mÖbius interviews kimmy dee
JUNE 14, 2019
Möbius Books sat down with its marquee author Kimmy Dee to discuss Pussy Planet, Heart Boners, coping with depression and smuggling drugs inside your body.
Mobius: How is life for Kimmy Dee today?
Kimmy: Well I started the day by stepping in cat puke and losing a heated argument with my dog, so I guess you could say things are going better than usual.
Mobius: And what were you and your dog arguing about?
Kimmy: The usual shit. He subscribes to the String Theory of physics and I’m a ride-or-die Loop Quantum Gravity groupie, and while I was trying to respectfully debate quark spin he stuck his nose up my butt and piddled on my shoes. The dog is a total asshole, but dude definitely knows how to win an argument.
Mobius: A big part of your writing deals with mental illness. What does depression feel like to you? What advice can you offer readers battling their own depression?
Kimmy: Depression can wear many different coats, but they’re all stonewashed denim with dried mustard stains and sleeves that are just a little too short. Sometimes it’s an emotionless void. Sometimes it's soul crushing hopelessness and despair. Other times it’s an all-consuming itch, and you know there’s only one surefire way to scratch it. Those times are the most difficult to ride out.
Considering how many hours I’ve spent laying in my closet over the past few weeks I probably shouldn’t be doling out advice to anyone, but since you asked, I think the single most important thing to arm yourself with is this: Education.
Study up on your illness. Read books. Record your moods, keep a journal, and pass important information on to people you trust, and do all this while you are well. Learn the warnings signs that shit is going awry, and never be afraid to preemptively ask for help. After all, it’s a lot harder to wave your arms at the lifeguard if you wait until your lungs are full of water. (A better analogy for my peeps might be ‘It’s easier to grab a fresh roll of tp before your ass hits the seat’ but I’m trying to sound smart here. Shut up.)
Mobius: That’s extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to answer that. Seems like a lot of creative people live with some form of mental illness, most prominently depression. Do you feel your depression has helped your art in any way?
Kimmy: Well, it gives me something to write about other than bowel movements and cats, so there’s that. I’m sure mental illness alters my perception of life in general, which translates into my work, but severe depressive states are also the number one killer of all of my abandoned writing projects, so I’d say it’s a wash. (Washing, btw, gets tossed to the wayside during a major depressive episode, so a major indicator of my mental health is from how far away I can be smelled. That, and my eyebrows.)
Mobius: It seems like you will talk about everything and anything, from suicidal ideation to masturbation to institutionalization. On the surface, nothing is sacred, nothing is off limits, but are there subjects you refuse to talk about? Are there lines you will not cross, and what might those lines look like?
Kimmy: Yes. I steer clear of chronicling my romantic relationships, past and present, primarily because I signed a non-disclosure agreement with my vagina, and I do not want to piss that cunt off.
Mobius: I imagine the red tape for vaginal contracts is pretty impenetrable so how about this instead: your crew has mutinied. The new Captain, your former First Mate, has decided to maroon you on a deserted island. She’s letting you bring one book with you. Only one. Which book are you picking?
Kimmy: I’m not one to re-read books, so I’d bring a hotel room Bible. At least that way I could roll an insane amount of joints while I wait for the natives (or Christian missionaries) to murder me. And yes, I stashed the weed in my vag before being booted off the ship. Priorities.
Mobius: Okay, excluding the Bible. These are all godless heathens, your backstabbing former crew mates, not a Bible on the boat, and let's say you had enough room in there for a whole bunch of Zig Zags, what would you pick then?
Kimmy: Ugh fine, I guess Infinite Jest, because I'd finally have time to read the footnotes.
Mobius: Speaking of footnotes, your collection Pussy Planet has had an interesting life. It started out as a self-published project which over the course of its time in print earned a dedicated following and net positive critical response before eventually becoming the foundation and commemorative launch of a fledgling publishing company (ehem, yours truly). How badass is this? New cover art by Chris Enterline, broader distribution and shelf space in places like Barnes & Noble and Anderson Books. What do you make of all this?
Kimmy: I’m not sure how to officially measure badassery, but it’s awfully damn exciting. It’s like opening your very first Nintendo after wasting three years trying to land that stupid space ship on Atari. (Too obscure? Too fucking bad.)
I self-published PP instead of shopping it around because I didn’t think anyone would really give a shit, but it turns out the few readers I was able to reach not only gave one shit but two, or at least one and a half, and to see it on its way to a broader audience is pretty surreal.
Chris Enterline is an amazing artist, and I can’t wait to see the final cover… I’m probably more excited about that than anything else, but not quite as excited as I was about that Nintendo.
Mobius: Pussy Planet is essentially an autobiography. You also write pretty amazing fiction, so the interest is there to create more traditional narratives. You could have written your autobiography in a more literary way, like a memoir or something, yet you chose to tell it through essays. What is it about the essay form that appeals to you so much?
Kimmy: Well, my life story front-to-back would be pretty fucking boring. Through essays I can pluck out the semi-interesting shit and not have to worry about filling in the uneventful gaps, most of which were probably spent eating Cheetos and playing Nintendo.
I just really fucking like Nintendo, okay?
Mobius: What’s your favorite NES game?
Kimmy: Dr. Mario all the way. It’s basically my life… a condescending doctor pitching random pills my direction at dizzying speeds.
Second place goes to Paperboy, because it helped me to live out two of my unrealized childhood dreams: breaking the windows of people who won’t give me money, and getting smucked by a car.
Mobius: Who are some of your favorite essayists?
Kimmy: I think the only one I’ve ever read is David Sedaris, and not even much of his. I don’t really read memoir nonfiction or short stories, the two genres I write in, because I’m afraid I’ll realize everyone is better than me so I’d might as well quit.
Mobius: What’s the worst book you ever attempted to read?
Kimmy: The Scarlet Letter. That bullshit caused me to fail American Lit my sophomore year of high school. (Side note: my American Lit teacher’s name was Mr. Dik, so that probably had something to do with my failing grade as well since I couldn’t hear the lectures over my own barely-stifled giggles.)
Mobius: Other than Mister Dik (heh) was it just a bad book? Shit story? Bad subject matter? What didn't you like about it?
Kimmy: I found it uninteresting and depressing, because 150 years later women are still being shamed over sex. But even more than that the text was convoluted and unreadable, but that might’ve just been because I was super high.
Mobius: You recently met William Shatner and you also have a short story called Asylum in an anthology with Walter Koenig. What’s your deal with the original cast members? How and why do you keep crossing paths with them? Who among the Star Trek alum of any series would you like to have a loose association with next?
Kimmy: Well, having my name in the table of contents with Walter Koenig [Strangers in a Strange Land, a charity anthology edited by Katherine Tomlinson and Chris Rhatigan] was strictly a lucky coincidence that I’ll brag about for the rest of my stupid life. But I’ve always had a fondness for Star Trek, because it managed to beautifully pull off addressing serious social issues while also being absolutely ridiculous, although I don’t think that last part was intentional.
In sticking with TOS, I’d love to meet Nichelle Nichols, because Lieutenant Uhura was not only a sexy badass, she was my first major girl crush. Plus, she wore a red uniform and didn’t die.
Mobius: Do the people in your life away from writing think you’re funny?
Kimmy: Only the cool ones.
Mobius: Is standup comedy on your bucket list? Are you at least going to attempt performing a set once before you croak?
Kimmy: I’ve always wanted to give standup a try, but crippling panic attacks have been a pretty effective deterrent. In order to even walk onto a stage under my own power I’d have to be in a perfectly euphoric hypomanic state… or as I just now decided to start calling such a phenomenon, Straddling the Mood Unicorn, and that randy bastard will buck you off without even a warning thrust. And that dildo-face doesn’t just stick his nose in your butt.
So I try to never say never, but… probably not.
Mobius: Any plans for writing longer fiction? Can we hope for a Kimmy Dee novel someday?
Kimmy: I hope so, but I have a hard time returning to a piece when I’m not in the same mood I was when I imagined it, so being bipolar has led to a graveyard of half-written stories and essays littering my hard drive. But there are a couple I am hoping to return to, so we’ll see what happens.
Mobius: All the titles for your stuff are smooth as hell. You’re an extremely good titler. In addition to Pussy Planet, you’ve also signed a new collection affectionately called Heart Boners and Unicorn Farts. How did you come up with that one?
Kimmy: Heart Boners and Unicorn Farts was actually the original working title for Pussy Planet. One of the first pieces I wrote for the book was a fictional essay about unicorn jizz, which I ended up deciding to axe from the collection (it was later published through the humor e-zine The Dirty Pool, Issue 5).
After the backlash I received over using the word ‘pussy’, which I rehash in clit-shriveling detail in the opening essay of Heart Boners, I decided I should stick with something less offensive for my next title: dicks.
Mobius: What are some topics we can look forward to seeing in Heart Boners and Unicorn Farts?
Kimmy: In Heart Boners I address some serious issues, such as debilitating diarrhea, stealing cigarettes, and sexually transmitted injuries. There is also some fluff about suicide attempts and cancer, because I like to keep things light.
In semi-seriousness, Heart Boners delves deeper into living (and often wanting to die) with mental illness, but there is still plenty of the humor and stupidity that my fans have come to expect. I think I grew as a writer between the two books, but I definitely didn’t mature as a person.