Dana Diehl’s lovely piece, “When The Water Leaves Us,” is a great read for your Wednesday, for any day. Below Dana provides all the answers.
1. How would you improve Kevin Costner’s Waterworld?
More releasing of Krakens. Put Alan Rickman in it, playing himself. Oh, and make it 3D. Iâ€™ve never actually seen Waterworld, so Iâ€™m basing my answer on the trailer and a Youtube clip of Kevin Costner â€˜s character avenging a tiny fruit tree (Is that right? Thatâ€™s really what it looks like he was doing).
2. What’s with all this cancer in literary fiction?
Cancer is mysterious. Itâ€™s part of us, but at the same time itâ€™s not-us. Sometimes doctors can map itâ€”its source, its destination, its boundariesâ€”but sometimes they canâ€™t. I believe we write toward that mystery, to fill that unmapped, invisible space.
Also, cancer is a fear that everyone can relate to. Even if we donâ€™t experience it directly, we know it in some sense. I think the familiarity of cancer coupled with the mystery makes it attractive to writers. It gives them a question, and it provides their characters with a catalyst.
3. What boundaries would you cross if you knew your time left was limited?
Probably oceans, rivers, mountains. All of the geographical boundaries. Iâ€™d find a way to visit the moon. Iâ€™d eat fugu, that lethally poisonous pufferfish served in Japanese restaurants. In museums, Iâ€™d cross the yellow tape to touch the dinosaur bones.
4. Where would you hide the body?
I think Dexter has it right. Hide it off the coast of Florida, in deep water. Maybe in two thousand years Kevin Costner will discover the remains and there will be a Waterworld II. I would definitely see that.
5. How is a relationship contained in a house?
In my story, the house is important because it provides April and Ashtonâ€™s relationship with boundaries. They canâ€™t set boundaries themselvesâ€”there are too many unknowns. So they allow the physical space to create a sense of constancy and control for them.
But I donâ€™t think that a house just contains a relationship. I think that it can also become the relationship. When we share a space with someone for long enough, we project the relationship into the furniture and walls and nooks and crannies. Eventually, the two are inseparable. You can feel it when you return to your parentâ€™s house, right? It just feels like your childhood. Or when you visit a friendâ€™s house and somehow feel out of place. A house can give a relationship physical formâ€”which is kind of scary, if you think about it.
6. When won’t you say “I love you” back?
If I sense my answer is important, but saying â€œI love youâ€ wouldnâ€™t be the truth.
Iâ€™m not as cool as April, though. Iâ€™ll almost always say it back.