Interview With a Shadow Junkie from Brian Allen Carr’s SIP





In an apocalyptic Texas where you can get high drinking your own shadow, there lives a young shadow junkie named Murk. This is from Brian Allen Carr’s breakout novel, Sip, of course. I related to Murk pretty heavy, not just about the addiction shit, but also the way he views his world through wide, black eyes full of an uncommon sort of jaded wonder. I reached out to Murk to get to know him a little better, to ponder what it means to be human, and to make dick jokes.


Kelby: First off, what’s with the haircut? You a Jim Morrison fan?

 Murk: Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not sure. A secret of sorts. A suspicion I can’t confirm or deny. I like his swagger. I don’t really know. When you’re like this, you do things you can’t explain. And by when you’re like this I mean human. I think. Because I am often driven to do things by stuff that isn’t my brain. I am a contraption that I don’t entirely control.


K: I apologize for coming across like I’m sizing you up, but you’re one of the most peculiar people I’ve ever met, and I mean that in a good way. I dig peculiar people. So what happened to your leg?

 M: I’m not entirely certain. I mean, I know it was cut off my body, but after that, who’s to say? Maybe it became the emperor of a village in Mexico or maybe it got married and had babies or maybe it’s on a raft in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for snapper.


K: I saw a bunch of graffiti on my way into town—mostly skulls with hashtag eyes. What’s that shit about?

M: I think it’s a metaphor. But sometimes things are just what they are.


K: Tell me more about where you live. What’s a day in the life of Murk look like?

M: “I wake up I throw up I feel like I’m dead.” – Lil Xan


K: This shadow-drinking thing… how would you describe that sensation?

M: Like suffocating in the best possible way.


K: I’ve heard you possess some pretty unique gifts or side effects or whatever you want to call them, such as stretching yourself out like a kite, for one. What else can you do? 

M: Nothing. Sadly.


K: I imagine some of those abilities could be pretty fun in the bedroom, too, yeah?

M: My dick can’t stretch.


K: I get the impression that you’re hyper aware of the fact we—humans, I mean—don’t have a fucking clue. We’re all just figuring shit out, like do we dig the Doors… can we stretch our genitals? If you could figure out one thing about yourself, what would that be?

 M: Why I don’t care enough about others to be good to them, but I care enough about them to worry what they think of me.






Brian Allen Carr splits his time between Indiana and Texas. He is the winner of a Wonderland Book Award and Texas Observer Story Prize. His short fiction has appeared in Ninth Letter, Hobart, Boulevard, and other publications. Sip is his first novel.


Kelby Losack is the author of Heathenish (Broken River Books) and Toxic Garbage (self-published). He works as a custom cabinet maker and lives with his wife in Gulf Coast Texas. Follow him on Twitter: @HeathenishKid


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