Date of Interview: Aug 31, 2018
Name: Emma Casey
Pronouns: She/Her and They/Them are also fine.
How often do you bathe or shower?
Every other day. I shower mostly at the gym right now.
Is it a better shower?
Yeah. It’s also just easier in transit. So yeah. And then I bathe when I’m at this house that I’m house-sitting maybe every two weeks just for fun.
If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?
A snail. Snails live underwater. They live under and above. And yes because I think they– I like them because anytime I’ve had roommates who have fish they get snails to help clean the tanks and so I like that snails have this janitorial purpose. And also I think I’ve been, the past few months, have been carrying a lot on my back… like carrying my home on my back. Feeling just a lot like a snail.
Is that where the comparison for you and snails ends is carrying the home on your back or does it continue?
I don’t know too much more outside of that and their janitor services. I think that’s what I– I think in my mind I would like an occupation or a life that is like that simple. Yeah, for some reason, nuns also occupy that space in my mind. They get to go live away and they’re not at all concerned with romance or any of these– well, maybe some nuns use social media. But a lot of the sort of things that can make days really cluttered in one’s brain. And then they get to do lovely things like farm, so. Farm and make cheese and have a regular schedule and stuff like that. So I think I like the idea of just having an occupation that is enough, which could be anything but– yeah. Nuns, and janitors, and firemen, and stuff like that.
What are you passionate about?
Oh gosh. If I knew, I would be a nun. Right now I don’t know. Yeah, I think I don’t know what passion means. But right now I– I don’t know what passion means. I’m really enjoying the beauty of Chicago. I feel like this summer I’ve spent a lot of time just reveling in how much I enjoy the look and the feel of the world around me. And that we have assigned that to be the city of “Chicago” is fortunate coincidence or something. It’s so much land and it’s so big and I have just been biking around a lot and really enjoying that. And then just been thinking a lot about, “Why bother enjoying how this looks? What purpose does that serve?” It’s also been just like an interesting summer as far as just spending time with people which is something that I don’t think I’ve done as purely before, just hung out. So I wouldn’t say that that’s a passion but that’s definitely a new thing to be excited about yeah, is people and just being able to spend time.
What are your thoughts on relationships, platonic, familial, sexual, romantic?
Yeah, they’re good. They’re necessary. I don’t think I realized how necessary until maybe this past month; I was like, “I want to disappear,” not in a– that’s the flip side I suppose of hanging out is I felt like I was just around a lot and not for any purpose. And there are a few areas of the city that I can go, where just walking down the street I’ll run into people and I’ll greet people and I’ll go into the coffee shop and talk to people and know the baristas —– so that was starting to feel like, “Has this become my occupation?” and I think I need to back away from that. I need to literally move away from that and put myself into somewhere more unknown. So put myself into somewhere more unknown and just see how that feels, and it’s felt really quiet. I’ve realized that I’ve been really quiet. And that’s good but I also just don’t know how to talk to myself right now and that’s something that I didn’t know I had maybe lost a little bit because in my mind, I’m very much a loner. But I think I accidentally became — worked my extrovert muscle too hard and now I’m just having to swing back, which I’m excited about. Oh, yeah. So relationships with others. I like them. I think it’s exciting. And then I also think that that’s a lot of how I want to show love [laughter] is showing up and talking to people. Going to events and providing support for when people are being brave and vulnerable and skilled. So. Yeah. So I like people and I like relationships, but then I was starting to feel out of sync with myself as well.
What do you feel most accomplished with?
Well [laughter], last night was the first night of The Fly Honey show of this weekend and I get to be a performer in that. And that is amazing [laughter]. That’s so many people. Yeah. Last night was a weird night of co-workers in the audience for me, both past and present. And then people tangentially who work around where I work. And somebody did come up to me and was like, “You serve coffee and you can say poems like that?” So I don’t know what to do with that other than it felt good, because the answer is, “Yeah. I do [laughter]. I do serve coffee and I did write that poem.” So I think that, yeah, writing is definitely, I guess, what I’m most accomplished at. Though that feels a little “good for you” to say right now, because I definitely feel like a writer with no sort of active writing practice at the moment. I’ve also received a couple of really encouraging sort-of angels on the streets in preparation for this performance. A couple of times when I’ve been really, really nervous – before the dress rehearsal and before another event where I was sort of sharing a rough draft of this piece in particular. It happened twice, where I was in my own quiet strange head, hadn’t talked to anybody that day, and somebody just walked up to me, was like, “Hey, I like your work. I’ve seen you perform before [laughter].” And that was kind of flabbergasting. That hasn’t happened in that kind of concentrated way before. Because it was these two instances, it really did feel like something sent me a little encouragement angel. So that was really cool. And I guess I’m also aware that I’m defining the word accomplishment as an outside sense of accomplishment, of people giving me validation or affirmation. But it also feels really good to get that and know that you’ve touched somebody three years ago with a poem that you wrote [laughter].