How To Write “How To Shit on LSD”

Relocate to the stairs. Stare at a marble wall. Think of your father Googling your name and initiating a labored conversation where he tries to bond with you about drugs. Imagine an overgrown lawn. A security guard approaches and says “The library is for students only now, it’s time for you to leave, thank you.” Wordlessly gather your things. Halfway up the stairs, yell “You’re welcome” at him. Your husband looks at you, concerned. Say “He said ‘thank you,'” half-joking, mostly embarrassed.

Say “Thank you for editing” and maybe too vigorously rub your husband’s lower back as you sit on stools at the library’s entrance. Some time passes. Say “Are you just going to make it into two paragraphs?”

Your husband exasperatedly says “Don’t argue, just let me do what I’m doing.”

Say “I didn’t mean to argue, sorry. Thank you for editing.”

A few moments later, he points at the Rube Goldberg machine paragraph and says “What are you trying to say here?”

Say “It’s about. I’m talking about how all of the noises worked together, but they seemed to just point out that they were nothing. Or like. Just that the most significant thing was the noise, or something, of silence or nothingness behind them.”

He nods and quietly says “Oh.”

He says “I don’t even know what that is. A Rube Goldberg machine.”

Say “It’s that thing where a scissor cuts a thing and it keeps making things do things. You know.”

He nods and quietly says “Oh.”

Walk to your car, holding each other, complaining about your lives. Say “It really seems like I just shouldn’t do anything. I really have nothing to say.” Express support of each other, despite “hating yourselves.”

Ingest Xanax at his apartment. Look at the revised “HOW TO SHIT ON LSD,” unable to think anything but “Rube Goldberg machine.” Think of your Dad’s face on a giant, somehow beetle-shaped Rube Goldberg machine. Copy and paste a section back in that your husband deleted. Look at him on the bed. Delete the section you just pasted. Feel completely unable to do anything. Try to picture your life in five years. It really seems like you will be dead. Think “I want to jump out of myself,” without considering where you would go if you did.

After some amount of time, mostly spent navigating the Internet with increasing difficulty due to Xanax, your husband says “I’d like to read it again before bed, send it again.” Say “I’m just, it might. I’m doing a thing,” staring at a PayPal error message. It is nearing 4AM. Neither of you have slept more than two hours in the past 36. Take a shower. Shave your legs. If nothing else, you can at least do this.

Wake for an hour at 3:30PM next to your sleeping husband. Your essay now seems obviously horrible. People want to read about loneliness and depression and failed relationships, not your “refreshingly whimsical,” uninformed philosophizing about reality, especially because it was stereotypically preempted by a drug experience and paired with the cheap “Girl Writes about Shitting” device. Wow, look at Megan Boyle. Look at Megan Boyle talking about shitting. Megan Boyle does drugs. Oh wow.

Remember feebly saying “I really thought it would go viral” as you walked to your car last night. Picture the essay’s ending sentence, “Lean forward and see that you must have shit,” in neon letters on a Beach Week t-shirt. Think “Rube Goldberg” and picture Whoopi Goldberg, cackling. Think “think of an overgrown lawn, unexplainably.” Think “How to Shit on my Life.”

Your husband snores. Try to mentally reconstruct your yoga class’ closing meditation. From a rarely felt, deep place of calmness, begin actually seeing a series of non-sequitur images projected on the backs of your eyelids. Think “If only I could write this, I just want to write this.” The only image you remember is a spherical vehicle with the word “ICETRUCK” on its side, rolling like an apple on a floor.

Wake together at 6:45PM. Enter your routine of showering separately, drinking a smoothie, and watching YouTube clips, aware that neither of you is saying much to the other, though you might be saying more. Your essay now seems like a metaphysical brain tumor that if you ever tried removing, would instantly recoil to some unreachable place inside of you until it knew it was safe to resume its “orbit” around your brain. Tell your husband you will drive today. He mumbles something and nods.

In the car, say “Do you think I could just send it in how it is now, with your edits?” He says “I don’t know,” looking out the window.

A few moments later say “I’ll just do something else. Start over with something else.”

A few moments later say “What would you do if you were me?”

He says “I don’t know, I don’t feel like talking right now.”

Drive in silence, aware that you usually hold hands while driving. Touch his thigh, gently. Touch his hand. He takes your hand, maneuvers both your hands around the middle console, first over to your side, then his side. His grip feels distractingly limp. After four silent minutes, say “Do you even want to hold hands?” He says “Let’s just,” and removes his hand.

‘It’s that thing where a scissor cuts a thing and it keeps making things do things. You know.’

As you near the library a few minutes later, he says “I didn’t like the tone you used when you said ‘Do you even want to hold hands.'” Say things about feeling ignored by him and worried about your essay. He says things to you about “not wanting to talk all the time” and how you didn’t directly say you were worried so he didn’t respond to that. Increase volume and intensity as you speak. Realize you don’t know where you’re driving. Idle next to a parallel-parked car. Your husband responds to something you say by turning off the heat. The car becomes gradually colder in the forty-five minutes of your argument, which concludes with both of you expressing that you each feel bad.

Say “I’m just going to drive home now, I think, unless we can talk or do something to make us feel better. Do you want me to drop you off at the library?”

After a long pause he says “I don’t know.”

Say “What do you want to do?”

Imagine dropping him off at the library, barely looking at each other, and then making the four-hour drive to Baltimore without a phone, resisting urges to binge-eat at travel plazas. Imagine dropping him off at the library, then walking alone to a crowded coffee shop to edit “HOW TO SHIT ON LSD,” the presence of which now seems like a ten-foot tall Ronald McDonald crashing a funeral.

He says “I want to get energy drinks from Whole Foods, then dinner at the Mexican place by my apartment and then work on things in my room.”

Ask if he wants you to be there. He says yes. Say barely audible, yet goal-oriented things to each other as you move the car forward. Press a button on your console. It seems to mildly shock your husband with static electricity. Immediately return both hands to the steering wheel. When you arrive at Whole Foods, he volunteers to go in alone. Park in a not-quite parking space and turn the heat on high so it will be warm inside when he returns. TC mark

image – iStockPhoto

More From Thought Catalog

  • Brandon Scott Gorrell

    sweet ass

    • megan boyle


      • Shellside

        Read like à cry for help after realizing u married the douchebag from ‘Richard yates’. Being seemingly forced upon selfdisgusted of binge eating, being used to being patronized and delittleized, knowing ur worth more but being too downtrodden in downward spirals. I could be projecting.

      • megan boyle

        i felt good/energized when i wrote it. if i ever felt the things i think you’re describing i would stop being in a relationship. i don’t associate ‘worth’ with ‘existing’

  • Tracy Lucas

    I woke up last night in a fit of epiphany and wrote down the line that would become the crux of my powerful future bestseller and the basis of my eventual cult following.

    Three's Company lulled me back to sleep.

    When I woke up, I read the note beside my bed. The line was:

    “If that's not your story, get off my lap.”

    • megan boyle

      hehe, damn…

      think i have done that also, the waking up thing

  • saramcgrath

    the shaving legs part was very lorrie moore

    • megan boyle

      sweet, thanks mcgrathbro

  • Lolcat

    the internet/blogosphere is so fucking doomed, this shit is exhibits A-Z

    • johnjohn

      how so?

  • johnjohn

    it's ok. sometimes people need space in relationships. hard when you're doing the distance thing, too.

    • megan boyle


      outer space y'all

  • Jim Rowley

    read it twice with this song on repeat thinking about synethsesia and the anthropomorphizing of inanimate objects that really do sometimes seem like they're “looking for a better life”

    finished second reading thinking that I was looking for a better life, and might be an inanimate object as well

    add comment and retreat into a meditation on codependency stemming from my last relationship triggered by the image of two people whose hand-holding is usually natural

    • megan boyle

      that song seems scary, reminds me of a sinister man carving things

      i liked reading your thoughts about the article…think i am looking for a better life, possibly inanimate also

      • Jim Rowley

        an alliterating and 'sinister' m/inister

  • V

    this is very good

    • megan boyle


  • cccp

    Sweet how you created your opus out of something you thought was your opus but then you thought wasn't your opus

    • megan boyle


      thanks cccp

  • Brian McElmurry

    I liked this a lot Megan. It was very cool. It turned out to be a relationship piece, which, was very cool. It's weird being around a person you love, all the time, especially being a writer. Luckily you two are both writers. When your husband wanted to get energy drinks, mexican food and write, I was like, yes, me too. It's weird being creative with another person around, but you two seem to be doing it. If you press my link there is a blog of an acid trip, I wrote about, where I thought I was damned by god, if you have time/desire.

    • megan boyle

      sweet, brian, i'm glad you thought those things. will read your acid trip account. mexican food…

      • Brian McElmurry

        No worries, if not :-)

  • Tom Smith

    I love 'Give yourself permission to imagine an entire chapter in a literary criticism textbook devoted to your delicate, bizarrely groundbreaking, hypothesized-as-accidental-”but-given-Boyle’s-oeuvre-we-now-know-this-must-have-been-intentional” symbolism.'
    It's exactly the kind of thing that I think when I put symbolism that I'm scared other people won't get in my writing

    • megan boyle

      nice, tom

  • Ray Straight

    I'm going to predict that meta-meta-writing won't be nearly successful as meta-writing, in case anyone is thinking of trying it.

    • Kyle Angeletti

      i think you hit the nail on the head. side note – who cares about how to shit on LSD?

      • Bill A Pomerans


      • megan boyle

        hi bill a pomerans


    • megan boyle

      nice squirtle…

  • GIRL

    Mostly, I wish you would've actually let me read How To Shit on LSD. I like this OK, but mostly just because Megan Boyle wrote it. Can I please read “How To Shit on LSD”?

    • megan boyle

      hehe, sweet

      thought about including it as a 'bonus pack' at the end

      it will maybe be somewhere at some point maybe

  • mario

    i thought and felt a lot of things while reading this, i don't remember what they were.

    • megan boyle

      nice, mario…

  • IndianGiver


    • megan boyle


  • tommmmm


    • megan boyle


      myspace tom

      • tommmmm

        i'm hot lol.

        thanks for the validation.

  • ok

    Wow, this was really good.

  • mack

    i really hated this at first but then i really liked it

    • megan boyle

      glad you came around

  • victoria trott

    reading and drinking red bull thought 'i feel so happy. why do i feel so happy.'

    seems like i … read this 'certain' it would end with a hug-filled reconciliation scene…nice twist

    • megan boyle

      damn, why would disqus delete my comment in response to you

      i don't get it, i think i had a long-ish comment that was clearly 'not spam'

      i remember saying “vicky trots in the house!!!!” and wanting to indicate i felt happy reading your comment

  • Brianaritz

    I…I love this. I really, really do.

  • Jordan

    i felt emotional reading this

    i had a dream ~2 nights ago in which i was lying in bed, 'facing tao' so that we were making eye contact, and he was saying '[something like “megan…”]' repeatedly while making 'really weird, “normal people”' facial expressions, and during my first reading of this essay i kept thinking 'is this my dream all over again' in a manner where i didn't 'actually think' it was my dream, or something, but [something else].

    the second time i read this i think i focused more on the sentences and essay as a whole, and i enjoyed it

    good job megzo

    just thought 'megzo ass nigger' then 'nigger' in a 'violent' tone of voice

    laughing now…

    • GIRL

      wow that's a really offensive thought.

    • tao

      think i've never seen the word 'megzo' until now

      your dream…lol…

      • Jordan

        it feels… 'natural,' to me, i think, to think 'megzo' when thinking of megan

        i think i have thought it before…

        during part of the dream we were sitting on my bedroom floor (i can't remember if mallory/megan/[other people] were there) and you kept saying things in what seemed like a 'natural, normal person voice,' making 'normal people' facial expressions and gestures… like… saying 'come on, buddy' and 'punching' my leg… or something…

      • megan boyle



  • exitclov

    I feel that overgrown lawn. I'm glad you kept it there. Aside from that, it sounds like you had a pretty lame trip. I hope you didn't pay much for it.

    This viscerally reminded me of how much my partner & I overanalyzed gesture in my last long-term relaish. Exhausting.

    • megan boyle

      sweet re lawn…overgrown ass lawn…

      it was okay/fun, seemed the most fun from ~20 minutes before bathroom – ~20 minutes after, then didn't feel it much. forget how much i paid, know the cost was split a few months ago

      i analyze gesture a lot too…

      • exitclov

        good that you split costs!

  • Aaron

    “Je dis qu'il faut être voyant, se faire voyant. Le poète se fait voyant par un long, immense et raisonné dérèglement de tous les sens.” -Arthur Rimbaud, 1871

    • megan boyle

      nice, seems french

  • tao


    just thought 'ls-lsd'

    • megan boyle



  •!/willandbears Masha Sun

    I'm on the shitter right now on LSD. I need help. I can't feel my lower body. This article…

    • megan boyle

      damn, nice

      how to shit on lsd while shitting on lsd…

  • Cassandra Troyan

    Good job Megan. I like what you say about the drain pipe.

    • megan boyle

      hi cassandra, sweet/thank you

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