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Excerpt: Eeeee Eee Eeee

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 in 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 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.

This is an excerpt from Eeeee Eee Eeee, which will be published simultaneously with Tao’s story-collection, Bed, in May by Melville House.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tao Lin is the author of a novel, EEEEE EEE EEEE, and a story-collection, BED, that will be published simultaneously in May, 2007 by Melville House. Tao is also the author of a poetry collection, YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT HAPPIER THAN I AM, and has been published in Noon, Nerve, the Mississippi Review, the Cincinnati Review, Other Voices, Fourteen Hills, Punk Planet, Harper’s, and Juked. He is Poetry Editor of 3:AM.

“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

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, April 18th, 2007.