The problem with emails nowadays is that how the hell my future publisher is going to scrape together enough hand-written letters by me to put into a book when I die? Look at the collection of letters by Saul Bellow, P. G. Wodehouse, Scott Fitzgerald and you’ll see what I mean. Now your natural reaction would be: “Why would any publisher at all want to collect your letters? They don’t even know that you exist.” That’s technically not true. Some publishers do know that I exist. The other day I went to a publisher in San Francisco to inquire about the status of my submission. The receptionist recognized me immediately: “Not you again.”
Making publishers aware of my existence is the first step in catapulting me into stardom. If Kirsten Stewart and the likes can become movie stars just by making people talk about how bad their acting is, why can’t I become famous by making people talk about how bad my writing is? First of all, I have exactly what they have: an absolute and indisputable lack of talent. I fancy that if I keep on bothering publishers the way I’m doing right now, eventually my name would pop up during one of their publishing conventions where everyone was sharing things that make them want to quit pretending to care about literature altogether. One publisher would raise the glass and say: “There is this one mediocre girl who keeps creating new email addresses and bombarding my inbox. Every year I have to spend a solid ten minutes deleting emails from her alone! That’s like half of my reading time already.” Then someone would ask him for that mediocre girl’s name, and somewhere under the bar and on top of a young pretty aspiring writer, a respectable voice would scream out: “It’s that girl you’re talking about! I remember seeing her name on the stack of manuscripts we keep as emergency toilet papers.” There, I calculate, out of the sheer need to stand out and assert his reputation as someone who recognizes talents in the darkest place, a young and inexperienced publisher would state an unpopular opinion: “Hold your horses, gentlemen. I don’t think her writing is that bad! It’s just moderately bad. If approached with an open mind, it can be passed as one of those horrendous chick-flicks popular among young adult readers nowadays.” You see, if that publisher had had a little bit too much of wine, he might even go as far as to claim that he would publish my writing. The chance of him doing so is less than 0.000001%, but there is still a chance.
Now that we have established that I’m not entirely irrational in preparing my posthumous collection of letters, let me go ahead with my plan. I figure that if my poor publisher can’t find any of my handwritten letters – you know, pens have gone extinct since Jesus came and invented keyboards a thousand years ago – the next thing they look into would be my emails. God bless America, to make it easier for NSA, government, Internet companies and big corporations to moderate my communications for my own good, I have been putting my emails into folders with colorful labels and detailed descriptions. It takes me no time to find all the emails that I believe would be instrumental in helping strangers talk about me as if they had known me all along, after I was dead.
I first focus on the emails that I sent to those important to me: my future self, my imaginary boyfriend, guys taking orders at the nearby Coupa, people I don’t really like but reckon would be famous one day so I’d better suck up to them. I also look into the folder that marks “College” because one’s education, together with one’s look and one’s income, has always been an important factor in judging that person. Then I thought my publisher would probably want to check the emails that I sent to my friends, roommates and family, so I go over them as well. I can totally see how my posthumous collection of emails would captivate and fascinate my future audience. To prove my point, I would like to share some of them with you.
Dear 40-year-old Chip,
You got this email because I know that you love to hear from people who love you more than anything else in the world. Besides, I have just found out about this service that lets you send emails to your future self, and if you sign up, they would give you a coupon of $10. You know what kind of things I’m willing to do for $10.
I hope that you have found yourself a publisher by now. You are going to die soon and unlike painters, writers don’t suddenly become famous just because they are dead.
I would also like to share with you some life-hacks I have accumulated over time in case you get so caught up in fame and forget.
– Always take other people’s advice. If it works out, it’s awesome. If it doesn’t, you have someone else to blame.
– When people ask about your favorite football team, the only appropriate way to respond is to ask about theirs and then say: “No way, it is mine too”.
– Never worry about what men think. They don’t do that very often.
Lots of love,
OMG your baby is soooo cute!!! The pictures are adorable! Thank you so much for sharing them with me. I can’t wait to see both of you in person very soon.
Can you believe that Jane sent me two dozens pictures of her newborn baby? They are hideous. It’s 21st century already and people still can’t face the fact that babies are ugly? Whoever gave her the idea that it’d be nice to spread those pictures around should be executed. Hope all is well with you.
Dear whoever works behind the café’s counter,
If I get a penny every time make a joke about my name, I’d have enough money to tip you properly. I go to your café 5 times a day, which means I’m unhappy and allergic to fun. There is really no need to cheer me up with comments like: “Chip & Dale”, “Microchip”, “Chips ahoy”, “Fish and Chip”, “Chips off the old block”, “Potato chips”. I have had this name my entire life and trust me, I have never heard any of your jokes before.
Your could-have-been-loyal customer,
You cannot say that you’ve already read my story a zillion times and that you love it all right. The story I sent you on Facebook hasn’t had the tick that says “Seen” yet. You haven’t even opened my message. Why Dad? Am I adopted?
[No signature because that’s the way I tell you I’m angry]
Here are some donuts to thank you for not having loud sex and reminding me of how lonely I am. Also, RENT!
Dear future boyfriend,
Since I haven’t heard from you, I reckon I should try to reach out to you. You know what, I’m really tired of searching for you. Don’t you think that you should take a more active role by at least telling me your name, the neighborhood you live in or your phone number? If you don’t, I would have to manually go through Facebook profile of every man I’ve ever met, and fall in love half a dozen times a day.