100 Lies About Me

Erik Anderson


1. I was born on a Sunday, the 218thday of the year. 2. I have distinct memories of life at four, but between five and ten is a blank tape interspersed with static. 3. I have never been a good liar. 4. At the zoo, I was most terrified by the giraffes; at Fenway Park, by the green monster; in the garage, by the man-eating spiders my brother told me lived in the rafters. 5. I'm not heartless, but when Bambi's mom got shot I couldn't have cared less. 6. Pinocchio is still my favorite film. 7. I'm not sure I would want to have dinner with any dead or famous person. 8. I would like to let the future go. 9. In a letter I sent to the White House in seventh grade, I called the first Bush a charlatan. 10. I am infrequently ashamed. 11. I like barbeque chicken but hate barbeque pork. 12. Meat substitutes disgust me. 13. Politically, I'm ambivalent—I see little difference between the parties. 14. I have thrown up from too many potato chips, from too much gin, but never on boats and never from wine. 15. Some balance of writing and reading and eating and fucking and sunshine and drinking and laughter and friendship would constitute for me a perfect day; I would not, however, want to fuck as long as I ate, to drink as long as I laughed, and though I would spend hours more or less in silence, I would the whole while look forward to sharing the late afternoon sun. 16. I prefer Renaissance to contemporary art, but eighteenth-century portraiture to the Renaissance; I like design retrospectives most of all. 17. I have never been attacked by an alligator but was once, at a petting zoo, bitten by a goat. 18. For me, truth is linked to precision. 19. After a few years have passed, I have pleasant dreams about people who have persecuted me. 20. I suspect the most charismatic person I ever met, a man who went out of his way to befriend me, undertook a campaign to blackball me from which he has yet to relent. 21. No one has ever accused me of egotism, nor of being too humble for my own good. 22. I prefer Rousseau's memory to Proust's, Proust's to Wolfe's, Wolfe's to Kerouac's, but my own over all. 23. In general, I prefer the nineteenth century to the twentieth. 24. The line between fact and fiction may be firmer than some would have you believe, but it's still, I think, worth debating. 25. As for music, I am tireless. 26. At twenty-one I moved to Hollywood to be an actor but, deeply in debt, left after less than a year. 27. I always talk as though to a crowd. 28. Hypotheticals seem silly to me. 29. A therapist once prescribed me twenty minutes of silence a day. 30. I like to be slapped during sex. 31. Certain relatives no longer invite me to their houses. 32. There are two books that have influenced me more than any others: Wuthering Heights and the collected poems of Laura Riding Jackson. 33. I prefer the dictionary to the encyclopedia, but the thesaurus to both. 34. I could have been a dancer. 35. I like baby showers, bridal showers, even golden showers, but would prefer in all cases to be the recipient. 36. Performance art is important to my work, which has always been driven more by conceptual concerns than practical ones. 37. I consider myself an expert on The Wire. 38. Much as I like the early afternoon but not the early morning, I like a waning moon but not a waxing one. 39. Ontology is vital to me, epistemology less so, ethics least of all. 40. I sometimes sing when alone in the car, but I only ever hum in the shower. 41. I am suspicious of experiments that cannot be replicated, of experiences that cannot be verified, of ghosts and visions and crackpots toiling in the night. 42. Some have gasped at the sight of my penis. 43. In spite of everything I retain a certain respect for Richard Wagner. 44. I am not entirely convinced that I am not a computer program. 45. The feature I find most attractive in a woman is her scapula. 46. Art is less important to me than sex, which is less important to me than food, which is, in turn, less important than a good night's sleep. 47. I admire the philatelists. 48. The virtues of pornography outweigh, I would argue, its vices. 49. Coherence matters a great deal to me. 50. I dream of one day visiting an active volcano. 51. I am happiest in a cramped space, with strangers pressed against me. 52. In a man, I admire strong forearms. 53. I'll pass, for now, on the truth. 54. I like the smell of rotting fish, the taste of my own semen. 55. Pink appeals to me. 56. My heroes are outsized personalities, like Lady Gaga and, in a different way, Friedrich Nietzsche. 57. Among philosophers, I am most drawn to David Hume. 58. I do not, as a rule, like comedians. 59. I am more afraid of yoga than I am of dying. 60. Sunsets bore me. 61. In my twenties, I aspired to be more transparent in my writing—in my thirties, more obscure. 62. In my forties, I plan to undertake a thoroughgoing exposé of my inner life, the chief virtue of which will be its unrelenting candor—my integrity tied up with its lack. 63. I like rich sauces and full-bodied wines; beer and bread leave me cold. 64. Of the few things I've stolen, I've kept only the childhood portrait of a girlfriend's menacing father. 65. There is no flower I particularly enjoy, none I especially despise. 66. I have no trouble seeing what people find attractive in me and am not ashamed to have used this to my advantage. 67. Hunting is a comfort to me. 68. Once, in the Montparnasse cemetery, I serenaded a stray cat. 69. When people talk about freedom and truth, I immediately understand what they mean, even if I rarely agree. 70. I have never been happier than right now. 71. My favorite films, unlike my favorite books, are those that wear their profundity so lightly you might mistake it for flippancy. 72. My writing does not aspire to birdsong as much as a place in The New Yorker. 73. More often than not in my adult life I have chosen to go without underwear. 74. I worship the gods of the bowels. 75. Meat makes sense to me. 76. I would like, if I cannot go quietly, to die in an incinerator after an extensive chase on foot. 77. My most-cherished values are journalistic ones; they involve words like loyalty and discipline. 78. Origami comes naturally to me. 79. I tend to undervalue pawnshops but overvalue payday loans. 80. My least attractive feature is my eyes. 81. I have been evicted, arrested, even indicted, though the charges were later dropped. 82. The Museum of Modern Art, to my mind, is the model of what a museum should be. 83. I identify with the taxidermic animals displayed in tableaus. 84. I distrust the political process, but distrust my distrust most of all. 85. My middle name is Scott, after my father. 86. The sight of my own blood reassures me of something for which I've never quite found the right words. 87. I find mansard roofs attractive, but clay shingles annoy me. 88. I could watch boxing for hours. 89. When I was small, I took bullying well; when I was bigger, I inflicted it kindly. 90. I have had sex in trains and planes, but that I have not yet had it on a boat feels like one of my life's great omissions. 91. Teachers repeatedly told me I had no aptitude for language, coaches that I had no aptitude for sports. 92. I enjoy gatherings of all sorts, particularly those at which alliances are severed. 93. I see the value in conceptual poetry and, perhaps paradoxically, the literary merit of exactitude. 94. Underneath my atheism, I'm a deeply religious person. 95. Space tourism appeals to me. 96. If I am a simulation, I suspect I am a good one. 97. Consumerism, like careerism, doesn't bother me. 98. I find no quality in a person less interesting, but more necessary, than honesty. 99. I am likely to order dessert. 100. I aspire to reincarnation as a snow leopard. 101. I hope, most of all, to one day own a Ferrari.