All the Sad Young Literary Men

“I was twenty years old. When you are twenty years old, and twenty-one, and twenty-two, and twenty-three, and twenty-four, what you want from people is that they tell you about you. When you are twenty, and twenty-one, and twenty-two, twenty-three, you watch the world for the way it watches you. Do people laugh when you make a joke, do they kiss you when you lean into them at a party? Yes? Aha – so that’s who you are. But these people themselves, laughing and not-laughing, kissing and not-kissing, they themselves are young, and so then you begin to think, if you’re twenty or twenty-one, when you are young, that these people are not to be trusted, your contemporaries, your screwed-up friends and girlfriends – that it’s not because of you that they kissed you, but because of them, something about them, those narcissists, whereas you were asking about you, what did they think of you?”

– Keith Gessen

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About handshedown

Keighley Perkins is a Cardiff-based poet whose influences include Anis Mojgani, Selima Hill and Richard Brautigan. Her work has previously been published in "Acumen", "Elbow Room", "Erbacce", "Fire", "Northwind" and "Obsessed with Pipework". She can also be found online on Twitter at @handshedown. View all posts by handshedown

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