t a o    l i n

Exactly What I Want


I want three friends within a 40 mile radius; one 5 miles, one 10 miles, one 30 miles, two females and one male. The male should talk very slowly and laugh at almost everything I say. I want to send one of the females mixed CDs very often and her send me mixed CDs very often but rarely see her in real life. The other female I want to see in the daytime sometimes for lunch. I want to say to her after lunch walking near St. Mark's bookstore pointing at a book in the display, "That looks like Adam took a shit and then looked at it and felt nervous because it looked very good, and he took it out of the toilet and stared at it and felt very nervous and put it in the freezer for three weeks and was very quiet those three weeks and then mailed it to Anne Rice's editor and Knopf published it." I want "Adam" to be a mutual friend who moved to Atlanta to work for Pepsi and who we don't talk to anymore. I want "Adam" to live alone in Atlanta and sometimes while walking around on his lunch break calmly think, "My life is fucked," and go back to work. My female friends should live alone behind hills. My male friend should live with his parents by a river and sometimes stand melodramatically by the river and hold his hand to his forehead to block the sunlight. One day I want to drive to his house and see him standing by the river melodramatically and take a picture with my digital camera and email it to my female friend that I only talk to on the internet. I want her to say, "He looks like 'Ann of Clark Gables.' I just thought, 'Ann of Clark Gables.'" I want to say, "What is Ann of Clark Gables. Clark Gables is an actor I think." I want her to say, "I'm alone." I want to say, "I will send a mixed CD." I want her to say, "Thank you. I feel better." I want to have the mixed CD already created, from a day before, because I would have planned this, and I want to drive to her house very quickly and drive into her house into her living room and give her the mixed CD and then drive through the other side of her house and then open my door and roll out of the car and roll for forty feet down the hill. I want to stand up and walk back to her house very nervous and when I get back to her house I want her to be inside my car and driving the car repeatedly into her house until the house is destroyed.

After that I want to move to a small town 4000 miles away from the destroyed house. I want to live ten minutes away from a health food store and each day walk to the health food store to buy food. I only want to have internet friends at this point. I'll only have two internet friends. One in France and one in Seattle. It doesn't matter if they are female or male, but they should be funny and sarcastic. I want to leave my room once a day and I want to read a 10,000 page story-collection by Todd Hasak-Lowy. Whenever I leave my room I want to get hit by a car but it shouldn't do too much damage. I'll just have bruises sometimes. That sounds really miserable.

I want to alienate my two internet friends. When they try to chat on gmail chat I'll copy and paste a form letter that will say, "Thank you for your interest in chatting with Tao Lin. Tao Lin is laying facedown on his bed. He wishes you a Merry Christmas. Thank you. Good night." After a few months I want to be hit by a car and knocked into the forest. A bear will eat my legs, but I'll crawl back to the road. I want to be on Larry King Live and say, "I once lived in Southern Oregon, near the Oregon trail. One blousy September evening I stepped out onto my front porch and said, 'I think I'll go rafting today.' I went to The Sports Authority and bought a raft and drove my SUV into the river. Before I drove into the river I tied the SUV to the top of the inflatable raft, so I floated on the river. I listened to the radio while rafting. The radio was talking about David Sedaris. I thought, 'Who the fuck is David Sedaris?' I called the station and said, 'Who the fuck is David Sedaris?' Someone said, 'He's a homosexual humor writer.' I said, 'Thank you.' After that I moved to the edge of Florida. Since I lived on the edge it was quite an experience. Quite an experience, Larry."

I'll use the money I get from appearing on national television to start a publishing company. I'll publish beavers that I find near my apartment by pulling my body through the forest using my arms. My legs won't grow back; humans don't grow back legs. I'll find some beavers and ask them if they want to be published. I'll publish five beavers a year in attractive, hardcover editions. McSweeney's will email me, "Dear Tao Lin: This is Dave Eggers. I'm wondering about your beavers—" I'll delete the email immediately when I see the word “beaver,” for no reason really, probably just by accident, since my hand-eye coordination will be bad from years of dragging my face through forests.

At night I'll have a lot of sex dreams. I'll dream I'm having sex with people. I want to have two sex dreams, one literary dream, and one dream that is an exact replica but in dream form of a Joy Williams short-story per night. Every Friday I want to think, "I can't go on any longer. I'm fucked. Why am I so fucked. My life is fucked. Life is so fucked and sad," and then drink a coconut juice and think, "I feel good. Life is okay." That should happen every Friday night without any self-consciousness of it happening the previous Friday night. I want to have a melodramatic worldview, so as to not have any self-consciousness on those Friday nights that I'll come to look forward to and eventually plan my life around. After eight years of this I want an angry coalition of beavers to break down my door at 4 a.m. and beat me to death with their clubbed tails while screaming, "I'm depressed! I'm depressed!" and crying large beaver tears. The beavers will eat my corpse.

One beaver will write about his experiences in a book called "Eating Tao Lin," and appear on Michael Silverblatt's "Bookworm." I want Michael Silverblatt to have a heart attack during the interview and say, "I'm having a heart attack," before screaming like a schoolgirl and then having the heart attack. I want the heart attack to be a good experience for Michael Silverblatt. I want him to think back on the experience fondly and with this exact sentence: "My heart attack was really awesome." I want to be reincarnated as a small toad. The smallest toad in North America. I'll be the size of an ant and even live with the ants, in an ant pile. When an ant walks by me I'll headbutt a mote of sand so they won't think I'm not working. I won't have ant instincts. Eventually I'll learn the word "Fucked" and walk around continuously thinking, "Fucked," and occasionally headbutting motes of sand.

I want Gordon Lish to be walking around and then kneel down and pick me up between his forefinger and thumb and say, "Can you write K-Mart Realism from the perspective of a ‘toad' that was raised by ants?" I want to say, "Yeah. And if I can't I can learn. I'm a fast learner. I've read Cathedral and Shiloh and Other Stories. I think I can do it. I can do it. I'm a fast learner." I want to learn in 4 hours and excel at dialogue. Gordon Lish will say, "Fuck that's good dialogue." In the 5th hour I will write a 10 page K-Mart realism story and Gordon Lish will mail it to the New Yorker for me. The New Yorker will reject me because they don't publish K-Mart realism anymore. Esquire will accept me. I will write eighteen stories in the next four months and publish a book called "North American Toads." I want the toad community to be outraged. No one will know that the toad community is outraged since they cannot speak and can only emit vague, inflectionless noises. The toads won't know they are outraged. They will just experience a little discomfort. I want every living organism to experience severe discomfort. I want Gordon Lish to spill beer on me when I'm on the floor and Gordon Lish is standing on a ladder to replace a light bulb and I want the impact of the beer to obliterate me. I want Gordon Lish to say, "Get the fuck out of my tomato garden!" at a group of small girls and boys and then a small, compact asteroid will fall on the part of the plank on a see-saw that is high in the air. Gordon Lish will be standing on the part of the plank that is low on the see-saw. I want Gordon Lish to shoot into the sky because of the asteroid leveraging the other end of the see-saw. This is fucked.



TAO LIN is the author of a poetry e-book, This Emotion Was a Little E-Book (March 2006, Bear Parade), a chapbook of short fiction, Today The Sky is Blue and White with Bright Blue Spots and a Small Pale Moon and I Will Destroy Our Relationship Today (August 2006, Bear Parade), a poetry-collection, you are a little bit happier than i am (October 2006, Action Books), a story-collection, Bed (Spring 2007, Melville House), and a novel, Eeeee Eee Eeee (Spring 2007, Melville House). His site is Reader of Depressing Books.