:: Article

Never Trust Your Instincts

By Tara Roeder.




If you act like you don’t need money, people will be more likely to give it to you. This may seem counter-intuitive and perverse, but it is a fact. A man whose electricity was about to be shut off because he couldn’t afford the bill bought a Louis Vuitton suit on credit and said he would treat the entire bar to the dirtiest martinis imaginable. After that, everyone started sending him money, even his dry cleaner.

If you tell someone who loves you that you love them, they will run away. It’s best to play it cool for at least three and a half years. When they say “I love you,” you may yawn; say something in German; intently flip through the pages of a food processor manual; casually flip them the bird; laugh wildly for three seconds then refuse to speak for the rest of the day; or mention soup. They will be intrigued, and keep coming back for more. By the time you tell them you love them, you will be so irresistible that they won’t even hear you, and will not run away.

If you try to fool death by leading a blameless life, it will almost certainly catch up with you. Once there was a woman who prided herself on never having smoked a cigarette, drunk a cocktail, had kinky sex, eaten rich foods, or danced to the hurdy gurdy. She was run over by a streetcar at the tender age of forty two. In contrast, my cousin’s friend’s great-aunt Zora has smoked three cigars and drunk a half bottle of whiskey every day since she turned thirteen. She just celebrated her ninety eighth birthday with a decadent pâté, two ice cream cakes, some hot jazz, and a few litres of champagne.



Tara Roeder is the author of two chapbooks, (all the things you’re not), published by dancing girl press, and Maritime, published by Bitterzoet Press.  Her work has appeared in The Bombay Gin, Hobart, MonkeyBicycle, and Leopardskin And Limes.  She is an Associate Professor of Writing Studies in New York.



Doctored found images by 3:AM.


First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, November 29th, 2016.