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Which living person do you most admire?
At this moment, I admire the poet Ross Gay. I admire the electric generosity of what he does, his commitment to speaking about injustice and the lush, absurd joy that being alive can conjure. Meeting Ross Gay in person, you are washed with his sage and humble presence. I’d like to bring strangers that much warmth. ---
What is the quality you most like in a man? / What is the quality you most like in a woman?
I would say to Proust that the quality I like most in people is a willingness to reach past expectation and be unapologetically untethered to the safety net that is binary gender or thought. Seeing someone trans, non-binary, subversive, deviant, and shining makes me shine brighter in myself. ---
When and where were you happiest? Floating on my back in any body of freshwater. With a friend who I adore or with a sweetie who I like to kiss. ---
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would embed a sense of patience within myself that I have never had. ---
How would you like to die? Crinkly with smile lines, eating fresh fruit, making art with these three and our beautiful grandchildren.
What is your greatest fear? Loneliness is probably my greatest fear, but also drowning.
--- What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Self-sufficiency? I admire and strive for a certain independence, but I hope the people I surround myself with always need me and I expect to always need the people around me. I don't think it’s admirable to not need anyone else. --- Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Dude, dope, literally, and all the curse words unfortunately (I’m working on it!) --- What is your most marked characteristic? I am known for my facial expressions, I have a very expressive face. --- What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sitting barefoot on a plant-surrounded back porch with all my friends and family, sun shining on our faces while I eat a cheeseburger.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Baby, interesting, killin' it
--- Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could speak every language. When I meet people who don't speak English, I want to be able to whip out my perfect German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Afrikaans, Spanish, etc. Part of this is the desire to connect in a genuine way but another part is a more selfish desire to surprise people around me with vast knowledge I don't actually have. --- What is your greatest extravagance? The height of luxury for me is a bathtub with jets that is somehow also moonlit. I'm not sure if this answers the question at all.
--- What are your favorite names? One of my very best friends is named Aziza. I love that name mainly because it's her but also because of how it sounds and how it feels to say. Her nicknames are fun, too-- Ziza, Z, Ziz, ZZ. I like a name with good nicknames.
--- What is your current state of mind? General free floating anxiety about the future mixed with excitement and gratitude and a warm belly.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? so, just, like... in relation to, weird, kind of, pretty, interesting, frustrating, plus some other unnecessary qualifiers and disclaimers.
--- What is your current state of mind? In the last month or so, I've been in transition--moving to a new city, a new house, a new job, and making rather drastic changes to my daily routines. So, in relation to my current state of mind, I would say I feel frantic, but strong in exercising my optimism!
--- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would exchange my self-perpetuating doubt for an open ear to/craving for constructive criticism!
--- What or who is the greatest love of your life? Singing and listening to music!
--- What is your most treasured possession? I treasure this washed out pink blanket I stole from my sister when I was a kid. It isn't exactly my baby blanket, but I feel sentimental attachment as though it were. It's just a piece of fabric, but it can keep me warm and cool, sleepy and awake, all at the same time and I admire that so much. I can hardly sleep without it.