My Redshirt Year
would not have been possible without the support of viewers like you and Zoë Hayes. Zoë, thank you for giving me a safe space and letting me organize your bookshelves by color. Thank you for enveloping me in hugs and telling me I’m worthy. I am forever indebted to you.

I also would like to thank Jason DeVoll for showing up in every way possible. You olive. Thank you for inviting me to "London 2023: A Trauma Trip Sponsored by Jason’s Dead Dad." And for driving from Chicago to Indy and back to Chicago after I had forgotten a must-need for "London 2023: A Trauma Trip Sponsored by Jason’s Dead Dad" – my passport.

Bridget Johnston, you saved me. Thank you for coming to my apartment that early January morning and for loving me exactly as I am. I can’t wait to run a half-marathon together.

Nathan Cranor – You write tweets that make the whole world sing. Thank you for seeing The Muppet Christmas Carol with me dos years in a row and watching "Jaws" on the Quatro of July.

Rick Grey. I will always appreciate your logical approach to life. (And your hugs. You give good hugs.) Thank you for not complaining (to me, anyway) about my heavy-ass dining table.

To Ryan Hamlett, Alex Stokes Hughes, Mike Malloy, Alicia Olsen, Raina Regan, Jordan Ryan, Lindsey Schuler, and Robby Slaughter: They say it takes a village, and you are my village people. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for listening. Thank you for keeping me alive in so many ways. Thank you for checking in, always.

I’d also like to thank my Lord and Savior, sexual tension, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy.

But wait! There’s more!

Nick Allman, you’re first. Because your last name starts with an “A.” And because you helped me remember what happiness feels like.

Tad Aschliman, you’re next. My Redshirt Year would’ve ended, abruptly, had we not run into each other on that super foggy night in January 2023.

Marcia Boring, thank you for listening to my shit for the better part of a decade. How exhausting.

Jenny Cash – I was anxious about that first apartment tour. Thank you for volunteering to come with me; you were a calming, positive presence.

Susan Fleck, we need to get a caffeine and talk about art. And clowns.

Peggy Frame, thank you for giving me a reason to get up in the morning. Thank you for introducing me to everyone at Southeast Community Services. I was proud to be part of your organization and am forever your cheerleader.

Thank you, Laura Giffel, for not laughing when I asked if you could Tetris my ‘90s Little Tikes dollhouse into your car.

Jenn Hachman, I owe you. You’re the one who described 2023 as my “redshirt year.” Plus, you texted, “Girl, wash your face” every day. (You’re not a twat waffle like Rachel Hollis, though.)

I also want to thank Jeffrey Litsey and the entire staff at Calvin Fletcher's. For months, I came into the shop, red-eyed and blurry-faced. You let me sit at a table for hours, sometimes all day, crying into gone-cold mochas and wiping my nose on an oversized yellow tee with the words “Don’t Buy Lemur Meat.” I was newly heartbroken, but you gave me a place to go, a place to be. Thank you.

Shout-out to long-time friend Kelsey Kelley, who sent me a surprise llama. It was so soft, so llama-y.

As for Gabe & Ashly Myers? Thank you for letting me watch the game with you. Yes, the dogs farted. No, I didn’t mind.

And to Joe Shoemaker – when I visited you at the Stutz, you asked for my opinion. And you listened. Grazie.

Many thanks, also, to everyone who responded to a middle-of-the-night text. Who answered the phone. Who showed up when it wasn’t safe for me to be alone. My Redshirt Year is the product of countless hugs and people who created a welcoming space, sent food, took me in, invited me to a show, bought me a coffee, convinced me of my worth, or inspired me: Melanie Allen, Faith Blackwell, Holly Bolton, Bill Brooks, Lauren Day, Jingo de la Rosa, Catherine Esselman, Megan Fernandez, Ed Fujawa, everyone at the Excavation writers' retreat, Jody Galadriel Friend, Rhianne Hart, Andrea Haydon, Jason Hoffman, Kimberli Hudson, Andrea Hunley, Doug & Judy Litsey, Matt MacDonald, Andrew & Sakshi Maddux, Katy Mann, Despi Mayes, Monica Osburn, Larry & Rhonda Peffer, Courtney Preste, Erica Schnepel, Doug Shoemaker & Patricio Ramos, Edwin Northumbria, Rachel Schwebach, Donna Sink, Sabreena Sorrell, everyone at Southeast Community Services, Mary Ann Sullivan, Gwen Sunkel, Liz Sutton, Lora Teagarden, Brooke Tuggle, Jenny Walton, Andrea Watts, Alicia Zanoni, and Rebecca Zettler.

Shout-out to my entire family; my cat, Ruth Kitter Ginsburg; and my pharmacist, mailman, and local Enterprise representative.

And as Ayo Edebiri said in her Golden Globes acceptance speech, “If I forgot to thank you, I’m sorry. Unless you were mean or something. Okay, bye.”
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