By the time you hold this magazine in your hands, I will be holding something else in mine: a very serious problem. I will no longer be part of Fifteen Minutes. Or, at the very most, if I’m lucky, I’ll graduate from FM co-chair to FM legend. But everybody knows most legends are either actually or effectively dead.
I joined FM before I joined a concentration, before I decided which roommate was my “favorite.” The magazine has been the single unchanging fact of my college experience ever since. Roommate favorites come and roommate favorites go. Love interests fade in and out and then they’re gone. But FM keeps on keeping on.
For better or worse, it was in the pages of this magazine that I worked out some of the fundamental existential crises I’ve had in the last three years. Why are some girls lame? Why am I so lame? Why don’t more girls masturbate? What does Matt Glazer look like naked? As always, I make my personal life a public thing. Facing the edge of a paper cliff, I might as well indulge in one last self-important self-exploration.
The Crimson has a long tradition of picking favorites and alienating the rest. My freshman year, I was FM’s favorite. This fact has probably formed the basis of my collegiate confidence ever since, despite my deep-down knowledge that the prize was less about actual merit than about shared sensibilities.
Like the FM editors, I was obsessed with taking nothing seriously, and I worked very hard to make sure everyone knew it. So relentlessly did I make fun of my surroundings that barely one month into my freshman year I contributed to a cover story making fun of freshmen. “Sorry, what’s a handle?” I remember asking my editor shortly after penning the sentence: “His room, with its throbbing hip-hop beat and many self-consciously collegiate posters advertising four years of a raging party, seems closer to the WB’s idea of the typical dorm room than to reality.”
Without a key to a multi-million-dollar mansion on Mt. Auburn Street, it can be difficult to find a community at Harvard. FM is mine. I love this magazine if nothing else because it loves me back. Sometimes the relationship is shaky. I have mixed feelings about the times I made fun of freshmen, about the times I boldly bragged about being “quite the practiced masturbator” by the age of nine. I think this magazine sometimes takes life too lightly, over-analyzes too earnestly, mocks too mercilessly, and prints pictures of casual sex acts too happily.
I imagine this is pretty normal. After all, I have mixed feelings about lots of other things, like the political situation in Iraq, modernity, and the size of my thighs. I imagine it’s also healthy and normal to be scared to death of leaving the place that has been to me what that blanket was to Linus in Peanuts: a security blanket.
In conclusion: Am I normal? Yes I am. Am I going to miss FM? Yes I will. Why don’t more women masturbate? I have no fucking clue.