Q: What made you want to write a story about disposing a body?
A: Honestly it just started as simple speculation. Last year, a friend of mine did something really awful. However, it was what he did afterward, when he panicked, that was truly disturbing. He was arrested shortly after the incident and is awaiting trial. Until that happens, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Why? What were you thinking? This story stemmed from one of my many attempts to imagine what happened.
Q: You seem to focus on character a lot. Was that deliberate?
A: Yes. In short pieces, you don’t have the space to set up elaborate scenery, so you tend to be either plot-driven or character-driven. The point of the story was to convey his emotional distress and selfishness. In his mind, it’s all about him, and I wanted to reflect that in the way the story is narrated.
Q: Can you explain the underlying theme of the trash bags in the story?
A: Sure. The trash bags sort of drive the story, don’t they? Their presence means he has a plan for what to do next. They’re a problem in the driveway because he can’t drag her. They even give him the tiniest bit of an imagined alibi. They give him a means for survival, a small glimmer of hope. Yet, the trash bags are only present because of his wife. The trash bags bring it all full circle.
Q: We don’t find out if he gets caught. Why did you leave the ending open?
A: I felt that it was unnecessary to the story. Ending it openly just highlights his narcissistic outlook. He finally gets what he wants: the house and couch to himself. Even if it’s temporary, he finds solace and justice in that. Madness is an intriguing concept. This tale is one of madness. He shows no empathy or remorse, just self-preservation in his own panic. Of course, I imagine that he did get caught. It would be nearly impossible for him to actually get away with his crime in this story.