Advice for The Newly Cloned Wooly Mammoth By Zack Lipez

Dear Not Yet Of Drinking Age Woolly Mammoth,

So. They brought you back. Good. I’m glad. We’re all glad. And if, throughout your “grazing of the permafrost” (as they say) you get the feeling that the “we” that encompasses the “glad” is not as large as a newly minted wooly mammoth might, maybe, hope, well-no, that’s just not true. Everybody is grateful for more company. I won’t be the last to tell you that it’s cold outside, and, even if you didn’t have that thick coat, a new body is a new body is a new body…

I’m not going to lie to you. I think you’re going to really like it here. The world. You in it. Sensation without responsibility if you’re so inclined. A formerly extinct pachyderm could really clean up in a place like this, if you know what I mean. Which, presumably, you don’t. Look, Wooly Mammoth, who I will not be naming, as I’m not trying to be precious here, I’m trying to TALK to you, things, ok, people come here for one of two reasons. There are those who come just because they heard it was a town that you could really spit in, and some just show up because there were some quality of life crimes that they just HAD to report. Try to be in the middle. It’ll be harder to make friends, but then you don’t need friends because you have me and you are a woolly mammoth.

The first few years will be hard or easy. I’m not really sure of your life expectancy because, frankly, that’s not terribly interesting. But, if you eventually die, try to get a few things done before hand. Just by the miracle of science, you’re out of Siberia. That’s amazing. I don’t go above 14th street. The trek from my bed to another’s is tantamount to rewriting the Bible so that the Red Sea never parted and everybody just stayed put and it was fine. It would be, as they would say in this revised Bible-no harm no foul. But you’ve traversed continents and incomplete semen samples and 4000 years and Death. DEATH. No small feat that. Yes, you and I have a lot in common.

I don’t know what your interests are. I don’t know what anybody’s interests are. They tell me. Constantly. But I don’t believe them. I don’t think they’re lying. I ascribe malicious intent to no one at first. But they’re clearly having some fun with me, because, dude, the things that they claim to want to do…and me TO them…well, you know those difficult fiances that are constantly “falling” overboard on those high sea cruises? Never found and scandal covered up by the cruise line? Maybe bereaved maybe not so bereaved left behind to sue and dodge headlines? Let’s just say that, after years of hearing people supposed interests, I both envy and empathize with all involved parties. The tosser and the tossed.

Newly Existing Wooly Mammoth, I should warn you. They’re going to try to cage you. Put you in a park. There’s a lazy movie reference that I’ll spare you, but the end result will be that there money made off of you. Money you’ll never see and care even less a about as you are a furry elephant, but as they try to tempt you with honeyed words and sweet low moaning delivered into your massive ears…Let Them. Or hold out for just a constant stream of sweetness whispered to you as you sleep. A kind word is no small thing.

Eventually, Wooly Mammoth, I hope you fall in love. I hope you are out, doing your thing and you see some girl in an Antischism t-shirt and eyeliner and you’ll think “I would pay that girl to punch me in the face, forever until I am dead.” That’s love. And it will be very nice. And I hope it happens to you. And it will. Because god is good and science allows for you, and therefore must allow for you to not always be alone. Alone on your couch watching a bootleg DVD of Steel Magnolias, wracked with sobs over that goddamned cancer scene. That will not be you because, if some are put on this earth to be examples of the limits of human dignity, you are here to show the miracle of human endeavor, and to stomp heavily and proudly down Rivington, leaving mangled baby carriages and brimmed hats in your wake. You will fall in love. Madly and truly. You and your backpack patched beauty will cavort tusk in hand, eating the same falafel, sharing smooches, not finding anything you would possibly want to purchase at Etheria TOGETHER, later her falling asleep in your deep musky fur. Your love will be so bourgie it will resemble a cry for help.

And then that will end. You’ll be tromping along merrily at LIT or ABC No Rio, the co-op, wherever, everybody knowing your name, or knowing that you have a name or at least knowing you as that wooly mammoth with glasses (oh, did I mention that you have glasses? Well, you do) and the floor will drop and the sky will drop and the suicide girl you went to sleep with the night before will wake up a short story writer or vice versa. You thought liking the same drugs, neglecting to call your parents and watching Point Break was a relationship? That’s not a relationship. It’s just not. She’ll tell you, “Our love has gone the way of the bees.” And even if you tell her the whole bee thing is just a post millennial scare, that the bees are just holed up in their apiary, resting, and are going to come back just as soon as shit gets crucial. The bees ARE coming back. She will tell you that the metaphor stands.

Comb your hair, wooly mammoth. Steel your heart, wooly mammoth. Get a job, wooly mammoth. Lose yourself in work. Go into construction so that daytime drinking is more rewarding. Get a retail job where all your co-workers reenact skit comedy by and for the morbidly obese. Laugh along. It’ll make the days go quicker. Soon enough you’ll be ready to love again. It’s a cycle that I know you’ll come to enjoy. Until you don’t. But I don’t need to tell you about the inevitability of the heat being sucked from the room. Finality too, is a part of that crafty little genome of yours.

Then you’ll be at that last job. The world-weary wooly mammoth, sixth band in and hardly trying. And people will still tell you the same jokes, but they won’t make eye contact. You’ll get the wide berth you so desperately wanted. Hey, who knows?! Maybe some young upstart, a dodo, a mayan, a recently resurrected pterodon from times long gone will be asking you for advice! Hey! Maybe! Life is funny. And on your last shift of your last day, the boss will call you into his office, pornography that you’re sure that he got from your locker draping the walls like your inner life turned out, and present you with a parting gift. A t-shirt that states- “If you have any more Chris Farley related questions. Please. Ask. Someone. Else.”

With gratitude, you’ll put it on.

Zack Lipez is the frontman for the Brooklyn band Fresh Kills. He colaborated with Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s on the book No Seat’s in the Party Car.