For Syg Pound
My friend Mike Mason’s first book was published this week. It’s called Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath. Mike traveled all over the world researching this book, meeting people with brain injuries and learning their fascinating stories. It’ll be in bookstores April 8, or you can order it online. It was reviewed a few days ago in the New York Freaking Times.
I owe Mike Mason a lot. Back in 2000, when I was working at my first copywriting job and still living in Tulsa, I noticed an issue of Me Head at a restaurant while at lunch with some coworkers. There was a stack of them sitting there, next to the Auto Traders and free society magazines, no explanation, no fanfare. I spent the entire meal ignoring the office gossip and trying to figure out what this thing was and who was behind it. Shit like this didn’t happen in Tulsa, at least not in 2000. It was like a flare in the desert, and I was completely intrigued and dying to get in on it. After a few blind emails to the cryptic address on the back cover, I eventually had a submission accepted, and a few weeks later, I finally met Mike for Thai food with some friends. I became involved in all the incarnations of Me Head over its lifespan—the print and online editions, the readings in bars, the home movie festival—all of this fun, irreverent, underground-feeling stuff that I had never found anywhere else in my hometown. I still have my old Me Head T-shirt, which I used to run in until the teenage boys in my neighborhood took notice of all its potential sophisticated double entendres.
Realizing that there were other people with interests similar to my own, outside of my circle of friends, yet in my city made a huge impact on me in my early twenties. Writing pieces for Me Head made me learn new ways to write, and knowing Mike Mason eventually connected me to my literary agent, Anne Garrett, whom I love. So thank you, Mike, for being the conduit, and congratulations on all this success. You deserve it.