life lol.

        • AKA The Sauce

          I’m here to help lol

    • Val

      I have over 60k in my main account.

      • Live your life better, Val. I delete instantly if it isn’t of great importance. My Yahoo account is still open and I don’t even want to know.

        • Val

          Man, I gave up trying to delete emails a few years ago. I was so behind I was like forget this.

        • LMNOP

          So, your best life involves a lot of time deleting email?

          • No. I just delete them sh*t when the come in or I read them. If it falls under the promotion tab I just click delete all.

      • AKA The Sauce

        200k in my yahoo account…they shut it down lol

        • LMNOP

          I just gave up and abandoned my yahoo account.

          • AKA The Sauce

            Lol…it’s pointless

          • Val

            Lol

          • MSNY

            Me too

        • Val

          I feel better about myself now, Og. Thanks. Lol

          • AKA The Sauce

            Anytime lol

        • Darkchloe144

          Wha..I just…how does this happen? If you don’t want to answer why not just delete and save space?

          • AKA The Sauce

            That’s one option.

    • Gibbous

      I’m so glad that I’m not that important. Sheesh! People give me beef because I still have an aol account. I don’t get that much e-mail, but what I do get is rarely spam!

    • Kas

      3000 unread in my work email

      • LMNOP

        I only have 15 in my work email. I have a pretty low email job though.

  • AKA The Sauce

    I currently have 42,656 unread emails…ask me if I’m worried….https://media.tenor.co/images/bc49c3cf62917c91c6c4e054f13abcc1/tenor.gif

    • LMNOP

      I hate how my phone puts the number up, maybe I didn’t actually want or need to know that.

      • AKA The Sauce

        I hate that too. People judge me every time they see it. Let me live my life.

        • MsCee

          My granny: “Baby, every time I call it says you haven’t set up your voicemail”
          Me: “Of, for real? I need to set that up”
          I hate lying to my granny but I hate voicemail’s even more so (Kanye shrug) That icon drives me infuckingsane

          • LMNOP

            Also, now that phones show up missed calls, someone leaving you a message to say they called is kind of redundant.

            • Val

              Most of my missed calls turn out to be robo calls.

            • MsCee

              Girl, I’ve tried to explain this to my granny 50-11 times she doesn’t care. Her voicemail’s be like “Hey baby it’s your Grandma Cheryl, I hope you had a God awesome Tuesday because the LORD is, was and ALWAYS will be in control. Are you dating anyone yet? Is he husband material? Call me back. I need to update the women’s prayer group tomorrow.” My coworkers used to love when she’d leave messages on my work phone.

            • MsCee

              The only good thing that ever came from voice mail is the time I caught my ex out on a date with someone else. When pocket dialing goes right. Lol

              • siante

                whew! That happened to me. It was a co-worker I went on a few dates with a while back but I didn’t feel comfortable enough to even kiss him. Well thank God I listened to my intuition. He butt dialed me after I think the 3rd or 4th date & left me a 4 minute voicemail where I could hear his girlfriend (he told me he was single of course) sobbing because she found our text msgs & pictures of me in his phone. I have to admit after ignoring his texts & calls for a week after that, it was satisfying to just reply to him with the 4 minute audio clip of that voicemail he left. I still thank God to this day for coming through with that :)

                • MsCee

                  Bwwwwaaaahhhhhaaaaaa. I just had the greatest laugh of all time. That happened to me too. My coworker tried to date me. I saved his number in my phone which led to him popping up in “People you may know.” He was married with a kid on the way. -_____- He blew me up for weeks then I just sent screenshots of his FB profile pic. He still tried to lie which was hilarious to me.

                  • siante

                    & he still had the nerve to lie? My co-worker did too- like, dude- you’ve been caught, just fess up lol. & the situation with the guy I dated got even messier for him– it turns out his “girlfriend” was a married deaconess at his church that he was creepin’ with (the woman was 52). I told one of my homies I worked with about it & she happened to be very close to this woman’s kids growing up (they were from the same town), she had been to their house & knew the woman & her husband. Well her & her big mouth blew the whole thing open. The guy I was dating w/ & that woman were excommunicated from their church and the husband ended up putting a hit out on this dudes life. He ended up having to leave the job & he fled down south, I think he lives in Georgia now– It sounds like some bad urban fiction now that I’m typing it out but I really couldn’t make these shenanigans up lol smh

                    • MsCee

                      You know what…I can’t. I tried and I just cannot. Lol. That sounded like an Ashley and JaQuavis novel. And yes, he still tried to lie. He was like “who told you that?” NUGGGAAAA, Mark Zuckerberg and FB told me.

                    • Simms~

                      Not JaQuavis!

                    • siante

                      LOL @ JaQuavis!!!!!!!!!!

          • AKA The Sauce

            I once left myself voicemail’s so I couldn’t receive any. I don’t check them so don’t bother…email me..oh wait…I don’t check it…call me…oh…I don’t answer unknown numbers….guess they ish out of luck lol

    • Mika

      157,391…….most of it is me not remembering a lot of my passwords.

    • Jennifer

      HOW? I really don’t understand!

    • grownandsexy2

      I had a little over 27,000 unread e-mails a few weeks back. Thank God for the delete key.

  • Kat

    I just delete. Doesn’t bother me a bit. I might be odd. But I will select all and hit delete in a heartbeat. Life is to be lived, not spent filtering emails.

  • TheUnsungStoryteller

    I would love to be your intern/assistant. I have a shiny object called a journalism degree if that helps.

    • Val

      Nice avi!

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        Thanks, Val! It’s 3 years old but it’s my favorite iPhone selfie. Lol. I’m trying really hard not to be conceited…

        • Val

          Lol

  • Is this a paying position …?

More Like This