Robert Anthony Siegel’s fiction appears in the July issue and he talks with us about house bands and intro music, corset making, and the mistakes we marry.
1. Who would be your house band on your late night talk show? Â What would your intro music sound like?
I’d go back in time and get Theolonius Monk to lead a band for me–The music would be that wildly smart thing he did, tilted and full of spaces everywhere you don’t expect them, with the melody bent in the wrong direction. And I’d come out and sit down and he’d just keep playing, and there would be no need to say anything. The guests would be celebrities like Dr. Johnson and Keats and Bruno Schulz and we would just sit and listen together.
2. What would you make a corset out of?
The wearer makes the corset, of course.
3. What mistake would you marry? Â How would you divorce it?
Writing is of course the great mistake that writers marry. I think it becomes a sort of sustaining affliction—invisible eyeglasses that really hurt, but you still need them to see. I’ve only recently begun to wonder what a divorce might look like, or what Nevada of the mind I might go to in order to get one.
4. What number would you assign to the person you fall in love with?
One of the wonderful things about marriage is that your spouse is there when you wake up and there when you go to sleep—the first and last person you see, with just a dream in between. So I’d have to assign my wife Karen infinity—or should I write that a-z ?
5. What would you sign away to apologize to someone?
The temptation is always to sign away everything, to put your life in the other person’s hands in order to wipe the past clean, but I can tell you that that’s a really bad idea for both parties. You can’t sell away your regret.