Ladies and Gentlemen: Datehole is delving into a whole new area of journalism. Book author interviews. Please note: The following interview is NOT a parody.
David J. Rosen is the author of “I Just Want My Pants Back,” a story that deals somewhat with dating in New York. He unwisely agreed to speak with us about his first novel. We already give him credit for trying.
Datehole: About your book, Darin Strauss said that it’s as if “Bright Lights, Big City had been given a polish by a young Woody Allen.” Which part of that is most personally insulting?
David: It depends what Darin meant by the word “polish.” It sounds a bit deviant. Other than that, that is some high praise I hope the novel lives up to.
Datehole: You were in advertising. What’s your favorite Chinatown massage parlor? Alternatively, your favorite bar?
David: I don’t do the Chinatown massage thing — do you do that? Do you get sores? I feel like those places are basically petri dishes with massage tables inside. For alcohol I like Mama’s Bar, my local spot, and the Lakeside Lounge, both on Avenue B.
Datehole: L Magazine raved about the book. Is that a little bit like a twelve year old girl thinking your dick is huge?
Datehole: Seriously though, you did kind of achieve the dream (fucker) and wrote that first novel (fucker) while maintaining a job in New York (fucker). How’d you get the discipline?
David: I came home after work and instead of watching South Park or going out on what might have been an evening with only slight possibilities of drunken fun, I stayed in and wrote. Or I met people out later in the night and wrote until then. Those are a lot of hours when you add ‘em up. Then once things started rolling, it became addictive.
Datehole: So what do the missing pants a metaphorically represent? Pride? Manhood? Integrity? Virginity? Your foreskin? Or are they just a pair of fucking pants?
David: Hmm, I’m going to say all of the above, except the foreskin. Or just the foreskin, and none of the others. A or B.
Datehole: How many of your exes are going to read this book and send you hate mail when they recognize some part of their relationship with you? A lot we bet.
David: Maybe two. I don’t think the third reads. In all seriousness, none, this is fiction. No one believes me, but it’s true — I am not Jason, although some absurd things in the book do come from places of deep knowledge. And deep shame.
Datehole: When you think about doing a book tour do you get all smiley and clap your hands together and run around the room squealing “Book tour! Book tour!” like a child? We totally would.
David: No, I’m a diva. I’m like, “It better be a goddammed private jet,” and “I don’t want peanut M&M’s I want almond, only yellow.” Truthfully, it’s pretty exciting. I hope people show up.
Datehole: “…twenty-something young man in New York City with an English degree from an Ivy League university, a very small, very messy apartment in the West Village…. in the absence of any direction, Jason gets stoned and goes out, sometimes with his party-hearty school chum Tina…” Tina? West Village ? Is there something else you want to tell us about this novel? We like twist endings but….
David: Every generation of newcomers to the city are confronted by the same things: the stark reality of capitalism, the pull of drugs and alcohol, the humping in the fridge. Okay, that last one is specific to Jason, the narrator. This is his story, how an endearingly raunchy, funny screw-up comes to understand maturity and mortality over a three month period in NYC.
Datehole: But we shit you not; we dated a woman at 99 Perry St , which figures in your story. There was a lady who vacuumed all night long and then cried. Maybe we should trade war stories. WTF is with that building?
David: What year was that? What floor? I used to vacuum a lot, but I never cried. I mean, I don’t think you would’ve been able to hear me, I mostly cried into my pillow to stifle my sadness. I had some cool quirky neighbors there, for sure. It was the first apartment I lived in by myself in NYC, so it will always hold special meaning for me.
Datehole: We’re all for this book. But in ten words, why should somebody else read it?
David: It’s funny, it’s dirty, it’s affecting, it’s affordable… it’s fat free.
Major points to David for being a good sport about our pompous, asshole questions. “I Just Want My Pants Back” is in stores now. And go check out the website. www.ijustwantmypantsback.com. It’s a pretty badass website…. for a book.
And for the record we don’t go to Chinatown massage parlors but only because we’re broke.