Jay McInerney Celebrates Chinese New Year and Reads Your Zodiac Sign

Jonathan San talks to Jay McInerney, who brings the bitter, depressed prose of his novels to horoscopes.



You are charismatic and intense. In the spring, despite your daily lotioning ritual, you will struggle against a mysterious case of adult acne. You will join a book club but quit after discovering it’s exclusively devoted to the bibliography-cum-drivel of Bret Easton Ellis.


As a member of the bovine family, you are by definition reticent and foul smelling. At work, you will be promoted but shortly thereafter will be implicated in an inter-office gambling circle that bets on what color panties the receptionist is wearing. Despite never winning, you will be fired. You will draw unemployment for five months and spend it primarily on expensive Argentinian wine and drugs. Your spouse will leave you, but not for anyone else in particular. You’ll see the new Batman movie and will find it underwhelming, although you will appreciate the hand job from your new 24-year-old girlfriend during the end credits.



Some call you petulant. Others call you Harry, Lisa, Boyd, Ashlyn, Ramses, etc. Around the middle of the year, you’ll develop a nickname at work that you won’t like but will be too sheepish to say anything about. At the holiday party, sometime after your eighth gin and tonic, you will loudly address your fellow “minions” and request to be called “El Gigante” despite having no Latin background and being small in stature. Your cocaine dealer will increase his price by 20% and you’ll make a big stink about it and lecture him about the dark side of capitalism but eventually you’ll take the new rate, complacently defeated.


You’ll meet Paul Giamatti at a Long Island winery and he’ll ask if you have any coke on you and you’ll nod your head. He’ll clasp your shoulder, look you in the eye, and compliment you on having a patrician nose. You’ll both laugh, but it will be awkward.


Rash. Prone to crying. Alopecia survivor. One night out, after some nasal exercises in the club’s coat check, you’ll meet a young tattoo artist who will offer you some free ink. Surprised by his generosity and your own spontaneity, you’ll accept. Last time something like this happened was during bicker at Princeton and you still have the bite marks. You’ll emerge not quite baptized by fire, but nonetheless bearing a striking image of a robotic narwhal battling a fleet of mechanized Merpeople.



You are popular on Second Life but the library’s internet connection is terrible, so you’ll buy a dog and two turtles. Inexplicably, the turtles will run away. The dogs will get into your cocaine stash and turn rabid. Investing in that .38 Special would be a wise decision.


Among your friends, you’re the moral compass. Which is strange since your magnetism is lacking. Some people even describe you with a shrug. Shelley at the office will seem interested but you’ll never get past her dancing eyebrows, which behave more like coked up caterpillars than keratin. Having a one-on-one conversation with a woman was never more distracting.



Great things are in store for you this year! Great, not in the positive sense of “good” but more along the lines of “numerous.” Basically, you’ll endure a lot. Get ready for a mugging, three unplanned pregnancies, a career change, the new iPhone, another career change, a disturbing moment at the reptile exhibit at the zoo, and delayed flights. Also, more cocaine.



After another 6 a.m. bender at Heartbreak you’ll purchase some oranges from a Middle Eastern street vendor on the corner of 14th and 8th. Well, he’ll look Middle Eastern but he could be Hispanic. You’ll make a mental note to check if “Hispanic” is still the proper nomenclature or if it’s gone the way of “Oriental.” “Except for rugs,” you’ll whisper to yourself absently. You’ll decide that his mother must be Portuguese and his father Lebanese. As you ruminate on these ever-expanding drug-addled tangents, you’ll begin eating the oranges. One of the oranges will have a tumescent growth at the end. It will taste even sweeter than the rest and better than the best thing you’ve ever had. The juice will run down your chin and you will lick your fingers. But upon returning home, you will have persuaded yourself that you just consumed a malignant fruit and you will be terrified.


Finally, your allergies will give some credence to your constant sniffling.


You’ll run into Ricki, that model you used to hang out with when you worked at the magazine, at the Odeon. Despite a head full of powder and a bass line that could boil water, you’ll notice that she looks different. Shorter hair? But as the music continues you’ll notice the bobbing Adam’s apple and hairy forearms and you will think that her parents were prescient in naming her ambiguously.



You’ll discover diet coke and drop 15 pounds and buy a motorcycle and finally see a sunrise sober and lose 32 friends on Facebook.

Illustrations by Hallie Bateman

Jonathan San lives and works in New York City. He is still terrified of The NeverEnding Story. He tweets.