Sam Pink is the author, among other books, of two novels, Person (2010) and The No Hellos Diet (2011); a story-collection, Hurt Others (2010); and a collection of aphorism-like things, No One Can Do Anything Worse to You Than You Can (2012). I recommend all these books. Person’s back-cover description: “You see him at the liquor store. You see him at the bus stop, trying to look at you without being seen. Who is he? He is a person.” I remember reading Person without stopping but while moving around. I started on the train, I think, and kept reading while walking ten blocks from Union Square to Think Coffee, where I sat and finished the book before going to the library. If forced to describe Person in five words I would say “emotional, funny, interesting, stimulating, exciting.” You can read an excerpt here. You can read stories from Hurt Others here and here. The following is a Gchat interview. It was edited by deleting ~40 percent of it.
Sam: Hey man.
Sam: I’m finna go invizz.
Sam: It has been done.
Sam: Can there be a ‘bottom line’ segment?
Me: Bottom line, yeah, that sounds good.
Me: When you want to do that just tell me.
Me: And I’ll go right into it.
PART 1: AGE/LOCATION
Me: How old were you when you wrote Person?
Sam: I think 26 to 27.
Sam: Maybe a little 25.
Me: Has your mom read it?
Sam: I’m not sure.
Me: Do you have siblings?
Sam: Yes. Two brothers.
Me: Where are you right now?
Sam: I’m in a living room in Humboldt Park, sitting on the wooden floor with my legs crossed.
Me: You’re in a park, or is ‘Humboldt Park’ like a café or something?
Sam: Humboldt Park is a neighborhood.
Sam: Bottom line: Humboldt Park: a neighborhood, not café.
BOTTOM LINE: “HUMBOLDT PARK: A NEIGHBORHOOD, NOT CAFE”
Me: I see what you mean by ‘bottom line’ now.
Sam: Bottom line: he gets it.
BOTTOM LINE: “HE GETS IT”
Me: When that happens, you just go ahead and type ‘bottom line’: etc. I’ll format it later.
Sam: I hear it spoken in my head when I write it.
Me: Have you done that in some other interview, the ‘bottom line’ thing?
Sam: Not sure
Sam: It feels like I have.
Me: I think you did it in the video thing, the vlog, with Jordan and Noah and them, right?
Sam: Yeah Jordan likes the segments too.
PART 2: MDA
Sam: We took some MDA you sent Jordan.
Sam: I remember being like, “I’m really fucked up.”
Sam: Then having intense hallucinations with my eyes closed.
Me: You looked like a normal functioning human.
Me: Like a mediocre guest on Oprah.
PART 3: HOSTESS FRUIT PIE (1/2)
Me: What sentence do you think of first when you read “what sentence is most memorable of what you’ve written to you”?
Sam: Just imagined myself forcing a ‘Hostess fruit pie’ into my forehead.
Me: While reading that I kept wanting it to say “into your mouth.”
Sam: Not sure. I read one while working on something the other day and I thought that.
Me: Can you try to remember it?
Me: Or any part of it?
Sam: I can’t remember the exact sentence I thought that about, but I remember a lesser one about someone headbutting a cat and the sound it makes when the foreheads hit.
Sam: And the person saying “hyuhh” as they did it.
Me: Nice. So someone headbutts a cat in the cat’s head?