States of Independence
Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity

Megan Boyle invites you to her dad's birthday party

It's her party, and she'll cry if she wants to – read an exclusive extract from the writer of the moment

birthday
Megan Boyle

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day. 

Kicking off State of Literature week is New York's Tyrant Books – the publishing house founded by Giancarlo DiTrapano that's behind some of the most exciting and controversial releases of recent times. DiTrapano lays down his perspective on the future of publishing, Megan Boyle and Atticus Lish share exclusive extracts, and – as if that wasn't enough music to your ears – Blake Butler has created a playlist to help you stop thinking altogether.

Born and raised in that unlikely nesting ground for alt-America called Baltimore, Megan Boyle is the NY-based writer who, having made waves in the online alt-lit scene she might call her own, is (quite rightly) extending her reach into the IRL publishing world. With her remarkable debut, selected unpublished blog posts of a mexican panda express employee, published to rave reviews earlier this year, her new book Liveblog, forthcoming from Tyrant, is impatiently anticipated. Right now Boyle is quite rightly regarded as the ultimate queen of the new lit scene – and this, decidedly apart from the shadow of husband Tao Lin. Composed entirely from Megan's blogging everything she did and everything she thought from March 13 last year, DiTrapano calls Liveblog "the most unfiltered thing I’ve ever read"; get a taste for the real talk with our exclusive preview, below.

Megan Boyle Tyrant Books
Megan Boyle



8:30pm: sensed something in my peripheral vision watch me walk up and down the aisles at target. Then I was closer to the ‘something,’ a pudgy little girl. She twisted her ankle shyly and smiled. I smiled back. She said ‘I like you dress.’ I smiled bigger, said ‘thank y-oouuu. It’s from target’ sort of unconsciously and walked away, feeling like a commercial.



8:32pm: the idea of decorating dad’s apartment as a birthday surprise: is it sad? Sadder than if there’d be nothing, he’d come home to nothing? Something vs. nothing. No win on this one. This one is what you’d call a ‘draw.’ 



8:35pm: something would be better

8:47pm: waiting in long line w/small basket. Have been thinking of a rap:

yeah I wear a target dress when I go to target

and you know it’s my dress cause I got it at target

my shoes an my dress got em both at target

and if you tryna mess we goin outside target

all target eythang all target eythang (4X)

a birthday dad is a birthday occasion

step in line to the checkout least ragin

scanner shut down but dads stay agin

barcode price check hurts when they page em

red shirt uniforms all upstagin

Fred Durst rearrange em

all target eythang paid freemason

8:52pm: the beat for that is so real in my head. When it goes ‘all target eythang’ people make background noises like ‘tawget’ and ‘oh pawty’ and ‘guhhh’ and there’s this…sneaker skid? A whistle. There is a whistle. Sounds like the beastie boys.

8:58pm: driving back to dad’s. Listened to a YouTube video called ‘how to pronounce ‘Julian Assange’’ (like it rhymes with ‘carte blanche,’ yes that’s really the first thing I thought, no I don’t know what it means, I also don’t know what Julian Assange did or why people are mad at him).

9:25pm - 11:00pm: taped crepe and shiny paper decorations to ceiling. ate 20mg adderall. i liked thinking about where the next strip of paper should be taped. i preferred doing that to taping. if this was a job i’d start out as a taper and work my way up to ‘telling tapers where to tape.’

11:01pm - 11:45pm: dad didn’t notice the ceiling when he walked in, which was both surprising and not. hugged him, said ‘happy birthday’ and ‘71, look out, whoa, big time.’ he said ‘oh, thanks’ absently. he seemed very tired, stressed about the construction of a new office. thought he’d go to bed right away but we sat and talked for a long time. he said something about how scientists think the observable universe is only 15% of the universe. i said ‘what happens…so if there’s a 15% that means there’s a 100%, so what happens after the 100%?’ he shifted a little in the chair and said ‘you know? i don’t know.’

at some point he handed me a book called ‘dialectical behavioral therapy for teens' and said ‘we’re all teenagers when it comes to emotions, really.’ book contained sentences like ‘emily has problems with eating.’ looked funny. dad said ‘dialectical behavioral therapy is really the best, it’s all they’re doing now for borderlines. but i don’t really think you’re a borderline.’ i said ‘i don’t think it’d be bad if…i mean i fit like, 99% of the criteria. wait nevermind it doesn’t mean anything.’ it was quiet. he said ‘i told my therapist you said you thought you had borderline personality disorder and she said ‘borderlines are fine, they go through life fine.” he looked concerned. i said ‘i didn’t think i wasn’t going to, either way.’ he said ‘i think you’ll be fine.’ his face didn’t change. i said ‘i know, there’s nothing…everybody’s just fine, no matter what.’

11:53pm: listened to dad get ready for bed and walk around living room area. forgot he was there. he stopped by my room and said ‘it’s really something, you went up there like a monkey on the ceiling, taping that up there. that’s going to be up there for awhile, it’s something to be celebrated.’ i said ‘it’s for you, for your birthday. you get celebrated, not it.’ he said ‘well, it’s very neat.’

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