Scott McClanahan, author of Hill William and Crapalachia, speaks to Juliet Escoria about her new book, Black Cloud, making music videos for short stories and whether attractiveness can skew your world view
Scott & Juliet!
If you were Julio’s plaything you would be home by now
My down stairs neighbor screams at her lover late at night.
These scenes are bilingual and take place over the phone
“Julio! Julio I am not your fucking plaything!!!!
Following her tirade in English/ Spanish on the phone about not being his plaything, Julio arrives. They have loud, short sex with all the windows open. This happens several times a week.
She is in every way Julio’s plaything.
I think about stopping her on the stairs
I could say to her
"I notice that when you call Julio and yell at him that you are not his plaything
you end up having loud sex with the windows open- from a logical stand point it
seems that you are his plaything.”
The anger excites her.
The apartment complex we live in is vast, with a maze of stairs coming and going in all directions. It is like living in an M.C Escher picture.
In order to reach my apartment from the street I must walk up 117 stairs. There is a steep flight of stairs, a landing, a covered stairwell, another steep flight, than down again! My apartment is on the top floor. My eye drifts up and I contemplate the high window that belongs to me.
I face the remaining flights of stairs with a pragmatic eye. I think
"If I were Julio’s plaything I would be home by now."
This is merely a passing thought. Julio’s plaything’s apartment is sandwiched between two apartments, mine above, and one below. All of her windows face a building and provide no light.
Faded nursery decals stuck to the windows contribute to the air of misery that hangs in the air outside her door. The tiles outside are grimy- there are countless bags of trash. To walk through that smell everyday- into a grim landing apartment!
Oh Julio’s plaything you are so sloppy and gross.
I live in the unit above her. I can see the tops of trees, and, in the distance the Ocean. At night a sliver of moon shines through the small square window over my bed. In the morning the sun rises and it illuminates my entire my entire being.
No! I do not covet Julio’s plaything’s apartment. It is a grim sealed in landing.
I sail up the last nine flights of stairs without even losing my breath.