The first time I interacted with Justin Taylor in real life was at a reading at NYU sometime in 2010. I don't remember what reading it was, maybe Jonathan Lethem. I remember I went to the reading alone and arrived twenty to thirty minutes early. I was the first one there. An old lady came in and smiled at me sympathetically.

After the reading I saw Matthew Rohrer, my former professor, talking to a person with glasses and a beard. I walked to them and stood there until Matthew Rohrer acknowledged me. He introduced me to Justin Taylor and said "Justin did this." He handed me Justin's book of short stories and I held it briefly, looked at the back cover once or twice, then handed it back to Matthew. I said "oh, wow" in an abrupt and unthinking manner. Matthew looked at Justin and said "Andrew is, uh...a poet." We stood in a corner and talked about Rain by Jon Woodward, Tao Lin's Twitter account, and other things related to those things. Justin said he had lived with Tao at one point and I remember thinking he was lying.


The second time I interacted with Justin Taylor in real life was at an NYU alumni reading featuring Tao Lin and two other people. I arrived early and sat alone waiting for the reading to happen. Tao sat next to me at one point and we talked briefly. Justin Taylor came and sat next to Tao. I said hello to Justin then reminded him we had met a few weeks earlier through Matthew Rohrer. He remembered me after I said that and we shook hands gingerly.

After the reading we went to a bar. This was during the Winter Olympics and the TVs in the bar were silently replaying that thing where the luger crashed and died during warm-ups. Earlier that day the New York Times had positively reviewed Justin's book of short stories and I remember Justin said he was "glowing" or "pumped," or something, because of the review. He sarcastically made fun of a girl we were with for not hanging out with him more often. I remember I ordered a coffee and the coffee tasted like soap. Justin had a beer, I think. He said something about Donald Barthelme and I replied in a way that assumed Donald Barthelme was alive. Justin told me Donald Barthelme was dead.


The third time I interacted with Justin Taylor in real life was several months later at a party hosted by Zachary German and Jamie Sterns. I remember feeling pretty drunk. I walked to Justin and stood in front of him for a moment. I said hello. He looked at me and said hello in a way that suggested he didn't know who I was. I stood there for another moment then walked away.


The fourth time I interacted with Justin Taylor in real life was at an art gallery in Brooklyn. Tao Lin had art on display. Justin Taylor was there when I arrived. I remember feeling very social. I remember sitting in a small room with a low ceiling that had a spinning light sculpture in the middle of it. I sat in this room with Justin, Tao, and David Fishkind. The person who made the sculpture came and sat with us at one point and I said something sarcastic about the sculpture while maintaining a serious facial expression. Justin laughed. The guy who made the sculpture responded to what I said in a manner that indicated he didn't realize I was being sarcastic, unless he was also being sarcastic and I didn't realize it.

Later I was on the roof of the art gallery where there was a grill, a trampoline, and some uncooked food. I stood around the grill with Justin, Tao, David, and some other people. I said I would cook the uncooked food if people wanted to eat it. Nearly everyone expressed interest in this. I put several hotdogs on the grill. I told Justin that I enjoyed something he posted on HTMLGIANT and we talked about the thing he posted. I'm not sure if he knew who I was or not. I gave him a hot dog. David put an uncooked piece of chicken on the grill, but got tired of waiting for it and tried to eat it raw. I told him not to eat the raw piece of chicken and he threw it on the ground and ran away. Justin told him to "settle down" in the same way my dad told me to "settle down" once when I was too drunk at a Mexican restaurant in Colorado.