JH: In “My Father’s .45”, our narrator is told by his doctor to “forget the past by keeping the present close.” Is this healthy advice?
SS: I think it can be healthy. Sometimes I think half the people sing about their glory days while the other half wallow in the wreckage of their past. It seems like safer ground, but living in the now where there is nothing but uncertainty, that is where the edge is. Hell, that is where true art comes from. Whether it’s writing, music, or painting. You’re shaping your memories into something you can share in the present, no matter how dark, or how bright. Whether you leave it on the page, on the wall, or in the air—it’s just a primitive way of dealing with all of it.