Sure, the Internet is great for connecting with random people, but actor/comedian Jeff Ragsdale was looking for something a little more human when he posted a “lonely guy” flier with his phone number on it in NYC. Jeff, One Lonely Guy intersperses snippets of the thousands of resulting conversations, voicemails, and texts from around the world with a personal essay musing on the author’s life. Frankly, we were already sold when Bret Easton Ellis dubbed it “verification of a legitimate new form of narrative.”
On Tuesday, March 20, we’re hosting a release party with Ragsdale and co-authors David Shields and Michael Logan at CultureFix in NYC, which you can RSVP for here. Either way, you’ll want to click through for a sample from the book, which distills Ragsdale’s many interactions into brief soundbites that provide a uniquely postmodern view of storytelling and human nature.
Sample excerpt from Jeff, One Lonely Guy
Widow, 60, Westchester, New York (914-576-XXXX) New York died before 9/11. It’s just about greed now, full of arrogant shitheads. . . . One daughter, she’s twenty-nine, has a Master’s in communications. She works as a nanny. The other is unemployed, living with her boyfriend. Goldman Sachs trader (212-357-XXXX) I’m not doing that well. . . . I’m calling strangers who post flyers on the internet from my trading desk. . . . The economy’s in a major downturn and we have Occupy Wall Street keeping us prisoner. It’s combative. We’re under siege down here. Middle Eastern man, 27, NYC Lives with parents. Did three years of college. Can’t seem to find work. Dreams of being an architect, but must go back to school and finish his degree. He thinks New Yorkers are hard to meet. He wouldn’t tell me what country he was from in the Middle East. I sensed he felt I’d judge him in post-9/11 America. Olivia A lil optimistic. Hopefully will stay that way fingers crossed want to spend the day looking for a job. . . . Yesterday was a mess. Lotsa mixed feelings, doubts, nausea. Patience, 23, NYC My friends have deserted me since I got pregnant. They still go out at night and hit the clubs. . . . It’s hard for me to want to go out. I mostly stay inside and eat. . . . I work in a doctor’s office as a secretary. . . . He gives me some money. . . . No, we’re not together. I suggested Patience get the father’s payments as a legally binding doc. Sorority sisters Are you rich? John (978-476-XXXX) I’m sort of a recluse. I like having people to interact with, but it stresses me out for some reason. It’s hard to explain. Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Mark, 28, NYC I’m a choreographer and everyone in the arts is out of work. I’ve been very depressed. I can’t pay my bills. 423-946-XXXX Even fast food places aren’t hiring. Aaron, Memphis (901-341-XXXX) Memphis is dangerous, violent, in disarray, riled with gang activity. My wife wants to move. I’d just as well stay. College girl, Silicon Valley I went through a traumatic breakup. Now I want to work in finance. Kristina (301-339-XXXX) I work in politics. . . . I want to marry a Jewish guy but there aren’t that many in DC. Kristina and her friend texted me a photo-booth photo of them with the text message “Breakups are lame.”
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