preface: I asked some friends “If you could ask your partner anything at all, that you don’t know the answer to, what would it be?”. The questions in this interview are the responses to that question, mixed with my own. A special thanks to: Abbey Gunn, Leslie Burnette, Rebecca Finkel, Carrie Yotter, Bobby Wigham, Tim Scammel, Anastasia Renzetti, Julia Koral, Emily Wilcher, Lydia Mandell, Roman Salcic, Nina Venice and Bobby Gonzales. xo
a brief intro: Billy Dufala and I have been dating for over 2 yrs. I’ve had a crush on him since like 2007. You wouldn’t think after meeting us or after this long of dating, that it would be hard to ask him questions that I’ve never asked before, but… it was hard for me. I look up to Billy as an artist, he’s a really good human, and he’s weird (which makes him that much better). I have my reasons for not wanting to shake the boat, I adore him. I have to say, this was a pretty interesting relationship challenge, haha. (I’m much more ballsy now, lookout!) So, for all my human insecurities, and wanting to turn them into securities (hahaha), I asked Billy to get drunk with me while I asked lots of questions that I didn’t know the answers to. He agreed, here goes…
1. ME: do you think flowers hug each other when no one is looking?
2. me: have you ever felt like giving up on us?
-us? like me and you?
-umm, god, put me on the spot, YEAH.
me: ok, if so, what made you stick around or change your mind?
-umm, the things that made me stay in the relationship are … I guess um, how I don’t think I’ve ever met someone like you. as far as, uhm, I guess truly like, unlike any other human being I have ever hung out with or been with er, been around. I guess, there’s been so many things that I see that are a part of your visual language and part of your agreement with life, maybe. … the way that you take things on and the way that you accept things and the way that you position yourself is unique in it’s acceptance in how the world works. granted, you get pissed at certain things, but I think overall, your ability to be game for what life deals you is pretty level headed and, uh, and .. inspiring, because it doesn’t … I kinda wanna go in a couple different directions, but … yer .. the things that you’re good at, that you don’t necessarily think that you’re good at, are amazing. and I want to see you recognize the things that you’re good at, and use them to your advantage, or be able to develop them further to the point where you’re able to express yourself more freely and confidently, and I guess it’s the excitement of seeing you take steps in the direction of your aspirations and wanting to be able to help or at least just be there when they’re met, and the excitement of that. …
me: ok, um, we’re getting off topic
-yeah, are we?
me: yeah, we are. (getting a little insecure)
3. me: I got this question numerous times... um, will you marry me? and would you marry me?
-what the fuck is that?
me: (smiling uncomfortably)
-that’s some bullshit right there, that’s like. …
me: noooo, it’s based off of the question that I asked my friends. ..
-ok, I’ll say this, yes and no and MAYBE, how bout that?
me: perfect (moving on)
me: can you be the one that takes out the trash from now on?
me: would you do anything for me?
-sure, anything you want
me: wow! ok.
-wait, to another state?
me: (laughing, sorta uncomfortably, but totally like duh)
me: name the top 3 or 5 things that you’re lucky for?
-I have been given the ability to look at things differently...then… or I should say, I’ve been given the ability to look at things in a way that’s unlike a vast amount of folks, ugh, that just sounds so stupid.
me: it only sounds stupid because you’re thinking about what it sounds like.
-I... uhh… what was the question again?
me: why do you think you’re lucky?
-I feel lucky in my ability to think freely and do things with my hands and body, which is make things and play instruments and perform, ummm….… I’ve been able to accomplish so many things that others would only dream of. … I have access to such an incredible community in so many facets, whether it’s music, visual arts, er, you know, whatever creative community. ..and that I have an apartment to go back to, and running water and electricity and a computer.
me: (swig of whiskey, and a little nose laugh)
me: how can I treat you better?
-by treating yourself better
me: what’s the most annoying thing that I do?
-not treating yourself as good as you treat me.
me: when have I embarrassed you?
-…………….uhm, when you were talking about slaughtering a cow, um when we were surrounded by hindu folks.
me: (smiling-embarrassed) when was that? (totally thinking he made it up)
-(laughing) recently, just this weekend.
me: um, what song do you wish was written about you?... so I never embarrassed you?
-um, I honestly can’t think of anything babe, I just remember, it was awkward, not embarrassing, it’s just awkward, … there’s never been a point where I was like ‘ugh, babe’.. but there was that woman that was in earshot in her garb and another that was in wrap,
-at the Himalayan Institute, you were talking about butchering a cow or putting more meat in a freezer,
me: OH MY GAWD, I didn’t even know this happened.
-I know you didn’t know, because it’s insignificant, but I remember looking over and seeing one of the women look at us and I was like ‘uhhh’, but you know it’s cause the cow is a sacred animal in their religion…and you were talking about the convenience of storing more of the butchered cow.
me: uh, yeah …
-but you know, you’ve never really gotten to the point where I’ve been like …
me: well that sounds like one
-whatever, no, because you stopped it
me: how? I don’t remember stopping it, ewwww, that’s uncomfortable
me: who is the most influential in music?
-Phil Collins and in part because he kinda looks like my Dad, but he’s British, so he doesn’t sound like my Dad at all, and let’s say Phil Collins the musician not the video artist, although I would have loved to have danced around with Palestinian teenagers for a 7 hour long discotech dance marathon.
me: Who’s the most influential person in your life? Life influence is like how you, you know, like, who influences you every single day in the choices that you make? your mom? your brothers?... the old man that used to live next to you? i don’t know, nobody? you as a younger child? your past self? your future self? who you want to be, is influencing everything that you do now?
-yah, I think that if anything at all even comes close, this is a harder one. … I have to think about it, but, I mean… if you want to go back, part of it goes back to the muse, who is probably Mom, along with … life goal / life influence, probably it’s the really like, really really vivid (burp) and irrefutable example given to me throughout childhood and into my adult life of, whatever it is that you truly want you have to work your ASS off for, and dedicate your life to it. and I know for a fact that for her, it was making sure that her five boys got through school, and you know had food and had clothes, and all the whatever...bla bla bla bla bla. … um, and I think that that’s probably it, as stereotypical as it may be, I think Mom is probably the drive in those things. I watched her work four jobs to do what she did for the five boys. I think that that’s probably always, … I’ll tell you what, my guilty conscience, when I’m not doing as much as I want to be doing, makes me think of the hard work that she had to put in, in order to get done what she had to get done, which were her goals in life. She focussed in and made her goal, simply, providing for her boys. So, I would probably say muse along with biggest influence, would be Mom.
me: ok, most influential in sex? sex life?
-I won’t name names, but it was probably the person, it was definitely the person, who asked me to do things because they wanted me to do them, to them. When I realized that there was uh, it was like anything else, it was like anything that you don’t know about when you’re exploring, you can do whatever the hell you want and looking at sex as any other activity that you would engage in, that you have this much experience in.. and you can ask questions and you can explore and you can be creative and you can get weird and you can get totally fucking LEFT FIELD, but it’s fine, because we’re humans, and the ability to not be embarrassed and if there is humility involved, taking that and being ok with it, but not being so caught up in … a self conscious perception of what that act is, and allowing yourself the freedom of enjoying it and being beyond the construct of what you think it should be, I think that person, simply by asking me to slap them on the ass, sparked a..., didn’t spark, kinda broke down a wall of insecurity, in my own self, and made me view it differently from then on.
after this question, Billy and I put the interview on hold. I decided that maybe being drunk in person wasn’t the best way to go about asking him questions that I have never asked before. good or bad idea, I don’t know, aaaaanyway, back to the interview, but through email. good ol’ to the point email:
me: if money was no object, what would you do RIGHT NOW?
-I’d hire 2 full time assistants for both myself personally and for the recycling center. I’d be working on mapping out a video project to coincide with this funeral for a building project, then, I’d be ordering a MPC, digging up all the old vinyl from Craig’s house, ordering a mallet cat (digital xylophone midi pad) and locking myself in a soundproof room attached to the back of the apartment, or fuck it, locking myself in the sound proof studio room that is attached to the back of the canopy top tree house bungalow that we live in!
me: what's the weirdest thing you've ever made?
-theres all sorts of categories for this shit, but to keep it short,
probably the turkey with breast implants for Thanksgiving dinner when I met my stepmom for the first time. the whole experience was so surreal, the dinner was amazing, but the comfortable yet uncomfortable situation I had created for my family stuck with me for a long time in an unsettling way. and if not that, it was def the 40 lb piece of partially melted chocolate smeared across the white bed liner with the suede welding gloves that handled the mess at the bottom, very weird.
me: first sexual experience?
when I was 3, and in the family above ground pool, with my arm swimmies on, I’d float over to the water jet that shot the filtered pool water back into the pool, I’d position myself in front of the water jet so my junk was in line with the water pressure, I’d press my little junk up against the jet until I felt a melting sensation all over, it would only take’er a min or so until I had reached the point of, I don't know what you call it at that age, but lets say orgasm, and then I'd float away in the water like floating on a cloud. no one ever caught me until like the 100th time I did it!
all my brothers laughed and laughed, I was shamed, but it never stopped me from floating back over when no one was looking.