There are two types of Celeb Kids, just so you know:


the obvious kind, the ones who embrace it, who are steeped in it, who want nothing more from life than yes’s and pleasure;


then there’s the other sort, the ones that cannot bear it, that wish to jump clean and clear from their skin, to run away from it and all else.


The thing is: it’s not always so easy to tell between the two.



I went to Mathews College in Mathews, Ohio. Amish country. The children of celebrities matriculate there when they don’t get into any Ivy’s or Vassar or Bard, when they think themselves above USC.


(I myself chose it myself because a writer I most admired—a celebrity now—attended twenty years earlier.)



Celeb Kid tells me, after three half-price pitchers at Half-Price Pitcher Night in the Romp (Ohio’s Only On-Campus Discothèque) that, as many of his peers view higher ed as the gateway into the middle class, he sees it more as an observation deck parked atop it, a glass chalet, temperature controlled, heated leather seats—their words, in paraphrase.



During Orientation Week, I originated a rumor: that the kid from Boyhood—what was their name?—was a part of our class, a music major.


(It was certainly plausible: in the next year there’d come a boy called Disney—actually nice-enough of a fellow for that sort of scum—and I soon learned my friend’s mom was in a common-law marriage to James L. Brooks when they both called her asking for guidance in choosing the leather trim for the seats in the G650 he was outfitting—they spoke to my friend over speakerphone inside the nearly-empty dining hall.)


Of course, the Boyhood kid wasn’t a Celeb Kid or Nepo Baby, not really much of a star, nor even a boy—they’d soon come out as non-binary—but it’s salient, still, I think, and I can recall attending a dormitory pre-game a month into my first semester where I overheard two girls discussing the Boyhood kid skipping into a senior acting practicum. I told them I’d invented the gossip. They asked me who the fuck I was and kicked me out of the room, which turned out to be theirs. (Eventually, I befriended the both of them.)



Celeb Kid sells you prescription drugs. They don’t need the money, of course, it’s just for fun—theirs more than yours.


Celeb Kid purchases a suicide kit off Amazon, picks it up at the mailroom desk in the single hour it’s open on Saturday mornings: Celeb Kid turns out to be a Type 2 after all.


One of your roommates says the real tragedy is the legion of opportunities thrown at Celeb Kid, all squandered now.


Your other roommate says Celeb Kid never had a reflection show up in any mirror.



I’m in therapy again. First time since before the pandemic.


My therapist works out of a converted shed in her backyard in Beachwood Canyon. She says generalizations aren’t so useful these days. Says they just make any curveball curve that much more sharply—so sharp it’ll cut off all the hairs left on your half-bald head.



Celeb Kid buys a doctor’s note to subvert the off-campus lotto, moves into a one-story ranch-style house with Nepo Baby on the western edge of town, between the defunct bowling alley and the Civil War cemetery.


Celeb Kid stops attending class.


Celeb Kid Gorilla Glues clumps of cat fur and soiled egg cartons to the walls and ceiling.


Celeb Kid accuses Nepo Baby of impairing the house’s central heating system, of poisoning Celeb Kid’s Brita.


Whether or not these acts of sabotage actually occur is up for debate, but what’s not is that Celeb Kid’s hair has started falling out like beads of towheaded snow shed from deceased trees.



I had a writing professor who once handed his student—the son of a famous show-runner—his printed-out pilot script, a multi-camera workplace sitcom spec about the wacky laborers and their surly supervisor in the state-of-the-art factory that turns Celeb Kids into epoxy mortar.


Nice guy.



Celeb Kid saved my life once. No, really. (Sort of.)


The circumstances surrounding my attempt on my life would fill a treatise ten times this one’s size.


What matters is this:


I’d hit my latest low. I was entirely alone, or felt that I was. I tried slitting my wrists with spears of shattered glass from the window I’d drunkenly broken the night before. (Cool wind jetted through the room, whistling against the jagged glass.)


The glass proved too dull, my stupidity ensured my survival.


So: Celeb Kid maybe didn’t save my life, in the super-heroic sense. But they showed up without my summoning them, on the whim of a hunch’s intuition. They appeared in my room like the bat that escaped from the attic directly above did a few months before. (It helped that we always left every door unlocked.) (I wounded the bat with a broom handle accidentally—I’d only meant to chase it away—and left it out to die in the winter.)


Celeb Kid took me to the hospital the next town over in their Range Rover. I didn’t die after that—I’m still not dead.



Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:


Celeb Kid (Type 1) walks into a bar.


Bartender says, What’ll it be?


Celeb Kid says, Actually, I’d like to buy the whole place. [Fans their arm out in a semi-circle, game-show-hostishly.]


Bartender scratches his head, says, I don’t think it’s for sale—let me call my boss. Heads into the back, presumably to a landline.


Celeb Kid leaves because the bartender takes too long (six or seven minutes).


Bartender returns from the back to his bar. Examines the empty room.


He pours himself a shot to celebrate.