Shalom Auslander, whose memoir Foreskin's Lament is one of the hot contestants of the fall season, confronts the perils of impending fame in this excerpt, in which he is photographed for a magazine. His thoughts on the matter are pretty much note-perfect.
I think about all the douche bags I see—puffing their chests out on TV, demanding Cristal and vanilla candles in their dressing rooms—and I wonder if they ever worried. There had to have been a first photo session, a first interview, a first dab of concealer, a first fluff of their hair. Did they worry then? Because I do. Because I don't trust myself. Because it feels good, this moderate attention, this occasional praise, and I worry I'll get hooked. "First one's free," says the crack dealer, and fame is the worst drug of them all. At least crackheads only urinate on themselves; fame addicts piss on everyone. And so I wonder if they ever thought, early on, "Uh oh." If they ever thought, "This isn't me, I don't want to be this asshole, I want to stay honest, I want to stay real, this is not me," and six months later they're wearing large white-framed sunglasses and fur coats and talking about themselves in the third person and asking to be photographed on their good side when every side of them is rotten.
Don't go over to the dark side, Shalom!
Crime and Punishment [Nextbook]