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Authors: Tao Lin

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BOOK: Eeeee Eee Eeee
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He feeds his dogs, takes them out, brings them in; makes coffee, showers, drinks coffee.

He passes the piano room on the way to the computer room. There is fresh dog shit in the middle of the piano room. Clean it later. There’s also dog piss. Son of a bitch. Steve in
Seattle, high-fiving his dad.
Go back and apologize. And then overturn a table
. Steve.

In the computer room Andrew stares at the table of contents of his story collection. His story-collection. Rejected by over thirty editors. Rejection is good. Putting others ahead of self, giving things away. Success, money, power, fame, happiness, friends; any kind of pleasure—giving it all away, in the pyramid scheme of life, with the knowledge that everything will be returned, and being satisfied with that knowledge; not with the actual return of things, but the idea of the return of things. There is no return of things. There is death. Martial arts, deer, death. Singapore, octopus, death. In each story the main character is depressed and lonely. Every story is twenty-pages and about pointlessness. He opens one of the stories. If he writes good and funny enough, Sara will materialize in the swimming pool. He stares at the story. Delete it. He needs coffee. He already had coffee. Move the story casually to the recycling bin. Empty the recycling bin with cunning and
speed. Start a band.
You win, you lose. It’s the same old news
. Write a story about Steve. Killing rampage in a casino, with lead pipes. Compare and contrast Jhumpa Lahiri and Snoop Dog. It would be funny to kill someone with the Pulitzer Prize. Focus. Andrew has worked for maybe two hundred hours on this story. How did this happen? The story is incomprehensible; rejected over twenty times. He has e-mailed it to people. No one says anything. There is no communication. Stevie Smith,
I was much farther out than you thought
. Stevie’s oeuvre, sitting there someplace, confused. Music is better. You can’t lie in bed with an audio book and cry and feel miserable and good. Maybe you can. Jhumpa Lahiri will never go on a depressed killing rampage. Snoop Dog, maybe. Jhumpa Lahiri. The
New Yorker
. One of her stories is called “Sexy.” Sexy. Sara is sexy. Sara, laughing sexily.

Andrew stands.

He lies on the carpet.

He stares at the carpet. Mark.

Mark likes Spiderman more.

Andrew drives to work. Music’s too loud. He turns it off. His parents live in a tower; one of eight. Which one? The cancer one. Sara is in the passenger seat. Andrew looks. She isn’t there. If she were she would point at something and they would climb it. A mountain. There would be mountains. Andrew would hug her. He doesn’t want to deliver pizzas. He wants to build a tree fort. Everyone at work will be trite and clichéd. Andrew is trite and clichéd. He has nothing to say to anyone. No one has anything to say to anyone, for some reason. Everything is clichéd and melodramatic. Andrew’s girlfriend in college tried to kill herself once with Valium from a tooth operation. It made Andrew feel clichéd and melodramatic. He should have laughed maniacally at her, then killed her with a lead pipe. Him and Sara, laughing sexily at the ex’s corpse. Kiss her while she’s laughing sexily. While they’re still in the tree. Marry her with cunning and speed, then kill her, for some reason. Andrew should sell his gigantic house and move to New York City. He would carry his cash in a
suitcase. Sara would be there, laughing. They would stand in bookstores. They would hunt down Jhumpa Lahiri and follow her sheepishly with lead pipes.
Let’s build a tree fort on her face
. Sara would call one of those cops on horses a motherfucker. The cop would avert his eyes. Sara would ask directions for the wild wild west.

At a stoplight everything is calm and quiet. Andrew has the feeling of being filmed. Happens every time at this stoplight. Things must explode. Andrew’s life must change in a trite, clichéd, and melodramatic way. He puts his head out his window and halfheartedly screams. If Sara were here she’d laugh. The light turns green. If Andrew drives ridiculously fast, and insanely, Sara will sense it in New York City, or wherever she is. Andrew drives very fast and sideswipes across two lanes while making an insane turn through an intersection. At work he delivers four pizzas and then delivers Buffalo wings to an old man in pajamas. It is seven p.m. Andrew goes back to his car. There is a dolphin in the backseat.

Andrew drives back to Domino’s.

“Matt,” he says. “There’s a dolphin in the backseat. Can I go home?”

“Let me put these pepperonis on,” Matt says. “Then I’ll cash you out.”

After being paid sixty-cents gas money for each delivery Andrew has fourteen dollars.

“Give half to the dolphin,” Matt says.

They are in Matt’s office.

“Okay,” Andrew says. “Wait. Why?”

“Don’t ask questions,” Matt says. “I’m tired of your insubordination.”

“Okay.”

“Okay,” Matt says. “Open the door but don’t leave this office.”

Andrew opens the door.

“Jeremy,” Matt shouts.

Jeremy comes in the office.

The office is small.

It is a little crowded with three people.

“Yeah?” Jeremy says.

“Get everyone to come in here,” Matt says.

Jeremy leaves.

Andrew leaves.

“Andrew,” Matt shouts.

Andrew comes back.

“The dolphin can wait,” Matt says.

Jeremy comes back with everyone.

They all go into Matt’s office.

There is not enough space.

Some people stand on Matt’s desk.

Someone closes the door.

It’s very crowded.

Someone turns off the light.

The only window is blocked by someone’s body.

Andrew can’t see anything or move.

It’s very hot and dark.

“Whoever just elbowed my face,” Matt says. “You’re fired.”

“Whoever did it,” someone says in an affected voice, “just don’t say anything.”

“But move away from Matt,” says a different voice. “When the lights go on. So he won’t see. If we ever leave, I mean.”

“This is Matt and I’s office,” Jeremy says. “Everyone calls it ‘Matt’s office.’ It’s both of ours.”

“The sad manager,” Andrew says.

“Andrew?” Jeremy says.

“I’m scared,” someone says.

“I’m bored,” Andrew says. “I’m sweating.”

“Is Rachel here?” someone else says.

“No,” someone says.

Half a minute passes.

“What were you going to say about me?” Rachel says.

“I don’t know,” someone says.

“I’m confused,” someone says.

“Someone open the door,” Matt says.

Someone opens the door.

“Now what,” someone says.

“I don’t know,” someone else says.

“Andrew,” Jeremy says.

“Everyone should go back to work,” Matt says.

“Are you sure?” someone says. “Maybe we should go back to something else. I don’t know—just something else.”

But everyone has already gone back to work.

Andrew is at his car.

He gives the dolphin seven dollars.

The dolphin goes, “EEEEE EEE EEEE.”

Andrew drives toward his house.

At the first stoplight the dolphin says, “Drop me off at Kmart.”

“What Kmart? Where’s a Kmart?”

“By the diamond store,” the dolphin says.

“That’s Target.”

“Drop me off at Target,” the dolphin says.

“That’s far.”

“So?” the dolphin says.

“Are you buying drugs?”

“Why did you ask me if I’m buying drugs?” the dolphin says. “You’re being stupid.”

Andrew drives to Target, parks, gets out of the car.

“You don’t have to walk me in,” the dolphin says.

“I need toilet paper,” Andrew says.

The dolphin walks faster than Andrew, then slows a little.

Andrew walks in a different direction a little.

The dolphin sees and walks in an angle away from Andrew.

When they get to the entrance they get there together.

“Don’t be stupid and awkward,” the dolphin says. “You want to walk together or not?”

“Fine,” Andrew says. “Wait. Are you going to …”

The dolphin stares at Andrew. “Forget it,” the dolphin says.

“No, wait,” Andrew says. “What are you buying?”

“Get away from me,” the dolphin says. “You were going to say if I was going to go ‘Eeeee eee eeee.’ You are a stupid piece of shit. Go away from me.” The dolphin looks at Andrew.

“Wait,” Andrew says.

The dolphin goes into the center of a circular clothing rack and quietly cries.

Andrew looks around.

He goes home.

The dolphin cries a while then buys a steak knife.

The dolphin goes home.

It looks in the mirror.

It puts the tip of the steak knife perpendicular to its neck and grips the handle hard.

It stares in the mirror.

It puts on a jacket, takes a plane to Hollywood, and finds Elijah Wood.

“Come somewhere with me,” the dolphin says.

“Can I get a river ride?” Elijah says.

“Hold onto my flippers.”

Elijah climbs the dolphin’s back.

“You are fucking stupid. Hold on when we get to the river,” the dolphin says. “Not in the fucking parking lot.”

Elijah laughs.

“You are an idiot,” the dolphin says.

They take Elijah’s car to the ocean.

On the beach the dolphin lies in the water.

Elijah climbs on the dolphin.

The dolphin swims.

“Yeah!” Elijah says.

The dolphin swims to an island.

“I need to get something,” the dolphin says.

The dolphin leaves and returns with a heavy branch behind its back.

“You know
The Ice Storm?”
Elijah Wood says. “At the end of the book the guy sees a superhero or something. That was strange. They didn’t have it in the movie. Christina Ricci was in the movie.”

The dolphin clubs Elijah Wood’s head.

Elijah Wood runs away and falls.

The dolphin clubs Elijah’s body and legs.

Elijah screams.

The dolphin drags Elijah’s corpse into a cave and sits on it.

The cave is very quiet and dark.

The dolphin feels bad.

It feels very calm and a little bad.

A bear drags in Sean Penn’s corpse.

The dolphin pushes Elijah’s corpse into a hole and there is a loud coconut sound.

The bear pauses then quickly drags Sean Penn’s corpse out of the cave.

Sean Penn’s skull makes little coconut sounds against the cave floor.

 

At home Andrew showers and eats a banana. He takes his dogs for a walk. The dogs are tiny. Living with two dogs in an enormous house in a gated community. Andrew’s neighbors think he is strange. ‘Eccentric.’ Andrew is afraid of his neighbors. The gate has a secret pass code. Sara has a secret pass code. She should. Andrew would stand there for years trying combinations. He wouldn’t keep track or develop a strategy but just continue trying
different combinations and then Kafka would rise from the grave and write a novel about him. He feeds his dogs. There is more dog shit in the piano room. Leave it. Sell the house. Suitcase full of cash. He goes to the back porch. He thinks about jumping into the pool, swimming twenty laps at lightning-speed. Drowning. Putt-putt, he thinks. He goes in the living room. He lies on the sofa. Not waving but drowning. No future. The future is now. Meaningless. Wave of the future. Everything is clichéd and melodramatic. He should eat. He used to think things like,
This organic soymilk will make me healthy and that’ll make my brain work better and that’ll improve my writing
. Also things like,
The less I eat and the less money I spend on publicly owned companies the less pain and suffering will exist in the world
. Now he thinks things like,
It is impossible to be happy
. Why would anyone think that? Things like,
Godsford Park is the worst movie ever
. Gosford? Godsford?

“Godsford,” Andrew says out loud. “Gosford.”

“What is happening right now is a depressing waste of time,” he says.

He finds his dogs and follows them. “Dogs,” he says. Chihuahuas. They have names. Waste of time? No, the dogs are good. They’re old. Andrew feels sorry for them. Pretend they are Sara. “Sara,” he says. He touches the dogs. They run away. His house is enormous. He’ll never find his dogs. He’ll find them and crush them. Mass grave. The Earth is just a massive grave. Andrew needs to stop thinking about the things he always thinks about. He needs to sell his house. He needs to clean the dog shit in the piano room. He goes to the piano room with toilet paper. Play a song for Sara. She will sense it. He badly plays fantasie-impromptu. Sounds clichéd and melodramatic. Too loud. Turn it off. He stops playing. Thank you, he thinks. Clean the dog shit later. Never clean the dog shit. Sell the house.
Don’t look there, it’s just a piano. Don’t step there. Don’t step on my abstract art
. Sara,
The tree in the front yard doubles as a garage
. Suitcase full of cash. High-fives in the side yard. Ellen, sitting in darkness in the
living room. Sara Tealsden. Why is Andrew obsessed with Sara today? Is it like this every day? He can’t remember. Don’t think about it. Death. Think about death. The binary nature of the universe. Andrew’s mom in Germany, staring at a ceiling thinking about death. The mother squirrel flying by, confused. Sara,
I feel like flying squirrels need to stop screwing around and get day jobs
. You win, you lose. The man with the face. Three wishes. Sara. Andrew will scream, sexily. Killing rampage in a tree fort. Andrew is about to murder someone. He goes upstairs into his room, puts on a depressing CD, lies on the floor on his back; pulls his blanket off his bed, covers himself on the floor. Sara.

There is a very loud noise downstairs.

Something is coming up the stairs.

Andrew stands and walks to his bed.

Sits on it.

A bear walks into Andrew’s room.

The bear stares at Andrew.

While staring at Andrew the bear claws the wall.

The bear sees the thermostat and turns it
down.

Andrew lies on his bed and falls asleep.

When he wakes it’s colder.

The bear is standing going, “Hrr, hrr.”

BOOK: Eeeee Eee Eeee
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