My friend, Matt.
The person behind the glass
My friend Matt is quite a magnificent human, but from his humble demeanor, you’d never know it. He gives off the whole “Tom from MySpace” kind of vibe, but he’s just my friend, Matt, from my favorite page online. As creator of the I’m not a writer Facebook page, Matt shares poetic pieces from artists all over the world to a growing audience that is nearing 200k followers. With every like and share on each post, people from all different walks of life relate to one another with art. By creating this virtual community, Matt has forged many connections among strangers and built a tight nit virtual camp of creative individuals. He is not a writer, but when he writes, he shares pages from his notebook on his personal page, Bourbon Writes.
What makes Matt’s writing so special to me is that it is real. It is raw. It is scribbles and smeared ink. It is you. It is me. It is the up’s and the down’s of life, with every little big thing and nothing at all, simultaneously. A scroll through his posts will leave you with the thought of “I know the feeling." He is not afraid to post publicly what many of us are thinking when we go through certain things privately. It is the molding of life’s tragic beauty, bestowed upon the universe unapologetically, as a beautiful tragedy filled with magnificent, yet simplistic, meaning. It’s a mirroring of humanity.
It all began for Matt a couple of years ago by sharing a few memes around midnight in his Facebook group, Midnight Ramblings of Insomniacs. We’ve all had nights where we can’t sleep, and when you’re scrolling social media in one of those sleepless times, the Midnight group has just the right mix of the aesthetic attraction and mental distraction that most of us need to keep our minds at ease. At least, that’s how it worked for me. Not to mention, Matt’s support team consists of real humans behind the screen. It’s not an automated system of bots meant to increase engagement and spit out scheduled content. It’s real human beings, expressing their thoughts, feelings, and emotions by sharing art, virtually.
In October 2021, I took an 8-hour road trip to go meet Matt in person. He is a lot taller in real life than I had expected. He was a complete gentleman over fajitas and taco salad at a local restaurant, as I vaguely explained to him my plans for Coincidental Chaos and my connection with AK Artwear. I love collaborating with other artists, especially for a good purpose, and I told him I wanted to work with him.
However, censorship of creative content has been a big area of conflict for the online culture in recent years and it hasn’t gotten any better. Many users have found themselves in Facebook jail a time or two for community standards violations. As the writer of The Dicktionary, my groups and pages were shut down in 2019 with the wave of the emoji ban, and I never tried to start new ones. Unfortunately, Matt’s Midnight group also got shut down shortly after we met, but luckily, he is more resilient than me and he started over immediately. I told you, he’s inspiring.
Matt’s inspiration is a gift that should be shared more than a meme, in my opinion, and making something out of nothing is my specialty, so that’s exactly what we did. He started a brush fire and threw it into a dumpster, wheeled it into a warehouse and then it really became a party. For the man who enjoys whiskey and makes his own wine, I took his quotes and made them clothes in a stylish and comfortable design. I wrote some jokes to memes I stole, started a TikTok and really made it a whole entire clip show called Meme It Out. Now, I have this whole creative channel on YouTube and an actual schedule with specific segments and various shows. My chaotic mind has hit the road, and oddly, it feels like home. More than anything, Matt has taught me that I can do things on my own.
He is like a doctor, that’s not an actual doctor. He’s a group therapist, that doesn’t have to hold a certificate. He’s a friend when you have none, and virtually someone you can always count on. Somehow, we can all find pieces of ourselves within the posts on his pages and his group. If you ask him, he’ll say, “I’m not a writer,” but he bleeds through the lines on paper, letter by letter. Please stop by Matt’s places on the internet and feel free to join the crowd. He leaves the light on like neon signs, and they never burn out. With an eye on the sky and a flare for photos of fried eggs, he is just my friend, Matt, the person behind the glass.
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My friend, Matt. The person behind the glass.
By: Amanda Spradlin