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Authors: Tao Lin

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BOOK: Eeeee Eee Eeee
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“If art is fun and beautiful you can’t say it’s useless,” the president said. “You’re wrong.”

“What do you think?” Andrew said to the dolphin.

Andrew liked the dolphin.

“I want to sit,” the dolphin said.

Lelu stood. “You can sit,” Lelu said.

“I want to sit down on a large soft sofa,” the dolphin said.

“Oh,” Lelu said, and sat.

“Pessoa talked about there being no escape,” the bear said. “He was right. Buddhist monks do not escape. No one escapes. If there were an escape it would be an escape to another place that you would have the possibility to escape from, so the only possible escape is to be in the act of escaping. Therefore the only way to escape is to not escape. Talking about this is stupid. Escaping is not the same as having escaped. It’s stupid.”

The moose bumped into a table and knocked the table over.

“I know someone,” the president said. “He emailed me and said he wanted to invent a suicide gun. A special gun that you wouldn’t need to use your toes to kill yourself with. That’s a good idea.”

“I have two wishes left,” the bear said.

“Don’t waste it on a suicide gun,” the president said.

“No,” the bear said. “I don’t care.”

“Thank you,” the president said.

The bear wished for a suicide gun.

A shotgun appeared on the table.

“It’s just a shotgun,” Andrew said. “That’s not fair.”

“We should have been more specific,” the bear said.

“We should have thought about it first,” the president said.

“It’s our fault,” the bear said.

“Can you wish me a Concorde Jet?” Lelu said.

“I wish Lelu had a Concorde Jet,” the bear said.

“Thank you,” Lelu said. “Where is it?”

“Probably outside.”

Lelu went outside.

She came back. “It’s there,” she said. “I’m going to Easter Island.”

She left.

She came back and sat.

“Just kidding,” she said. “I don’t know how to fly it.”

“Sell it,” the bear said.

“Too much work,” Lelu said.

“You wasted my wish,” the bear said.

“Sorry,” Lelu said.

“No, I don’t care,” the bear said. “I was just saying a fact.”

“What did you use your first wish on?” Andrew said.

“Teleport,” the bear said. “Everyone gets teleport. It’s stupid.”

“I would get teleport,” Andrew said.

“If you don’t get teleport you get made fun of,” the bear said.

“Yeah,” Andrew said.

“You’re stupid if you don’t get teleport,” the president said.

“You’re stupid if you wish for a suicide gun and get a shotgun,” the alien said.

The bear patted the alien’s head.

Andrew felt afraid.

Their food came and they ate it.

They were all vegans.

“I shouldn’t be president,” the president said after they ate and drank alcohol. “Thank you. Good night. Australia.”

They were drunk.

The bear was riding the moose.

The dolphin was lying on the floor in the corner.

It had sat then fallen and was now in the corner facing the corner.

The alien was standing in a dark doorway.

Andrew was eating green tea soy ice cream and feeling depressed.

He was looking at the dolphin.

Someone had rolled the dolphin into the corner

Lelu was sitting with a neutral facial expression.

The president was playing poker with Salman Rushdie.

Salman Rushdie had come.

“Poker is stupid and boring with two people,” the president said.

“Baseball,” Salman Rushdie said. “I’m obsessed with baseball.”

“There’s a kind of poker called baseball,” the president said.

“I want a Fatwa,” Lelu said.

Lelu sat on the table and looked down at Salman Rushdie.

“How do I get a Fatwa,” Lelu said. “I want a Fatwa.”

“You are stupid and boring,” the president said to Lelu.

“You’re just trying to provoke me,” Lelu said.

“You are stupid and boring,” the president said to Salman Rushdie.

“I am Salman Rushdie,” Salman Rushdie said.

Andrew didn’t want anyone to start talking to him.

He stood and went to the bathroom.

The alien was in the hallway where the bathroom was.

Andrew felt afraid and went back to his seat and sat.

The bear fell off the moose.

Before the bear hit the floor it disappeared and reappeared in Salman Rushdie’s lap.

The bear put a blanket on Salman Rushdie’s head.

One night working at the library Andrew took a two-hour break instead of a one-hour break. No one noticed. Andrew did it a few more times. The next week people ganged up on him and Andrew was fired and after a while he had no more money. On the plane back to Florida he thought about how he had no friends. He thought it woozily, with a vaguely bewildering, vaguely tiring sense of scale—a secondhand sort of epiphany, removed from its source, smudged, moved elsewhere, experienced now without clarity or context, therefore less insight, really, than mood swing—that the Earth was a rock; the sun a rock caught fire; and the life of a person something like a small-scale disaster, too small to examine and solve but not small enough to independently stop existing, and so left there in it’s own little vanishing haze of light and doors and pretty faces;
all of which was true, of course; all of which was probably true. He closed his eyes and listened to the noise of the engine. He imagined the plane falling to the ground. There was an appropriate reaction, a certain melodrama of the face, something demented yet earnest in the arrangement of eyelids and lips, for people in planes that were falling—and Andrew didn’t know it, and if he did he would feel as if acting while doing it. In Florida he lived with his parents. He got a job at Domino’s Pizza. He had worked there before, one summer. In August his parents moved to Germany, where they were born. Andrew cried one night in his childhood bed when he thought about death. Then he played the drums and felt better. He was pretty good on the drums. He should start a band. His parents had no friends in America. They left Andrew the house and two elderly dogs. Andrew began to hang out with his high school friend Steve, who had three sisters, one named Ellen. Steve was funny. Steve’s mother had recently died in a plane crash. Steve was
unemployed. Andrew and Steve played poker with people they went to high school with. Sometimes they drove to Cape Canaveral and played blackjack and poker on casino boats. Sometimes Steve played guitar and Andrew played drums. It was cloudy in November and Andrew went to Steve’s house. Steve was making spaghetti and cutting tomatoes and garlic. “I feel like me right now,” Steve said. Andrew walked into the living room and looked through the sliding glass door. Ellen was in the backyard. She was walking and she fell and stood and saw Andrew looking at her. She stared at him. He felt strange and went to the kitchen, where Steve was at the stove. “Steve,” he said. Steve turned and looked insane. Andrew laughed. “It looks like your face is dreaming me,” he said. Steve was smiling and he kept smiling and Andrew felt horrible, then went into Ellen’s room and lay on the bed.

He had never been in Ellen’s room.

If she came in he would tell her he was afraid.

He felt a little lonely. He felt good.

It was November.

He pulled the blanket over his head and listened to Steve, in the kitchen, cleaning dishes, then microwaving something, then nothing for a while; and then the TV, making a cheering noise.


“Tao Lin writes from moods that less radical writers would let pass-from laziness, from vacancy, from boredom. And it turns out that his report from these places is moving and necessary, not to mention frequently hilarious.”
–Miranda July, author of
No One Belongs Here More Than You

“Prodigal, unpredictable.”   –
Paste Magazine

“Stimulating and exciting.… It doesn’t often happen that a debuting writer displays not only irrepressible talent but also the ability to undermine the conventions of fiction and set off in new directions.”   –The
San Francisco Bay Guardian

“[A] harsh and absurd new voice in writing. Employing Raymond Carver’s poker face and Lydia Davis’s bleak analytical mind, Lin renders ordinary-but tortured-landscapes of failed connections among families and lovers that will be familiar to anyone who has been unhappy.”   –
Time Out Chicago

· 978-1-933633-78-7 / 112PP / PAPER / $13.00/$16.00 CAN

9781933633251 / 224 PP / PAPER / $14.95/$18.00 CAN

· 9781933633268 / 280PP / PAPER / $14.95/$18.00 CAN

· 9781933633480 / 104PP / PAPER / $14.95/$18.00 CAN

BOOK: Eeeee Eee Eeee
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