How To Live Your Life Like It’s A Bret Easton Ellis Novel

Care a lot about freeways and restaurants and streets. It’s important to note that you took Fountain instead of Sunset to meet your drug dealer because Sunset is usually a nightmare and makes you anxious. Only live in Los Angeles or New York. You can take a break to attend a liberal arts school in the middle of nowhere but you’ll move back right when you graduate because there’ll be nothing to do and you get bored too easily. You’re bored right now.

Follow the script of a typical bourgeois kid. Grow up in Los Angeles and go to some private school on the Westside or the Valley. Maybe you went to Archer or Crossroads or New Roads or Harvard-Westlake or Buckley or maybe even Hamilton, even though it’s public and ew. Become friends with the big bad jerks of Los Angeles who have silver spoons dangling from their mouths and Rich People Names like Olivia and Muffy and Harrison. Decide early on that you won’t care about anything ever. Caring about things must mean you’re poor or something and you’re super rich so why would you ever feel anything besides boredom and disinterest? Every time you spend a dollar, you become more dead inside. Cha-ching = dead. How many soul points did that eight ball of coke cost you? OMG, coke!

Talk about food a lot and where you’re eating it. You’re always eating at Spago with your dad unless you’re eating at Dominick’s or Il Cielo with Stella who you may or may not be in love with. It’s hard to tell because you just don’t care. Who’s Stella? Where’s my drink?

Other things you don’t care about: Whether someone has a penis or a vagina. You’re sort of gay and will sleep with whoever. Chad, Clay, Chrissy, Samantha, and Thomas might as well be the same person because you are so numb. Caring about gender is not only complete BS (fRee SpiRIt), it also would require you to have feelings about something, which is not allowed. Just say NO to having an opinion.

Everyone around you seems to be crazier than you are. Watch your 14-year-old sister snort your mother’s Adderall in the pool house and talk about this guy she’s sleeping with. C-R-A-Z-Y. Someone should get her help…somewhere…somehow.

somewhere
somehow
somewhere
somehow

Repeat this over and over and think you’re having some sort of breakthrough. Maybe you’re experiencing a feeling? You’re not sure. Wait, maybe the valet guy has your feelings. You’ll ask. “Sir, do you have my—” You trail off, exhausted, and just get into the car.

Have this mild sense of awareness that everything and everyone around you is messed up. Go to your friend’s house and find them watching kiddie porn. Think to yourself that this is wrong but get fatigued at the idea of saying something. Sit down and take a ValiumXanaxVicodinOxyKlonopinAmbien with this person and watch the kiddie porn with them. Kiddie porn is really screwed up but also, like, NBD.

This how you live the life of Bret Easton Ellis. Go to lunch with someone and barely speak. Leave lunch and wait until you go to dinner. The three hours you have between dinner reservations will give you serious anxiety and you will have to just drive on the freeway to deal with it. Just be desensitized to everything going around you. Always make sure you look fabulous. All the time you would ordinarily spend on cultivating a personality, you use for grooming. A well-groomed person always gives the impression that they care. It’s a great trick.

Oh, and kill people sometimes if you’re stressed out and can’t get into Barcadia. TC mark

image – Less Than Zero

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

More From Thought Catalog

  • EB

    ha ha ha.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504951716 Tau Zaman

    Eh. I like BES but his misogyny irks me. And everyone gives him so much credit for creating such “raw, realistic” portrayals of college kids and twenty-somethings, but I feel like he doesn’t. There’s more to them than just being generally depraved. I feel like he rarely delves into their true insecurities, hopes, dreams, or even redeeming qualities.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesperdahl Jesper Dahl

    I hope you remember not to merge on the freeway when you are anxiety-driving. Because if I remember it correctly, people are afraid to merge on the freeways in Los Angeles.
    And disappear here…

  • Liz

    i’ve
    never read bee. i have less than zero in audio form on my hard drive
    but i thought it was boring because i didn’t have any context to put it
    in. or maybe it’s just boring. i have all the fucked up stuff in common with the characters, but none of the money.

  • http://twitter.com/LadyBlueShame ✔ Lady Blue

    I’m kind of offended because far too many people have compared me to this guy and/or his characters. I don’t see it.

    • Anonymous

      haha, totally something HE’D say

    • Joe

      Not one person believes you.

      • http://twitter.com/LadyBlueShame ✔ Lady Blue

        Did Joe sign up just to reply to me?

  • http://twitter.com/SisterSoda Eva

    “You are bored right now.”

    It’s kind of a masterstroke to put that at the end of the first paragraph, I laughed out loud.

  • Caitlin

    Do you like Phil Collins?

    • Arkhatron

      I DO!!! MAJORLY!!!

  • Victor Ward's Angry Ghost

    this could have been a compelling piece had it been executed with a modicum or creativity or awareness of bee beyond his debut novel. read my lips: spare me

    • http://www.facebook.com/meliza.anne Meliza Mitra

       I thought this was also spot on with Rules of Attraction and Informers. But, then again, I read those many years ago and maybe I just threw all of his books together in one little box.

  • rose georgia

    yes! all the reasons i find him infuriating and can’t stand people who idolise or imitate his writing.

  • YEAH UH HUH OKAY NAH

    disappointing… i luv u ry but it seems like u had nothing to write about except the last book you read lol wut. there’s merit to brett tho, somewhere, somehow

  • IndieGod

    Obviously getting a reservation at Dorsia is far more anxiety-inducing than the impeding stock collapse/ general coming apocalypse. After all, working is something only poor people would worry about. God I feel gross just thinking about them. I need a Xanax to relax. None of this is real. There are no exits.   

  • http://twitter.com/jennifersussex Jennifer Sussex

    He’s too apathetic. 

  • Grant Sorenson

    When you friend gets up to leave the room, say their name in a sullen tone and when they stop, turn around and ask, “What?” respond with “Nothing.” Do this any time anyone starts to leave the room.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Roberts/1551704642 Chris Roberts

    Ellis. A man of letters? No. An original thinker?
    No. Someone who will be remembered 20 years from now? No? A Pulitzer, a
    Man Booker, a National Book Award? Triple no. Halotosis? Yes.

    • suckhole

      Chris Roberts. A loser? Yes. Now and forever? Yes. Someone who will be remembered 20 seconds from now? No.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Roberts/1551704642 Chris Roberts

        Suckhole, which says it all? Yes. Natural born nobody? Yes. Lives in his sister’s basement? Hell yes. Was never remembered? Yes.

    • Joe Camel

      “Someone who will be remembered 20 years from now? No.” I’m sure someone said that 20 years ago when American Psycho came out. :)

    • Joe Camel

      “Someone who will be remembered 20 years from now? No.” I’m sure someone said that 20 years ago when American Psycho came out. :)

    • Joe Camel

      “Someone who will be remembered 20 years from now? No.” I’m sure someone said that 20 years ago when American Psycho came out. :)

    • Joe Camel

      “Someone who will be remembered 20 years from now? No.” I’m sure someone said that 20 years ago when American Psycho came out. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=829184847 Ryan Cassidy

    Good job on only writing about the surface of things.

  • Joe Camel

    You need to get some Cliff Notes because if this is what you took away from Ellis’ work then you’re not reading it right.

  • Joe Camel

    You need to get some Cliff Notes because if this is what you took away from Ellis’ work then you’re not reading it right.

    • Anonymous

      lighten up.

  • Bateman

    Bret Easton-Ellis’ Internalized Homophobia Is ADORABLE http://brianthedell.com/?p=515 featuring tweets such as “I like the idea of “Glee” but why is it that every time I watch an episode I feel like I’ve stepped into apuddle of HIV?”
    12 Apr

  • ksh

    I like Bret Easton Ellis…but come on this was funny!

  • Customconcern

    Every time you light a cigarette, notice with detachment that your hands are shaking. Every. Time. 

  • Doakes

    the bret easton ellis tracked tag on tumbr is all ryan o’connell

  • http://www.facebook.com/earthtonichole EarthToNichole

    call your mother in the middle of the nervous breakdown you are experiencing while driving on the freeway. attempt to tell her about your drug problem/desire to be checked in to a rehab facility (preferably in Malibu). feel nothing when she ignores your cry for help and instead changes the subject to her recent home renovation. she asks you what kind of granite would look best in the kitchen. you hang up the phone.

    whatever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/earthtonichole EarthToNichole

    call your mother in the middle of the nervous breakdown you are experiencing while driving on the freeway. attempt to tell her about your drug problem/desire to be checked in to a rehab facility (preferably in Malibu). feel nothing when she ignores your cry for help and instead changes the subject to her recent home renovation. she asks you what kind of granite would look best in the kitchen. you hang up the phone.

    whatever.

  • Favetfortibus

    You forgot the confetti in the gutters that represents superficial glamour.

  • Jennifer

    Is it bad that this made me want to read a Bret Easton Ellis book?

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