Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.
Who: Jim Walls
Where: Philadelphia, USA
Hi. Who are you?
Hi. I'm Jim.
Where are you from?
I'm "from" a small town in Delaware called Milford. But now I live in Philadelphia. Philly is cute and trashy and I love it.
What time is it where you are? What's going on?
It's 8:47pm on a Monday. I was thinking about trying to hang out with this guy I maybe like, but I ended up staying in and drinking beer alone because that's more on-brand for Monday nights. I just watched the season premiere of a tv show I used to enjoy (The Walking Dead). I keep telling myself I'm over it and only watching to see them all die, but honestly I still care.
Can you tell us a bit about your piece/pieces in Cassette 89?
Earlier this year I was blitzed depressed. One day I went jogging through a cemetery while listening to "No Surrender" by Bruce Springsteen, which felt stupid and pointless, and then I wrote this story. I wrote it because I wanted to write something funny. I think my story in Cassette 89 will appeal to asexual fans of vegan Chinese food. And I think people who get horny at art museums might like it too.
How does it differ to what you've written before or doesn't it?
My story in Cassette 89 is about fictional people in a fictional city inspired by Philadelphia. But everything I've written before has been about gay people living in the middle of nowhere (and horror stories). I purposefully avoid writing about gay people in the city, even though that would be most relevant to my current lifestyle, because it's boring. Or at least, what I think is boring is the middle/upper class gay white male narrative that tends to monopolize the public imagination of what it means to be gay in America in 2016. But anyways, I don't think my story in Cassette 89 is about any of those things.
Can you tell us a bit about what you're working on next or will that jinx it?
I actually am worried about jinxing it, because it's my first attempt at writing a novel-length piece. Right now it's a bunch of notes and fragments of chapters spread across my notebook, Word documents, Gmail drafts, iPhone notes, and sticky notes. I'm excited. I think about it all the time. Themes include: haunted houses, Alzheimer's patient care, dead childhood friends, gay sex.
Do you ever still listen to real audio cassette tapes like some kind of unreconstructed hipster of five years ago? Great question, huh?
Tapes were pretty much dead by the time I was old enough to have my own taste in music (Eiffel 65). I do have tapes though. I think they're nice as a little object you pop in and press play, but owning any physical media is starting to feel like a waste of money and space. I listen to and watch things online, and I borrow most of my books from the library.
Can you swim?
I'm a great swimmer.
Jim is featured in the upcoming sampler Cassette 89 available from Dostoyevsky Wannabe