Insert Chassis Albuquerque: The Interview

The Interview

Chassis Albuquerque, Interview No. 72
Stuff & Other Shit, ISSUE 189, March 2015

This interview was conducted in the writer's apartment - our team surprise the author with their visit where there is a distressed, uniformed man tied to a chair in the living room. Albuquerque clutches a spade; though he is genuinely surprised by our presence he does not appear alarmed.
The beat man tied to the chair groaned but opened one eye to take a look at us. "Is that you Marilyn?" he said.
Albuquerque puts the spade down providing no feasible explanation for his behaviour and we withdraw to his study where we talk and film, gathering and assembling footage of the reluctant writer.
The director instructs the cameraman: "Close-ups, go in tight."
So the cameraman zooms in to frame Albuquerque's face closely,  a very provoking shot but you could probably zoom all the way in from space and never be the wiser. What does he look like? It feels a carefully, cultivated look Albuquerque's estranged, having fallen into a state of neglect and playing music at two in the morning. An autographed painting of John Lennon three years before his death hangs behind his desk – Lennon’s smoking, staring distractedly away from the artist, looking composed but pensive and a little irritated all at once.

The interview begins, the kind of  interview where your rights as a human were easily violated - Albuquerque ejected a constant stream of bullshit out his mouth on a variety of literary subjects and relays a bizarre story that the man tied to the chair is the mailman. Annoyed Albuquerque wasn’t answering the door the mailman broke in suspecting a crime’s underway.
“Or so he claimed,” Albuquerque says. “Very English, he talks a lot and cheats at everything. He was armed with a machine gun and poked it through the flap, `Anybody home? I see you motherfucker!’ he yelled and opened fire through the flap at me! He was trying to steal my words! The spoken or written word contains the most powerful forces in the world and most parts of Europe, enough to introduce one bad idea to wipe out the universe. The world throws words about without accountability when they can steal a heart or start a war...!” Albuquerque maintains.
Suddenly we're interrupted by the apartment manager who bursts in to confront Albuquerque: "I came to tell you, there's to be no more torture in apartments, no more torture, Albuquerque! This is your final warning!"
He escorts the mailman out, supporting him on his shoulder. Albuquerque impounds any feelings on the matter and instead produces a photograph marked IMG_4148 - it's Hitler, bending over to consider something, the caption says: HITLER INSPECTS HIS OWN SHIT.
"I met him, you know," Albuquerque says. "Just after the war, I stopped and picked him up hitch-hiking. He was crazy. I told him, `You should smoke the marijuana, it’ll make you forget this issue that possesses you so.'

“It’s true that though I'm technically 42 I regularly met and socialised with writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife. I'll come right in and tell you: I was born in '74, big problem because I met those guys in 1923. Fitzgerald wasn't too swift, you know, and that wife of his, she looked like having a good time may anguish her - the way she walked about with her bag constantly on her shoulder and jacket draped over her arm made it look as if at any moment social obligation became too much for her she'd make a mad dash to the front door and escape her imaginary social pressures!

"So there’s a small element of science fiction present in what I write. Like most writers I’m quite religious about writing and always write facing south, and always toward Spain - very heliotropical. The thing about Spain's the place is full of nudists, it's the custom, I'm surprised anybody's clothed when we hit the airport. Also,  another thing I find that helps the writing process is pancakes - two eggs, flour, milk and a little spoon of washing powder. I always add a little washing powder, doesn’t even have to be pancakes.

“A lot of my influence is from my father. He once told my mother he was attacked by a bear. `You were attacked by a bear!' she'd screamed. `Sure - why not?' he'd said. He'd told me, `If you ever attacked by a bear, run!' which is the worst advice you can give in such an instance, especially when I knew he and Areola Lockhart had been in the forest, fucking. Standard advice given if encountering a bear: Bears can climb trees. Fight back as a last resort. Do not make eye contact and sudden movements, talk quietly to the bear, tell it you have big plans to back away very slowly as you're aware sudden movements and eye contact may agitate it. If the bear attacks and you do run, remember, keep any foolish tree-climbing ideas out of your head - bears climb trees! Throw something to the ground as a distraction, for example, a camera or wife or offspring - not your backpack because that's all that might save you from a bear trying to get at your heart through your asshole. When it does get you, cover yourself in the foetal position, prey that someone else in your party is screaming or making sudden, erratic movement or staring fearfully at it.
"Roll with the bears blows, return to default foetal position. If you and your family are still conscious or alive remain motionless for at least twenty minutes, bears are not just inquisitive, they are also vindictive and will watch you from a distance, returning at any sign of movement.

 "Generally home life was Catholic, probably abusive but on Fridays we always had fish - so that was dependable. I read a lot, but as a rule I never finish any book. About 20 pages from the end I just stop and rewrite it from that point - I rewrite the characters and rewrite the ending. I write my family,  make my father a good, dependable man rather than the fantasist he is, make my mother more beautiful, sane and rational than she insists she is and make my several siblings never exist to spare them my father and mother."

"If I were to give advice to any other writers, to be honest I'd recommend never buying a house on the corner, all kinds of drunks, loudmouths and groups of socially inappropriate people will hang out there - the street corner is a tradition..."

Next thing we knew Albquerque was engaged in a mild degree of physical intimacy with himself, the kind of intimacy that left people uncomfortable but still interested enough to want to stick around to see what happens next - know what I mean? Albuquerque defended his behaviour on artistic principles, yelling, "Just be cool, everybody - keep filming, take photographs!"
We'd heard reports before about his behaviour during interviews and at this point Albuquerque’s lawyers, Bunsen & Bunsen, halted the interview and asked everyone to leave, "If only for time reasons," they maintained.

Later he posted a photograph of himself on a beach in Spain with no clothes on. He'd signed it and written: LIFE IS THE BALANCE OF THE BUDGET AVAILABLE AND ONE'S EXPECTATIONS.