SM: What would we know if we didn’t know trouble?
MAT: Trouble? I don’t know trouble. Every time I think we’re getting acquainted I see some body else who’s on much better terms with it. It’s then that I realize that I only employ trouble in a romantic way to spice up my little hymns.
Like yesterday – I’m riding my bike down Fulton St. and a car horn, obviously broken, is blaring. There’s a woman about 5’4″ tipping the scales at 310 or so barefoot in a dirty housecoat. She’s tapping a white cane on the curb and yelling, “What! What! …..What! ”
Now that is trouble.
SM: What is the first thing you want to know on arriving in a strange city?
MAT: I live in New York. So, I have no idea what you call a “strange city”. But, I usually want the address of reliable bail bondsman. After that I want to know how much the rent is.
SM: What is your first conscious impression on a silent windless grove of trees?
MAT: I always hope that one falls so that I can answer that question once and for all.
SM: My automobile’s driver’s side window is broken, and now cats and hobos come and go as they please. What phrase would you recommend I announce myself with to scatter them in the morning?
MAT: Wow. I used to live in Hollywood and that very same thing happened to me!
I considered it a good omen and bought another car. Although, I must admit, it wasn’t a totally altruistic gesture – Do you really want to put your ass in a seat where a hobo has been sleeping with a cat?
SM: In the middle of the interview, an anecdote is requested.
MAT: Hang on a second. You smarty types – now I got to look up the word anecdote. Oh, that’s how you spell it? On the same page in the dictionary there’s a picture of Marion Anderson. Speaking of strange cities – I think she’s from Philly. Did you know that the Daughter’s of the American Revolution wouldn’t let her perform at Constitution Hall so Eleanor Roosevelt got her a gig at the Lincoln Memorial for 75,000 people? I think that goes to show that not only was Mrs. Roosevelt a brilliant first lady, she was a kick ass agent.
SM: What’s the closest thing you know of to casting a spell?
MAT: The first smoky whiff of ancient apples and the sea that comes after the cork exits a bottle of Couer De Lion Calvados. A close second – Little Anthony and the Imperial’s Going Out of My Head. Oh, and trains.
SM: What is one thing you are sure of?
MAT: I am certain that the room I am in right now is cold, and has yet to be paid for.
SM: If the animals could speak, to what creature would you listen most?
MAT: Ahh. I get it. That’s a trick question. Animals do speak, silly. Whenever I have a moment alone with one I implore them to remember that I never eat them and that all of my leather shoes are free range. I hope that counts for something when they take over.
SM: If you were the devil with an invitation to a party in heaven, what would you wear and how would you act?
MAT: Oh, you’re really trying to trip me up now. Everybody knows that the devil can’t enter the kingdom of Heaven. But, just in case – let’s just say that I would wear Richard Tyler and, you know, I’d be cool. I’d find Marion Anderson and tell her about the dictionary. I bet she’d get a kick out of that.
SM: Please make a prediction for yourself as to what you’ll be up to in ten years.
MAT: Hmmm. Well, I guess it all depends on if you fix the driver’s side window by then.