I kept waiting for someone to notice the dots–to ask why, online, a lot of times the dots on my book are yellow but on the actual physical book they’re orange. Also, the author photo, I thought someone might ask about the background, because it has striking green and white stripes. I wanted to be able to say that it was at a park in Philadelphia, that my friend, Chris Ward, was taking pictures of me in nature, with trees, and then I saw the striped shed and asked about it. I figured he would say that it was a bad idea but he also liked the idea.
These are funny things to be stuck on, I know, and it might seem I’m not being serious, but I am. Another thing, though, that is more serious, people often ask me about the title story–where I write about traveling to soup kitchens and about poverty–having read in interviews that that story, unlike the others, is for the most part non-fiction. People ask about that, how it relates to the rest of the book, but I find myself wanting to talk more about that trip on a personal level. I think about that trip a lot, but I’m not, I wouldn’t say, a public person or someone involved in social causes, so I haven’t really talked about that trip.
You could try now?
Maybe another time, when someone who is not me is actually interviewing me and would be able to help draw out what I’m trying to say. Also my head is spinning right now with the election. I seem to want to use this forum, right here and now, to express a variety of my viewpoints on politics, and I keep erasing everything I type. It just doesn’t seem the right venue.
Actually, I’m seeing some of the danger of a self interview, in that no one is actually going to push me to talk about the book.
You could try now?
I could but I need to wake my baby up from a nap or else he is never going to sleep tonight. It’s perverse, I need to wake him up from almost all his naps. It’s playing the long game, as they say. I’m also really tired. I tore out of bed this morning at 5:50 am to try to confront the honker. Someone honks outside my house around that time several mornings a week. I just moved here from New York City, and I did not move from NYC only to encounter a honker. I want to nip it in the bud, explain about the baby, how he wakes me, and then how the honking wakes me. I want to suggest that he text whoever he is trying to reach with the honking, but when I tore out my front door, there was nothing, simply a quiet street. It was actually a beautiful morning to be up so early. NYC has filled me with a variety of slow burns, but the honking when you are picking someone up… that’s pretty high on the list.
SARA MAJKA is the author of Cities I’ve Never Lived In, and her stories have appeared in A Public Space, PEN America, Gettysburg Review, and Guernica. A former fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Photo credit: Chris Ward