I live in the same neighborhood as Phil’s brothers.  My embarrassment about this comes from an idea I got into my head when I was a student at the SSTD: Grayson (all of America, actually, perhaps even all of Earth) is separated into two halves.  One half, the real half, is the north side.  That’s where the artists, workers, and minorities live.  Honest people.  The south side is where all the white people with information jobs live.  They are by definition dishonest.  The south side is therefore not real; satellite televisions and hybrid, Bluetooth-wired vehicles work in concert to create the simulacra, occupy the space where reality is supposed to be.  Inside of here, we are all dying.  We don’t even bother to get out.  We don’t know.  I occupy this space, too.

Patrick, your wife recently suggested, very seriously, that you “avoid being masturbatory” during this interview. What did she mean? And how will you avoid it?

I’ve thought a lot about this, Bartholomew, and here’s how I’ll handle it.  First, I’ll no longer refer to “this interview” in order to get out of that self-reflexive, seductive trap that’s only been exacerbated by the internet redefining our methods of communication, and instead I’ll proceed as though the interview itself doesn’t actually exist, which is often how I manage both emotional crises and interviews in the first place, so no problem there.  (ROTFLOL.)  I’ll also use verbal illusions that imply I’m being interviewed by another person.