Enjoy five proses from Gabe Durham in the June issue and then he talks with us about adult diapers, the shame of the body, and the change in you, me, and all of us.
1. What would you like to be in your gift basket when presented with adult diapers?
Candy, cheetoes, colorful fruits, a promotional t-shirt for an upcoming summer sequel. More important than the content itself is that the adult diapers, always in the baskets center, are covered by the other stuff, lest neighbors (their prying eyes ever-prying) discover my shameful—though natural—needs.
2. What choices did you make in childhood by rays of light on this rocking chair you had?
Don’t get me started, Pank! For instance: If the light hits the chair by noon, eat a cookie. Doesn’t hit it by noon: two cookies. Or if my mom says the light flatters my face when I ask her if the light flatters my face, go into male modeling. If she replies with a firm but fair “no way, Jose”Â and only after my tantrum softens her appraisal a little, write little fiction deals and scatter them about the web. If the light really lights up the living room, three cookies. Doesn’t, four cookies. Some combination of light and dark? Mom. We’re out of cookies.
3. If you wanted to be the change you wanted to be, what would the costume look like? How would you make it?
How stressful to be held accountable for my own words like this. The costume would be a meticulous note-for-note recreation of Josh Ritter’s The Animal Years. In the tradition of Beatles cover band The Fab Faux, I wouldn’t worry about dressing up like him, but, youngish slender contemporary sometimes-bearded white guy he is, I might accidentally end up dressing like him anyway. I would “make”Â the costume by taking twice-weekly guitar lessons and then sitting down to memorize the many words to “Thin Blue Flame,”Â the really long one.
4. How do you whip yourself into writing something?
I say, “Time to write another story,”Â then check my email. (ha.) My favorite thing is working on something I’ve already begun, so when there isn’t enough of that stuff around, I remind me that I’ve got to write a first draft to make that happen.
5. How do you shame your body when hungry?
Quietly explain to my body that it’s only grumbling because it’s so accustomed to the regularity with which I feed it. There are some bodies in the world that get used to malnourishment, and mine is bitching because I’m a little late to lunch? Talk about selfish.