We're All Damaged

Monday, April 13, 2009

You Win Again, 18-Year-Old Version of Matt Norman

The 18-year-old version of me and the 32-year-old version of me have become mortal enemies recently.

The rift began when I started ordering Jack & Diets instead of Jack & Cokes. “It pretty much tastes the same, and it’s a great way to cut calories,” I said. He was not pleased. Things were made worse shortly after when I scoffed openly at a preview for the new Vin Diesel movie. Then our relationship finally and officially crumbled when I declared that Maxim really is, quote, “a mindless, piece of $hit magazine.”

“What’s the deal with this pu$$y?” said a sunburned, 18-year-old version of me recently at a beer pong tournament on Dewey Beach. “Dude gets a 401(k) and all the sudden he’s like, I don’t know, 40 or something. I mean, pull up your skirt, Tiffany! Am I right?” Before falling down a flight of stairs, he added, “The Nebraska Cornhuskers rule, bitches!”

To be honest, I really stand little chance against my younger, self-abusing counterpart. My behavior, which includes reading, making an effort to eat more salads and attending Wilco concerts, is passive-aggressive at best and succeeds only at irritating and antagonizing the 18-year-old version of me. On the other hand, his behavior is often physically dangerous and rarely anything beyond stupid. He once drunkenly suggested that I dig a broken light bulb out its socket with a pair of rusty pliers. Frankly, I don’t know how that skinny bastard has survived as long as he has.

Although the 18-year-old version of Matt Norman’s public appearances have decreased significantly in recent years, when he does show up he does so with gusto, leaving a tsunami-sized wake of destruction and embarrassment in his path. In New York City this past weekend he was spotted at a night club two-fisting $14-dollar drinks and dancing wildly to Sexy Back. Later, he reportedly told a cab driver that he, quote, “owned this motherf*cking town,” and then he ate half a pizza by himself at 4:15 a.m. before passing out under his friend’s computer desk.

Thanks to that idiot’s irresponsible behavior, two days later, I, the 32-year-old version of Matt Norman, am left with inexplicably blurred vision in my left eye, the inability to remember any of my passwords and lingering shame.

Perhaps ours is a war of attrition, and eventually the 18-year-old version of Matt Norman will go away on his own—felled once and for all by his inherent ability to do the exact opposite of whatever it is that a sensible person would do. But, more likely, he’ll always be there, lulling me into submission as he waits for his opportunity to eat 35 barbequed chicken wings in one sitting or order a round of 10 last-call car bombs.

You’ve won this round, 18-year-old version of Matt Norman. But eventually—I don’t care how many low-fat chicken salads and New Yorker articles it takes—I will defeat you.


  1. 18-Year-Old Version of Matt NormanApril 14, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    I seriously don't even want to talk to you right now, dude.

  2. 40-Year-Old Version of Matt NormanApril 15, 2009 at 4:23 PM

    I can't believe I wrote this vapid drivel.

  3. Seriously. Please blog everyday. I know you're gaining rapid international fame with this blog, so I'm encouraging you to step it up. I want to see you get at LEAST 68 followers!!