BULLshot: Lloyd Phillips

BULLshot: Lloyd Phillips

I’m interested in this “cellar,” where our man in this story “keeps moments like this.” Do you think every man has such a place? What makes us go there? What keeps us out?

LP: Yeah, all men have a cellar where they put mistakes, humiliations, moral blunders, the Spanish-American War, etc. If one of us was about to disappear for a couple of days or had reappeared after a couple of days, my drinking buddies and I used to joke that we had been “cleaning out the cellar.” Only some men do that, though, clean out the cellar. Some men buy a stronger padlock year after year, hoping the big hairy spider demon down there curls up and dies one day. The problem with this scenario is that padlocks can be picked or clipped, and that demon will never die. Black Flag wrote a great song about the padlock guys called “Nervous Breakdown.” Other men go down there, probably with the intention of cleaning up, and never make it back out again (see Phil Lynott, J.D. Salinger, and too many of my friends). The men who keep the cellar doors wide open and pass the bottle to the mutants and specters that come out, most of those men are writers.


About the Author

Jarrett Haley is the editor of BULL.