Things to Remember for Starting a New Life

1)   Memorize the words that you are writing in this sentence with your fingers pressing letters down and down.  Pull your bed away from the corner of the painted white walls.  Stick your hand into the gnawed hole without using a flashlight.  Pull out the box with a lid on it.  Carry the box with a lid to a level surface, open it and take out the yellow papers.  (Before you burn them, when they are mixed up yet all together in the fireplace, pick out one sheet at random.  Read it for inspiration’s sake.)

2)  Take every picture of yourself to the backyard.  Find all of your drawings, too.  Add them.  Go through every cabinet drawer, closet shelf, lidded jar.  Collect everything that you’ve ever made or has been made about you.  Find those plates with your miniature handprints on them.  Form all of these objects into a pyramid.  Try to make the pyramid as symmetrical as possible.  Make sure the pyramid obstructs a few sprinklers.  Write on a sheet of paper:


“The official monument of mine.  Monument Me.”

Tape the paper to the base of the pyramid after writing on the back in very small print, “You did what you thought was right.”

3)  Dig up the pornography near the shed that you stole from your father.  Do your best to clean off the mess.  Organize a neat stack by date.  Tie a string around the magazines.  Replace the package back to your father’s original hiding place in the attic.

4)  Sell the clothes that fit best and hide the money around the kitchen.

5)  Go to a tattoo parlor you’ve never heard of.  Pay for the initials you once carved on your shoulder to be tattooed.  Frame the initials with a symmetrical heart.


  1. mallory

    you know i’m a huge fan of your writing, so i won’t comment on how good this is because i feel i’ve said it time and time again. i will say that this is one of the most inspirational pieces of yours that i’ve read. it makes me want to renew.

    this is my new favorite.

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