The last The Street Savage

I originally couldn’t think of a subject for my very last interview, so I thought I’d have the people make up their own subject. I interviewed my friend Brian Miller first and thought it’d be much more fun if he helped do the interviewing.

I originally couldn’t think of a subject for my very last interview, so I thought I’d have the people make up their own subject. I interviewed my friend Brian Miller first and thought it’d be much more fun if he helped do the interviewing.

Brian Miller

I want to interview you.Well, that’ll cost you a cigarette.

One moment, please…here you go. What do you think I should interview you about?You don’t have a topic.

No. What do you think the topic should be?How about…rape experiences.

No, I can’t do that, because people get really mad.Can it be something sexual?

It can be sexual, just not about rape. You don’t want to incriminate people, I guess.

Well, people don’t like that kind of thing. Gimme another topic. How about people’s favorite books?

OK, tell me about your favorite book. I pick Suttree by Cormac McCarthy…

[we come to a crosswalk] Which way do you want to go? This way…we’re going to my apartment…and it’s about a guy…

It’s usually about a guy or a girl. It’s about a guy named Suttree who leaves his rich family and his college education for a boat on the river. And he hangs out with a lot of drunks and he drinks a lot himself and he has many adventures and he falls in love with a virgin and then he falls in love with a whore. The virgin dies and the whore goes crazy and kicks out the windshield of a car.

Was it his car? No, well, I don’t remember if…I think they just found a car and sat in it…no, it was probably his car…so he goes…um…into the mountains one time and he goes in there for months and he doesn’t eat any food and then he comes…he goes crazy, sort of, and then he comes back…

Sounds like a Jesus reference. Yeah, it is. There are a lot of religious references in Cormac McCarthy’s stuff. It’s a really awesome, awesome book! Probably not as many people read it, because it’s really long and it’s not as violent as his other books, but it might actually be my favorite of his books, it’s so awesome.

But is it fantastic? It’s fantastic. It’s as good as Blood Meridian, even though it’s not as violent. But it doesn’t have “The Gimp” like in Blood Meridian. It’s got some pretty fucked up people, it’s just as weird and surreal as Blood Meridian. And he wasn’t a Gimp, he was just a fool and he rubbed poop on himself. Have you ever had Crepe Suzette?

No, I haven’t. But Cormac McCarthy spent 20 years writing it.

Why is it that I was interviewing you? I’ve got character. I’ve got face, I got all the right moves to make it to the top, and I don’t care who I step on, I’m going up that ladder and I ain’t gonna come down that chute. I’m a heavy, heavy motherfucker and I’ve got spirit. I’m hard, my music is out of control–it’s unstoppable.

If your soul was a refrigerator what would be in it? I don’t even stop to think about it, I got too much to do. I need fast food, like McDonald’s drive-thru. I need 29-cent hamburgers.

Brian and I interviewing Anonymous 1

B: What’s your favorite book or what’s a book that changed your life, or what’s a book you really like and you wanna get the word out? OK, any like old or new…?

B: Preferably old, because anything new sucks. Let me think about it for a minute…is it on?

TS: Yeah. Well, the book that I read about a year ago…OK, there’s two books, one that I started about three years ago and read about 80 pages of like 600 and stopped and finished it about a year ago. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, and I don’t think that it really necessarily changed my life in a strong way. But it, umm…just the cynical humor, like great use of his past mixed with original ideas and it was an awesome book. The other one is called umm…Geek Love…I don’t remember the author.

B: A Portland author! [we all try to remember Katherine Dunn’s name] That book had awesome imagery, like I was just amazed by that book.

TS: Well, because it’s about deformed people. It’s about a circus family that experiments with different drugs to create deformed children as circus freaks. But it’s not…it’s not de-…uh…it’s not mean, the parents love the children and the children love the parents. It’s like a wonderful family of freaks.

TS: What’s wonderful about freaks? People look at freaks and they judge them instantly, for being different and like scary. And they’re just people and they’re wonderful.

TS: Well, maybe they think the gods made them that way as punishment for misdeeds in a previous life. Yeah, I think the real scary people are the ones that look like everybody else. Those are the scary people, those are the ones that you want to avoid. The Brads in their beamers.

B: I think I should point out that there’s a lot of danger in drugs to experiment to make freak children. I mean, they could be born dead, or you know…Yeah, the reality is a bit twisted. I definitely wouldn’t promote that in real life.

B: Even if you’re medically normal, you could make yourself into a freak if you want to be.

TS: Like how?

B: Like what Tage’s done. By experimenting on your own with drugs.

B: Some people would think you’re a freak for having long hair!

TS: I haven’t gotten any comments. I like my hair just like the characters in Geek Love like their deformities.

B: It looks pretty good since you’ve layered it.

Anonymous 2 and 3

B: Books! Your favorite books or a book that’s changed your life, a book you’d like to recommend. A2 [Anonymous 3’s name]: Books?

B: What is this book? A3: Lemme think, my favorite book or a book that’s changed my life?

B: Maybe it’s something you’d like to recommend. It could be anything nonfiction, it could be the dictionary or the encyclopedia. A2: I like to read encyclopedic dictionaries, they have pictures.

A3: Probably like, uh…The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

B: Dude! I’ve read that book! That’s a good book. A3: There’s two different versions of it…uh…the one that was originally published, and there’s also the one that he originally wanted to release.

B: I didn’t know that. [Brian starts jumping around] A3: The main difference is that one of them has a different story about what happens when he goes back to Earth. Like, one’s darker and one’s a little bit more happy. Umm…I think what’s really cool about that was like, I was reading it for a space/sci-fi sort of intent, but at the end of the book they’re fighting basically with sticks and rocks, because they have like these force fields that are like dampening fields that uh…

B: [still antsy-ing around] Kind of like in Dune. OK, right, like they’re wearing those shields where they gotta use the knives.

B: It reflects the fast rapier, but it admits the slow kin-ja! [makes stabbing motion toward me]

T: What’s a kin-ja?

B: A short stabbing dagger, slightly curved!

TS: Do you own a short stabbing blade like in Dune? A3: No, I do not own a short stabbing dagger.

B: If we become a war-like society using shields we will! A3: I might.A2: I think everybody should read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Just so that they know that side of reality.

B: A man in the depths of an ether binge is a dangerous thing. A2: I’m sure you guys are familiar with that sort of experience.

B: I’ve never done ether. Maybe at the dentist, I guess. It sure felt good…besides having my teeth pulled out…it felt good! A3: Maybe the reason why it changed my life was that it was just the fact that it was really unexpected, I was hoping for like sci-fi and I got kind of like weird sort of…

B: It’s kind of an allegory for Vietnam. A3: Yeah.

B: The plot was like…A3: He gets drafted.

B: Yeah, they put you in like a younger body so you can keep fighting. Are they fighting insects or am I confusing that with something else? A3: Maybe that was Ender’s Game.

B: It’s kind of like something Heinlein wrote. Like Starship Troopers for the Vietnam era but better!