Below is the latest The Pain -- When Will It End?
Updated 12/03/08

Artist's Statement

As a rare glimpse into the collaborative process between two creative minds, I reproduce these excerpts from an email exchange between myself and Jennifer Boylan, author of She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders and I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted.



Yesterday , November 17th, 2008, I had this dream:

I was back in the house I lived in with my family in the 1960s, and there in one of the rooms was our man Mr. Jerry Garcia. I was my present grown-self Jenny Boylan.


In the end it was time for me to leave, and he seemed sad, and I said, LISTEN, JERRY. I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. And he looked at me suspiciously and said, What, man? And I said, YOU'RE IN TERRIBLE TROUBLE. SOMETHING AWFUL IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU UNLESS YOU'RE CAREFUL.

He raised an eyebrow and said, "How do you know what's going to happen to me?"

And I put my arm around him and said, plaintively, "Because. I'm from the future!"

At this moment it was clear from his expression that he thought I was nuts, just one more insane chick trying to mess with his head. You know that look people give you when you tell them you're from the future, and they don't believe you? That look.

I just said, "I'm sorry you don't believe me."

He said, "I'm sorry too." Then he picked up his guitar and he sang a song-- it was "Attics of My Life," from American Beauty. He looked me in the eyes and sang, "When I had no dreams to dream, you dreamed of me."

Later, after I woke up, I thought, you know what, I DO come from the future. And I wasn't wrong about him either. Because, since he's dead and everything, he doesn't have any dreams to dream. But nonetheless, I dreamed of him.

I was thinking the line, "Because! I'm from the future!" is probably a line that ought to go in a panel of The Pain, at some point. It's sad the way people in the past NEVER EVER FUCKING BELIEVE YOU when you tell them you're from the future, they just assume you're an asshole, instead of someone sent through the space time continuum especially to help them. It's a thankless job, time-travel.



I think in my hands this cartoon would be called, "I'm From the Future, Asshole!" It's a solid premise.



I would use my time travel simply to try to knock a little sense into people. Like--"Mr. Kennedy, why don't you travel in a car with a roof? Just for the heck of it?" OR: "Hey! Trojans! Did ya ever wonder WHY the Ithacans want you have a giant horse? I mean, you KNOW they hate you!

I would want to tell my eight-year-old self all sorts of things, but my guess is, I'd just take the kid out and get him drunk.


Recently my colleague Alex Robinson has taken to posing the question: "If your high school self could see you now, what would he/she think of you?" Some have answered that their high school selves would be utterly disgusted, and smother their adult selves with a pillow--and that their adult selves would limply submit to smothering as their just due.

Tony Consiglio, one of the funniest people alive, immediately said that, granted this opportunity, he would make sweet, sweet love to his 16-year-old self.


Tim, you should know that since this morning I cannot stop thinking about the idea of a Time Machine owned not by some evil scientist genius, but by, like, just some stoner guy, who uses it to go and get Demerol. Like, he could go see the Crucifixion, Pickett's Charge, or the signing of the Constitution, but no, not so much. Sometimes he goes and bothers his old girlfriends. "Aw come on, man, just gimme one more chance!" Our narrator, who is me, keeps finding evidence that our man is fucking with the space time continuum. And every time he goes back to like, Woodstock, say, he keeps running into dozens of other versions of himself there, because in the future? He just keeps coming back to the same places. I guess this is turning into some sort of chrono-synclastic "Boy Who Loves his Waffles" [SEE TIM KREIDER'S FIRST COLLECTION, The Pain—When Will It End?]. I'm also thinking that this same guy has a yard full of other junk he's invented that doesn’t work: like a Rocket Ship to the Moon that has never moved an inch, or a catapult. There's also lots of cars up on blocks and a dog on a chain. But the Time Machine? Totally works! I would like to call this novel "______'s Fuckin' Time Machine!" The blank being some stoner name like "Doober Moynihan," or "Loogey." I wonder if I could get Random House to actually call the books so-and-so's FUCKIN' TIME MACHINE! Somehow I doubt it.

I do owe Random House another novel, and every time I think of writing this one, I am convulsed with laughter. I think I need to sit down with you in [NAME OF TIM'S FAVORITE NEW YORK BAR REDACTED] in early December and sketch out the whole thing in one night.


This idea is brilliant. Doober MacKenzie?

I once asked my own publisher whether calling book #2 Fuck Them All would adversely affect marketing/ distribution/ sales, and his answer, which I construed as not exactly a no, was: "It would sell just as well as any other book with fuck in the title."

I am already at work on "I'm From the Future, Asshole."


Fair enough. Let the best man win. Just so you don't mind me doing the same idea as a novel. Which will take two years to write, a year to publish, a year of book tour. I think I like the title: LOOGEY'S FUCKIN' TIME MACHINE!

My 54-year-old self wants to appear to me to say, Dude. Don't write this.

Jenny Boylan
Author • Professor • Public nuisance


Look for Looger's Fuckin' Time Machine! from Random House Books in 2012.


Note to Kristin, in the unlikely event that you are reading this: If I could go back in time, one of my priorities would totally be to sleep with you that afternoon in Ocean City, despite the fact that it would’ve meant pathetically mooning over you for another year or two at least.

I started to compile a list of Other Girls I Could Have Had Sex With and Would Totally Go Back In Time and Have Sex With If I Could--Jovi on Earth Day 1990, Marcie at Burning Man in 1997, Brooke at Webmaster Dave's first wedding--but once I got to half a dozen it became too much to bear. I am an idiot and regret everything.


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