How To Write “How To Shit on LSD”

Write two-thirds of “SHITTING ON LSD IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM” while sitting on a toilet in NYU’s library on a medium-low dosage of LSD at 2:30PM. Half-close the lid of your MacBook, wash your hands, and hurriedly exit the bathroom to finish writing before you forget the “juicy details.” Wave to your husband, exiting the men’s room. Remember being on a much higher dosage of LSD together at the library two months ago, sitting side by side, creating a two-hour long Gchat containing phrases which have become integral in your joke lexicon. He stops walking near a vague grouping of chairs. Walk to him and hug each other lightly. Ask if you’re going to work in the same room. As he is quiet, considering his answer, know that having an urge to ask the question probably means you’ll work in different rooms, because the last time you were on LSD you naturally walked into the lab together.

He says “Let’s just work separately,” which seems more sensible now anyway. Nod quickly and say “Are we meeting at 4?” He says “I don’t know, we’ll talk on the Internet,” as you briefly maintain eye contact and walk in different directions.

Sit at the least conspicuous table in the cafeteria-area of the library. For twenty minutes, type more of “SHITTING ON LSD IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM.” Don’t look at the Internet. Write the sentence “Think of an overgrown lawn, unexplainably.” 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.

Remember things your husband has said to you about feeling neglected when you aren’t available on the Internet. Check your email and see that ten minutes ago, he sent you a forwarded email from “Raw Reform,” noting something funny he saw in it. Email him something funny you see in it. Have a business-like Gchat about meeting times. Read his email again. Find another funny thing and send it to him. Try to open the Gchat from the last time you were on LSD, but it takes too long to load.

At 4:30PM, hold hands as you exit the library to walk to dinner. Say “I’m doing ‘SHITTING ON LSD IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM’ for my essay now.”

Your husband grins and says “You should do that.”

Say “I started it already. I referenced ‘shitting it out’ for both the essay and actually shitting.”

Your husband rubs your arm and says “Seems really good. ‘How To Shit on LSD.'”

After dinner, ingest Adderall together and go in stores, looking for energy drinks. Laugh when your husband screams “Xanax.” Point at a drainpipe sticking out of the ground and say “It’s looking for a better life.” Make an experimental comment about Rube Goldberg machines. Your husband says “Save it for the essay” and pats your back.

At the library, open “SHITTING ON LSD IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM” and change the title to “HOW TO SHIT ON LSD.” From 6:30PM to 10:30PM, mechanically focus on expanding and rearranging parts of the essay, ensuring the voice and tense are consistent, and eliminating wordy or boring parts. It feels effortless. Rarely look at the Internet. Incorporate “Rube Goldberg machine.”

At 10:30PM, your husband hugs you from behind your chair and says he’s working slowly. He seems tired. You feel tired. He says “Send me the essay when you’re done.” Say you will be finished soon. Read the last paragraph. It might just be your opus, that last paragraph. Seems like you could have “stolen” it from Kurt Vonnegut or your husband. Google “Kurt Vonnegut nothingness quotes.” Google “Tao Lin nothingness quotes.”

At 11:50PM, you still haven’t finished. Things look grim. You’ve become fixated on imagining receiving 0-4 comments about drugs that seem to miss the point of your essay, 0-2 bluntly negative sentence-length comments, 2-4 vaguely negative sentence-length comments, and 1 convincing paragraph-length comment that actually makes you think you’re just as much of a “piece of shit” as the commenter does.

“Point at a drainpipe sticking out of the ground and say ‘It’s looking for a better life.'”

Look over your husband’s shoulder as he reads your essay. Agree with his first 3-5 deletions. He rearranges a paragraph. He wants to delete “Think of an overgrown lawn, unexplainably.” Tell him it’s “evocative, or something.” He says “I don’t feel anything when I read it.” Say “I think other people might,” immediately after which you want to shrink to a size that will allow you to live under your chair’s cushion, where you will be sat on by huge asses forever. Realize how fortunate you are that he actually wants to read your essay and that, unlike men in your past who have had either passive or incompatible interests in writing, you share many sensibilities with him and will probably like his suggestions.

He creates a new document for his edits. It seems too long, he says, it doesn’t seem focused. Agree. Get up to stretch. Do a handstand on the wall. Make socially inappropriate movements on a table. Sit next to your husband. He says “Are you okay?”


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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