There is me, Hank. There is the cat, Johnny Karate. I am fat and short and redheaded, and my smile is sort of crooked. I wear black framed glasses, because I like simplicity, and my eyes are a good blue. My belly is a keg that overhangs my belt. The cat is tiny and black and has fangs that overhang his lip, and he looks a little like a bat. He's not bright, but he's sweet. I'm bright and sweet or salt in turn. And that's the two of us, companions. We're used to each other and generally enjoy our company.
We sleep mornings and we live nights, and in between I write trivia rounds and thereby make my living. At dusk I take my bag of tricks, my questions and answers, and cajole smart people into buying drinks while showing off their store of dumb facts. I used to be pukingly shy. Teenage Hank would be horrified if he knew his future. I work blue, and I've lost some of the ability to watch my tongue around small children. Sorry, kids. Don't mind Uncle Hank, he gets excited and forgets his manners. He means well.
Johnny kicks things off shelves and eats expensive food, because he's special. And kind of an asshole.
I'm usually very fond of myself and comfortable in my skin, although I'm a trans man and self acceptance isn't part of the Standard Narrative. Teenage Hank was a different creature than Now Hank, poor guy. He was difficult to be, at times, and I am glad I'm not him now.
This year I turned forty, and I'm of the last generation not raised on the internet. It leaves me cautious, still, about what I put in writing and leave out where people can see it. But silence sparks no conversation. So this is me, Hank. Hello.