TC: Why the “And cars” at the end of Ramirez? Personally, I think it caps it off perfectly—it says something about the narrator though I can’t tell exactly what. Any agenda or was it just instinctual?
MS: Like all of my writing, it was instinctual. When I worked in that photo shop it was amazing to me how many people took photos of their cars. And not fancy cars either, just normal cars. America loves its cars. Those photos seemed the most senseless preservation of the most utterly common things. Imagine an entire roll of film with nothing but different angles of a Jeep. I wanted to point out how dull everything was compared to what Ramirez was doing, how empty everything felt. The fact that I didn’t have a car at the time might have factored in, but I realize now that I didn’t mention that in the story. Ramirez was a cab driver and that might have influenced it. Plus I just liked the little click-snap ending.