Blake Kimzey’s work “Up And Away” is part of the September Issue. It is a wonderful piece and a great way to start your week would be to read it, and again if you already did. Here, he speaks with us about wandering, unsteadiness and embarrassing home videos.
1. What method of flight would you prefer?
As a 10 year-old in 1991 I wanted to be the Rocketeer. I think it was Jennifer Connellyâ€™s fault. It was also the appeal of flying without mutation. But now I think Iâ€™d go for the mutation. Iâ€™d say give me a beetle back.
2. How does leaving out how the boy in “Up and Away” received his genetic mutation affect the story?
As a reader I donâ€™t always want the author to fill in all the gaps for me. Imagination is what draws us to fiction, so I wanted there to be some mystery surrounding the boyâ€™s mutation. Earlier drafts of this story were longer with more explanatory exposition, which made it clunky. I hope the ambiguity of the boyâ€™s origin makes the story stronger.
3. Where would you wander?
Around Paris with my wife, artist Danielle Huey Kimzey, for hours, days, weeks, years.
4. What skill that you acquired didn’t come naturally to you? How did you perfect it?
As a product of the 1980s: doing the limbo on roller skates. You could only really practice at birthday parties, hopped up on Ring Pops and Air Heads. It was the only way to get the girl in sixth-grade, when I was coming up in small town Texas. It made for a heck of an icebreaker during free skate.
5. What makes you unsteady?
Staying somewhere too long.
6. What is your most embarrassing home movie?
Christmas 1992. I got two gifts under the tree and can be seen on film complaining about this, as if I were entitled to a truckload of gifts. After whining and making an ass out of myself my dad told me (and my three brothers) to have a look in the garage. It was a Marty McFly moment: parked at a showroom angle was a shiny new Yamaha Timberwolf four-wheeler, and it looked as if Biff Tannen himself had applied a few coats of wax to give it that sheen. My dad recently put all of our home videos on DVD and watching that footage makes me cringe. I was a little shit.