1. What's your actual day job and what's your dream day job?
I’m a part-time performer (music, poetry, comedy), part-time youth mentor (performing/creative arts), and a part-time manager at a used bookstore. Pretty much a retail grunt that gets to do some cool stuff on the side. All in all, not a bad lot.
My dream jobs have always been English Lit Teacher (corny, I know, but I’m a masochist) and Magician/Comedian/Clown, sort of like The Amazing Johnathan but without all the rampant later-in-life drug binges (also corny, sure, but also, I suppose, because I’m a masochist).
2. What keeps you up at night?
I don’t know, I guess the muffled screams I hold inside as I lie there, wondering if death will sweep in during the night and take me while I slumber, like an idiot, oblivious to the reaper’s touch?
That or the sound of my ceiling fan. It makes this weird noise that sounds like a kid with metal teeth trying to tell me something in a language I can’t understand; I like the cool air while I sleep, though, so I leave it on.
3. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
Well, I’m definitely not one of those sickos who’d choose invisibility, so I’d have to say invulnerability or, more specifically, immortality — so I could watch all other life eventually grind to a halt as the stars flicker out and see the heat death of the universe as it brings me, eventually, the peace of infinite quiet.
AHEM, I mean, flight, right? Everybody wants to fly.
4. You can curse your nemesis with a minor annoyance for eternity; what do you choose?
Ohhh, this is a good one and I have an UNHEALTHY amount of ideas, but the one I’m going to settle on here is…
Any time they press the button to unlock their car door, they accidentally press the button to lock it right as they’re about to pull the handle, so it doesn’t open — their hand yanks from the handle all stupid like and it hurts a little. (Ed. note: the specificity and relative innocuousness of this is oddly soothing.)
5. What experience do you most want to cross off your bucket list?
I want to take a photo flipping the bird to all dated, racist, and imperialist monuments in the US.
I’ve got about half a dozen under my belt, including the Washington Monument, the IMF, and the White House (and let me tell you, LOTS of the people walking by did NOT like what I was doing with my trip to DC, lol).
what I was doing with my trip to DC, lol).
6. What's the most useful piece of advice you've ever received?
I didn’t receive it directly, but I got a lot of great advice from the books I read. Something that has long remained at the forefront of my mind, though, is the sentiment from Kurt Vonnegut:
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
7. What is a surprising fact about you?
I don’t know, hmm, that I’m 37 years old, maybe? Most people don’t think I look as old as I am and, while that feels like it should always be a good thing, it’s sometimes kind of annoying! Ha!
It’s also strange to look at myself in the mirror and know I’m closer to the natural end of my life than I might appear to be. I guess it’s difficult to think of what about me is surprising, since I’m kind of frighteningly transparent, lol.
8. Clear up a misconception (about your job, where you are from, some other topic you know a lot about).
I’m a huge advocate for comics and poetry, so a misconception shared by the two that I often find myself positioned against is that they are narrow mediums; that comics are all superheroes and kid stuff, that poetry is either stuffy and academic or nothing more than unsuccessfully-pithy Instagram posts —
Both so varied and wide and sweeping that I believe everyone can connect to something in those mediums, if they’re just introduced to it. Comics are everything from drama to sci-fi, memoir to journalism, comedy to educational. Poetry is as diverse as language and can be found everywhere: in the songs we love and, probably, in the notebooks of your friends that keep their notebooks hidden.
I’m all over social media and way more active on the internet than I probably should be, but I’m @smokerbuddy (Instagram and Twitter), MondernLit on YouTube, and Melchor Sahagun III (Facebook). I post performances and original work, info for events I host, radical left observations about the state of our country, and lots of jokes that I hope are funny.
Find me, friend me, let me annoy you, whatever works!