In which we are given a rare opportunity to speak directly to one of the Slutty Teenage Hobo Vampire Junkies!
We tracked him down, sitting crosslegged on a grass median next to some cops who were going to arrest him for walking up to a Taco Bell drive thru window. He managed to answer a couple questions about the new book he’s in, that he wasn’t actually aware of till I mentioned it and flashed a copy in front of his handcuffed little self. Here are his responses -- what little I could manage to pry loose in the few moments before the cops released him and he ran off into the night.
G: So what do you think of being immortalized in print?
M: Oh I’ve been immortalized already, it’s nothing. I wish I could read but my mind wanders. That’s why I prefer magazines, or Merit Bronze 100s.
G: How many cigarettes do you smoke in a day?
M: What do you mean by ‘day’? Like when the sun is up, or from when I wake up to when I go to sleep? These are hard things to tell. 8? 15? 20? 62? Do half cigs count? A lot I throw away when they go out ‘cause I flick them so hard in my fingers. Look at that one there, [points chin to the pavement in front of him] most people would light that thing right up again, but not me. The smell of wet cigs make me homesick like I’m gonna barf.
G: Did you get to eat your Chalupas? Did the cops take your bag away?
M: Naw man, I didn’t even get my frickin food! I don’t have a car. What are us jerks supposed to do when it’s late and the front part of the Taco Bell is closed?
G: Here’s some water. They told me to give it to you.
M: My shins hurt.
G: Murphee, let’s talk books. What’s the best thing you read recently?
M: Like, this year?
M: That Natas spread in Thrasher is awesome. It’s from 1986, but it still seems new to me ‘cause I’ve never forgotten it. He’s an artiste. A shredder of the highest order. I read from the stack of MaximumRock'nRolls at the Free Clinic, but that’s just for my own personal amusement. I take a pen and cross out words till their reviews make sense. I laugh and laugh! Pieces of work. S.F. sucks.
[Nearby, a dog breaks its leash free from its owners grip and charges at Murph.]
M: Hey whoa whoa!
[He goes pale and tries to wriggle away. I try to block it with my leg as the owner runs up and yanks it back.]
G: Got it?
M: Jeez. [after a pause] I hate you!
G: What’s wrong with dogs?
M: I hate lack of boundaries! They’re still just animals! [turning to me, wild-eyed] So what else do you want to know? What kind of cars I like to sleep in? ‘Cause the answer is Fleetwood, Roadmaster, Cutlass. In that order.
G: How about that girl?
M: What girl?
G: The one you were with. The one with the shirtwaist dress and zip-up sweatshirt on under her apron?
M: Who? No clue man no clue.
[Murph stares at me, his eyebrows raised expectantly. I realize after a moment he’s working his hands around and around behind him in their shackles – watching for the cop who’ll walk up behind me to come unlock him.]