Seth Abramson

White Privilege

I crossed a continent. I fell in love with a woman I’d never met. I lay in the fetal position as a woman I loved beat me. I masturbated in a synagogue. I ate kangaroo meat. I filled the bottom of a tent with vomit. I passed a kidney stone. My GI tract shut down. I rowed across the Grand Canal at Versailles. I rode horses. I threatened my mother with a bat. I called a basketball game at the Palestra. My arches fell. I tobogganed down the Great Wall of China. I ate duck brains. Rolling Stone wrote about me. I slept with a married woman. I was in a Billy Joel cover band. I went to an anime convention in Copenhagen. I littered in the Forbidden City. I spent Wednesday afternoons with a six year-old whose fingers had been shot off. I won a first-degree murder trial. I was a stepfather-to-be. I had phone sex with the chief spokeswoman for Halliburton. I ate snails in a Paris alley. I played on thirty-two athletic teams. I sang in a doo wop group. I held a dog as she died. I lost half a tooth in a biking accident. I totaled my car. I traveled to within an hour of the North Pole. I walked through human feces. I drove famous authors to airports and restaurants. I saw the Northern Lights over Sweden. My feces is green. I bought my abuser a necklace in Old San Juan. I was a best man. I married my sister. I received an anal probe while high. I’m from Massachusetts. I’m in Norway. I’m a godfather. A chicken quill punctured my uvula. I testified in federal court. In the dark I go blind in one eye. I have neuropathy in my right arm. I waited for a friend in a Canadian brothel. I was assaulted in a junkyard in Virginia. I was burglarized in New Hampshire. I took a sleeper from Beijing to Xi’an. I collected bottles of urine under my bed. I assaulted my sister. I faked being able to play tennis. I played in a basketball league for Jews. I’m a tennis instructor. I wrote a novel at age fourteen. I don’t know my father’s birthday. I spent a summer making alphabetized lists of pistols, rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, machine guns, sports cars, tanks, fighter jets, survival gear, and knives. I was seconds from killing myself. I rolled pennies to buy lunch. I convinced a child to sell me his video games. I saved the life of someone I loved. I lusted after a stripper. I comforted my fiancée during a seizure. I wrote fifteen hundred poems. I bought seven hundred albums. I achieved advanced proficiency in French. I was the first blogger on Google News. I couldn’t make rent. I broke a political scandal in the media. I said “I love you” twenty times in a row. I told the 911 operator I wasn’t speaking to her. I filmed an unreleased music video. I spent over four thousand dollars on Legos. I twice lost thirty pounds in thirty days. I saw a hundred Van Goghs on weed. I saw ten firework displays in under two hours. I gave away a cat I loved. I learned to vaporize in the home of a famous novelist. I ran a corporation for three years. I’ve had plastic surgery. For two years I slept in a bed where someone had twice attempted suicide. I’m Generation X. I was chased by my father. I climbed a hill in Alabama. I was ordered to wear a rubber glove in the water. I stood on a hill above the Barents Sea. I rescued hundreds from wrongful imprisonment. I threatened a police officer. A judge told me to shut up. A Supreme Court Justice compared my motions practice to a blunderbuss. A woman told me she saw an angel on my shoulder. A friend tried to flush herself down a toilet. I’ve never lived in a detached building. I smoked cigars at a camp for children. I threw up on an ER doctor. I watched the sun set from the steps of Sacre Coeur. I biked through rural villages in China. I saw my father’s penis. I threw up on an EMT. I drove under the influence. I cried at three hundred movies. I rode in an ambulance. I lost my virginity before I’d kissed a girl. I’m a webmaster. I fell in love for the first time with a black girl from Dallas. I stood atop the Article Circle. I asked a model to marry me and she said yes. I applied to Oxford for love of a woman. I applied to Brown for love of a woman. I had a radio talk show. I paid for someone else’s cocaine. I was the last admit to my college in 1994. I’m bad with directions. A murderer threatened to kill me. A fourteen year-old heroin addict wanted to date me. I threw the New Hampshire Attorney General out of a room. I threw a U.S. Senator out of a room. I awoke with ants in my hair two days running. I lost my virginity at nineteen. I took a slow boat to China. I rafted down a waterfall. I didn’t use a condom until I was twenty-six. I watched pornography with a famous British poet. My best friend spent a week watching TV with Jodie Foster. I watched a man beat his child. My best friend became an Alaskan folk singer. I was questioned by police officers in my living room in New Hampshire. I was questioned by police officers in my living room in Wisconsin. My best friend was a wide receiver for the University of Texas. My best friend argued cases before the New Hampshire Supreme Court. I wrote a bestselling book. My best friend runs 4% of Chicago’s elementary schools. My best friend is twelve years younger than me. I rushed a football field. I told a London prostitute we couldn’t fuck because I was on vacation. I forget my age. I cross-examined patrolmen. I represented rape victims. A man published literary snuff porn about me. I held a service pistol. I collapsed on a staircase. I said “I love you” over a thousand times. A novelist wrote a short story about me. My favorite poet snorted cocaine off a bathtub, then said he’d been dying to meet me. A Pulitzer Prize winner sent me abusive emails. I refused a bribe from the Boston Red Sox. Someone I loved vandalized my property. I was a political commentator for Air America Radio. I get skin tags. I have a gag reflex. I stood on the field at Fenway Park. I haggled with Chinese merchants. I got a rimjob. I drove to Pittsburgh on a whim. I spoke to my girlfriend on the phone for fourteen hours. I translated for Spanish speakers in criminal cases. I tutored children in Hebrew. I got fleas. I babysat. I talked men out of suicide. I was stalked and slandered. I told the Hillsborough County Attorney I was off my meds. I wore women’s underwear. I sweated in temperatures below zero. I barely spoke to my sister for years. A woman told me I’d been born to the perfect American family. A man told me I’d been sent to him by Jesus Christ. A prosecutor tried to convert me to Christianity in a conference room. I failed three dozen swim tests. I memorized dialogue from ten animated films. An object moving at fifty miles per hour hit me in the face. I fractured a finger. An ex wrote a song about me. An ex wrote a poem about me. An ex wrote a chapbook about me. An ex wrote a full-length poetry collection about me. A stranger wrote a full-length poetry collection about me. I played a video game while men in Hazmat suits scoured the room for bacteria. I wrote 365 poems in a year. I loved a woman with wings on her back. I signed autographs. I lectured at the University of Amsterdam. I won an award for my fiction. I won honors for my teaching. My neighbor tried to buy cocaine from me. I was thrown off a golf course. A Stegner Fellow compared me to Hitler. A Stegner Fellow handed me the blade he cuts himself with. I laid in the fetal position on an ER floor. My best friend ended our friendship to spend more time with my ex. I detailed my kinks to a middle-aged woman. I tore my groin stealing second. I won an award for my Spanish. My best friend ended our friendship because he didn’t like how I looked when I ate. I spoke with firefighters outside my bedroom door. The House Minority Leader wanted me on a weekly conference call. I was mauled by a miniature schnauzer. I got a handjob in Walden Pond. I had sex at a museum. I had sex in a parking garage. I ejaculated and saw a shooting star simultaneously. I’m afraid of Muppets. I cheated on a math test. I was the fastest boy in my class. I gave readings in ten states. I have 4,259 friends. I was born on Halloween. I thought I was asexual until I was nineteen. I only root for underdogs. My debt-to-income ratio is ten to one. I had sex in a moving vehicle. I asked a therapist if I was a sociopath. I’m an uncle to four children. My mother asked if I wanted to switch schools. I trespassed. I vandalized. I drove recklessly. I couldn’t get erect. I suffer from automatonophobia. I suffer from megalophopia. I believed I suffered from “morning sickness” until I was sixteen. I masturbated at a friend’s house. I ate hot dogs with a judge in a courthouse basement. I starred in a commercial. I wet my pants in a Kmart. I won trophies. 24,000 people visited my website in twenty-four hours. I slept with women within hours of meeting them. I sat in a dark stairwell with twelve black men in chains. I set off metal detectors repeatedly without consequence. A delivery man said I was his favorite DJ. I was stopped by local police twice in ten minutes. I was in a car chase. I wrote fifty-five pages in six hours. I marched with Communists in England. The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court accused me of being a phony. I wear a wedding band. I embarrassed myself at a dinner with Monica Lewinsky’s attorney. I proposed to a woman while standing in the Seine. I was born in the Cradle of America. I drove a motorboat in the Atlantic. I drove along the Pacific shore. I was a recluse for four years. I took five pills a day. I pissed on a fjord in Norway. I benefit from white privilege. I’ve seen my looks repulse women. I’m unmarried. I was last at a normative weight at age six. I threw out my back. I’ve supported a family other than my own. I lived with a man for eight months without speaking to him. They say I used to look like Tom Cruise. They say I used to look like Emilio Estevez. I’ve sold an engagement ring. I’m a notary public. I’m a Justice of the Peace. I’m an officer of the court. I participated in twenty illicit midnight rendezvous. I spit into the wind on a Scottish beach. I searched a dead man’s effects in an FBI field office. I shattered a man’s windshield with a rock. I almost died on a highway near Saskatoon. I got high at a professional conference. I almost drowned in a pool in South Carolina. I dream of disappearing. I protected a child from incest. My best friend was a pathological liar. My first crush moved to Australia the day after she told me she liked me. I judged the National Mock Trial Championships. I had a 4.0 GPA. Two policemen comforted me. I hid in my closet. I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge. I drove across the Lion’s Gate Bridge. I spoke to a hundred men through holes in cell doors. I haggled with merchants in the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an. I ran through the rain to comfort a black woman whose dog had died. I drove for sixteen hours straight. I was told someone I cared for had hung himself. I worked for tips. I did thousands of hours of pro bono work. I fell into a pool at an art gallery. I received oral sex at truck stops. I spoke off the record with powerful political operatives. I didn’t lose a trial for eighteen months. I wrote for America’s oldest college newspaper. I photographed crime scenes. I took statements from crime victims. A petition opposing my doctoral research went viral. I was lied to by police officers. I assisted in a courthouse escape. I edit an annual anthology of experimental writing. I got lost in the wilderness. I introduced Shia LaBeouf to metamodernism. I saved a marriage. I had sex under a Christmas tree. I had sex while looking in the mirror. I was broken up with on an empty beach. I was lied to about royalties. I lived in a room with no door for months. I took hammered dulcimer lessons. I took singing lessons. I took piano lessons. I took tennis lessons. I took swimming lessons. I got an A+ from Alan Dershowitz. My best friend moved to Korea and I never saw him again. I stayed in hostels in Asia. I greened out. My best friend moved to California and I never saw him again. Jeremy Irons made a movie about my professor. I was on the cover of the nation’s foremost poetry magazine. I was blacklisted by the nation’s foremost poetry anthology. I resigned myself to dying in the next sixty seconds. I told someone I’d assault them if I ever saw them. Two people said they would assault me if they ever saw me. I met my girlfriend on Twitter. I’m agnostic. I’m a pescatarian. I’m as far north as you can go in Europe. I slept in the fetal position for ten years. I have GERD. I have the ears of an elf. I have a severe vitamin D deficiency. I’ve never voted Republican. I threw out a Christmas tree at 2AM on May 18th. My best friend was a multimillionaire. My best friend was a carpenter who lived in a log cabin. Jewish jokes were told in my presence. I first scrambled an egg at thirty. The police called me Mr. Freeze. I chatted with a Norwegian pop star. My eyelashes are too long. My eyebrows are too long. I walked fifty-five miles in six days. I’m scared of spiders. My father likes attorney jokes. As a child I wanted to be an architect. I’d leave town if I could play the guitar. I wrote for The Washington Post. A bookstore clerk said I was famous. As a child I wanted to be Ivan Lendl. I spit in the Thames. I spit off the Great Wall. I smuggled undeclared goods across the Canadian border. I took back every woman who asked me to. I lost my singing voice in my twenties. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. I feel incompetent. I believe I have a faulty heart. I’ve been blackmailed. I’ve been libeled. I’m terrified by the N-word. I dislike atheism. I believe I’ll die young. The head of my union tried to get me fired. I moved back home six years after graduating from Harvard Law. I ate fried chicken in a strip club. I have a hiatal hernia. I have a herniated disc. My best friend thrust a swastika in my face. My names get mispronounced and misspelled. My name means Life. People call me Abe. I’m a bear. A friend of mine died of AIDS. Black classmates mocked my interracial relationship. I skipped 25% of my law school classes. My job gave me nightmares for years. I was fired for being incompetent with a meat slicer. I started to drink too much. I don’t believe anything matters. I worked my first homicide at age twenty-three. A man told me I had the protection of the Hell’s Angels. I refused a bribe in an elevator. A man sent me a Christmas card after threatening to kill me. I was the only white person for miles. I tutored scientists. I kissed a woman in the Louvre. I pulled a muscle in Vancouver. I have a Chinese visa. I saw FLOTUS at the Summer Palace. John Darnielle sweated on me. I’m backstage with Animal Collective. The state bar identified me as a future leader. A stripper performed in my living room. I didn’t have a table to eat at for six years. Online tests say I’m Lawful and Good. I represented more than 2,000 defendants. I don’t like being touched. I’ve never had a professional conduct complaint. A video game made me cry. I’ve had cybersex forty times. People call me Jules. I biked the length of the second-oldest city wall in China. People call me Pablo. People call me Madrigal. There are people who’d like me dead. I have vertigo. I have Steve Blass Disease. I’m an INFP. My elementary school was founded by hippies. My body hair disgusts people. I insulted my teacher. I ran red lights. I asked the police to find my girlfriend before she killed herself. My roommate said his ideal woman would have the body of a prisoner in Auschwitz. I itemized my faults once a week for five years. My eyes are the color of shit. I’m a color man. I slow-danced with a woman in an empty movie theater. I masturbated wrong for years. I’ve been scared of myself. I don’t like being looked at. I’ve been mistaken for a homeless man. I’ve been mistaken for a rich man. I like to be naked in the house. I’ve gone without underwear. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in years. I’m submissive in bed. I’m dominant in bed. I’m middling in bed. I spent a year believing my bedmate would stab me. I was a two-time Little League All-Star. I’ve been rejected for admission by twelve schools. I think I have premature dementia. I’m not an Anglo. I didn’t have a gay friend until college. I didn’t have a lesbian friend until I was thirty-four. I made my first black friend at age six. I was hounded by reporters. I’m a Dungeon Master. I’m a tenth-level Ranger. I was subpoenaed. I’ve lied about my name, age, and gender. I’m a criminal. I’m a cheat. I won an award for being good with children. I was Vice President of a choir. I charge $50/hour for copy-editing. I was paid $22/hour as an attorney. I’m tired. I’m better with faces than names.


Note: “White Privilege” comprises 450 true statements about the author, written by the author.