Here’s what you do: quit your job and get an ethnicity change–can’t cost that much, right? How much does a sex change cost? Ethnicity change is probably more expensive but not too bad. I want you to be Indian, I think. Or Bangladeshi? I know those aren’t ethnicities. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is for you to move to Montreal and enroll at McGill University, the “Harvard of Canada.” Buy the Feelies’ Good Earth on vinyl.
I need you to major in a humanity. English is best. History is fine. NO SOCIAL SCIENCES. If you’re up to it, you can minor in a hard science. Read the Thoreau of Canada. I don’t know who that would be. Joy Williams is NOT CANADIAN
You’ll enroll as a freshman, even though you’re 31. Send your fiction to the campus literary magazines. Run 7 miles a day and wear corduroy pants. Hold hands with your girlfriend in McGill’s humanity buildings’ excellent hallways. Write an essay about Fassbinder. Eat snow with your girlfriend. Get drunk six or seven times a month. DO NOT ADOPT A DOG.
Do not stay in touch with anyone from your old life. Go camping as often as possible, mayhe more often. Sometimes I want to break up with all of my friends, and I feel that the best way to do this is to quit drinking and become vegan. DO NOT BUY A MOPED
Get an ironic gold tooth. Shave yr head. Publish a zine called Shame Faucet, $1 an issue, lots of drawings, comics, fiction, writing like this. Reviews of reviews of reviews of reviews. Write a poem called “Giardia.” Send it to the New Yorker with the following cover letter:
Dear Paul Muldoon, Poetry Editor of The New Yorker,
Enclosed, please find a copy of my new poem, called “Giardia.” I’m not sending it to you for publication. I’m not hoping you read it. It’s enclosed. Please do not read it. Do not throw it away; do not recycle it. Do not hand it, puzzled, to any of your assistants. Do not mention this letter to your friends or family. Do not subscribe to Vice. I’m just joking around, Paul!