She was going to swallow them all. All of them. All of their plump fingers (one by one), and rosy noses. All of their smooth bellies. She would suck out their eyes and grilled their tongues. She would keep the teeth for her potions (and maybe one or two to decorate herself), and give the fat to the dogs. The cat might get a bit or two as well, poor thing only gets mice and rats on best days. She would make a giant feast, and she would love their fear. Blood would be drained and flesh would be cooked, and their hearts, oh their hearts, would keep her young and powerful. They would come, she knew. They always did. After all, children can never resists candies and gingerbread.
"I went to the bookstore yesterday. You weren’t there". No, you see. I had to leave, I had to hide. The words were too heavy for me, and I was already deep in the mud to my knees. All scratched and bloodied from knocking on rocks so easily. Their steadfastness scaring me. It would not do to drown in words. It would not do to let them swallow me. I fled through the gardens, and down to the lake. Water has it own heaviness, but at least I can float on it. I can keep my head above it, and let it carry me without sinking. But then, it would not do to drown in there either. It wouldn’t do at all.
Her name was August and I had loved her since we were kids. She had loved me too, I think, for a while. Until she found the sky and the stars and the infinity that lived inside of her. Then, she only loved her galaxies, nebulae, flights of wonder and fire, comets that burned your skin, and moons like silver dust on your tongue. Locked constellations. And me, well, I could only live like a gnome stuck between the roots of a tree.
You ask me if I am broken. I say no. You see, I keep glue, and twine and glitter, as well as a small portable soldering iron (for the really bad occasions), and, although as a last resort since it really doesn’t look as nice, a stapler, in a pocket near my heart. I use them on cracks and crevices, any holes that show up. I decorate them, and draw outside the lines, I paste colorful paper, and stick crystals and glass everywhere. They shine when I do. I am not broken. I am different and new and made up of collaged pieces, and entirely renewable, always.
This feels like a big drinking record. What's your poison?
Oh, just Franzia blush wine, from about 10:30 a.m. onward. But I should mention that I am taking your definition of poison literally.
Your lyrics often make me feel as if I need to go back to college and pick up a few extra degrees. Do you write with a stack of encyclopedias at your side or do all these things just come out of your head?
Well, I write with a stack of encyclopedias at my side, but, to be fair, I need something to set my box of Franzia on.
I’m afraid that if I wrote a ghost story, you would bleed into it. And from the rafters over my bed, the ghoulish mist of the river would creep and crawl. There would be no boat to cross over the great divide of the night, and I would die a bit between the letters, to see you haunt another one but me.
What do you like about reading? Is it a form of escapism for you?
That’s so hard to explain! I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember (when I didn’t know how to read, I loved being read to, and holding the books in my hands and turning the pages when I was told to). I never really asked myself why. It just is.
It’s like trying to explain why you like cheese, but not shrimps, and why you prefer your toasts almost black. Or why you prefer staying up at night and waking up late, or why your favorite color is orange.
But it’s more than that as well. It’s escapism, yes, definitely. But also, just, a way of life. I cannot imagine what life would be without the stories and the words and the letters all stringed up together to create worlds and characters, filling my head and my heart and my chest until it feels like there won’t be any space for more, and then realizing that it’s, in fact, ever expending, because really, you can never have too many stories inside of you.
Reading is a gateway, a gateway to stories, to truths, to lies and wonders, to pain and joy, and an invisible thread that links you to these imaginary places, but also to the writers and the tellers and the other readers in this time and in others. Stories is what makes us different, what binds us in this world while allowing us to travel others.
Of course there are many ways to access stories, all legitimate (movies, and music, and dance, and storytelling, and theater, etc.) reading just happens to be the gateway I prefer to use. There is a kind of wonder in looking at all those shapes that, through tradition and history and learning, have come to represent sounds and then words and then sentences and then universes for you to jump in and relish and ride in and out of. It’s quite amazing, in fact.
What is the one moment you would never forget with your lover? :) a cute moment.
Oh I have dozens of those. Dozens. Back in February of this year, I had a major life crisis on what I wanted to do. I completely collapse and was crying and didn’t know what to do with myself and kept repeating that I would never be able to do what I really wanted to do and wasn’t good enough, and why couldn’t I be better? How was I ever going to be able to be an artist? He didn’t try to tell me otherwise or anything, just asked me what I needed. He took me to the city and bought me an awesome drawing table as an early birthday present. He helped me put it up in the spare room, and told me that now I would have a space to do what I wanted to do if I wanted. He also took me out for gluten-free pizza. And didn’t mind spending time in the Toys R Us with me. It just was so sweet. He never tried to convince me of anything, because he knew that if I didn’t believe it myself his words would mean nothing. He just let me calm myself and showed me that there might be a way, if i wanted to take it. But mostly, it was about letting me know that he would always be there for me. It meant a lot.
Also, even before we started going out, he would always come with me for ice cream and remember what was my favorite. And he kept the ticket stub of the movie we saw the night we started going out.