HITTING SHELVES #51: Like a Dog by Tara Jepsen

Like a Dog by Tara Jepsen comes out today! It’s the story of a skateboarder, in her early thirties, struggling to have a relationship with her brother, who has an opiate addiction. It’s a grim, funny, raw, spectacular debut novel. We asked the author how she’s celebrating.

On the official day of Like a Dog’s publication I will rise at a generous 7:45, then immediately take my 75 mg of Venlafaxine. Will that guarantee a good mood? Probably not! I am still a person! I shall then feed my three cats, start a kettle for coffee, and look around for piles of cat barf. I will clean them up. I will not even be grossed out because I’ll be so glad that they are not dead rodents with their faces chewed off.

I will check FB, then wonder how to get away with deleting my account since it makes me feel utterly horrible about humanity. I will look at politics and news shit on twitter, careen into an anxiety attack, then text my best friend of life Beth Lisick. That will make me feel more sane and full of joy.

I will walk around my garden and check on my plants. I will remove dead bits if there are any, and admire the patterns and colors that somehow thrill me anew every single day.

Then I will go work in another (more successful) author’s garden. I will plant many flats of Pennyroyal between her flagstones and the song “Pennyroyal Tea” by Nirvana will go through my head over and over again. I will listen to a true crime podcast because I am a sicko. I will see an actor from Westworld walk by.

I will come home and, despite only two hours of work, be exhausted. I’m going to a doctor about this weird fatigue sitch tomorrow. He is the most talented dude in the dumpiest office in North Hollywood.

I will swim with my Master’s team (an adult swim team) at the Rose Bowl tonight, under a dark sky and bright lights. I’ll hear the kids’ water polo teams practicing in the pool next to us. I will hear some kind of hilarious Jamiroquai-esque dance music emanating from another pool where a bunch of older ladies are doing water aerobics. I will try to push myself in the water without creating an anxiety-like feeling. I will have moderate success.

I will take a hot shower with a bunch of the gals from the team. We’ll talk about dumb stuff and make okay jokes. I’ll drive to the grocery store afterwards and scrounge together a dinner from the desiccated ruins of their hot tables. I’ll eat it alone under bright lights, the saddest way to eat dinner! Then I’ll get some groceries. I’ll be annoyed about carrying them into my house before, during, and after that is done.

I will get into bed and read. My body will be tired as a bag of hammers. I will remind myself to plan a book celebration with my spouse.

Tara Jepsen is a writer and actor living in Los Angeles, California. She’s appeared in Emmy-winning series Transparent. She and longtime collaborator Beth Lisick created, wrote and acted in original web series Rods and Cones, released by Jill Soloway and Rebecca Odes’s Wifey.tv in September 2014, named one of Indiewire’s 25 Best Series/Creators of 2014. Tara has written and performed original sketch comedy with Lisick throughout the U.S. since 1999. They have appeared at Dixon Place in NYC, at San Francisco’s Sketchfest, at the UCB in Los Angeles, and myriad additional venues. Jepsen has been published by The Believer, xojane.com, and SF Weekly, among others. She has toured and performed extensively with the seminal queer cabaret Sister Spit since 1997. And, she co-hosted the legendary San Francisco open mic K’vetsh at a gay men’s bath house for over ten years.

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