Interview with Clay from Like Never and Always
1) People want to know why you cover for your brother so much. Why don’t you set the record straight, so people in town don’t blame you so much?
The last thing my father said to me before he died? “Take care of your little brother, Clay.” He didn’t mean for me to go down for shit Nathan did. I’m dead sure of that, but he wouldn’t forgive me if anything bad happened to Nathan, either. I guess he had no idea that Ma would bail on us like she did either. You make it sound like I’m covering shit up on purpose and it’s not like that. It’s just… in this town, I’m the first one people blame. That’s just how it is. Sometimes it’s just easier to let people think what they want than to clarify what really happened. It’s not like I went to jail for Nathan or something.
2) Tell me a little about your interest in tattoos. How did you decide you wanted to make that your life’s work?
Not sure why you got to phrase it like that. I mean, I could change jobs at some point. I’m not taking priestly vows or anything, and there’s no tattoo artist’s oath that prevents me from ever looking at another job. But to your first question, I always liked drawing, especially more abstract patterns. There’s something real satisfying about your ideas being born into reality, and I can’t picture a bigger compliment than somebody choosing to have my work permanently etched on their skin. Plus, the history of tattoo art is pretty fascinating too. Read The Tattoo History Source Book if you want more info on that. Anyway, with my interest in patterns and tattoos, it’s natural that I’d look at this profession.
3) It’s pretty clear you’ve struggled a lot to keep your brother fed and in school. How do you feel about giving up so much for his sake when it seems like he doesn’t appreciate you?
I figure that’s how all parents feel when they scrimp and save to get something for an asshole kid who barely remembers to say thanks once, let alone multiple times. I’m not our dad but I’m standing in for him, best I can. I’m not a saint, so sometimes I do get pissed when he’s throwing attitude my way. I got to keep my temper and not smack him around even when he’s drinking because our dad would want me to be better than that.
4) How do you feel about your mother?
Next question. I’m not talking about her.
5) Some people say that if a boy has problems with his mother, he can’t love properly. How do you feel about that?
Don’t psychoanalyze me. I love my brother plenty, and you should ask Liv…Morgan? Fuck, IDK, ask my girlfriend if she has any complaimts. I may not be the best at everything, but I do know to care for people.
6) Let’s talk about Liv, I mean Morgan / your girlfriend. It seems like you struggled about whether to believe her story and if you should be with her at all because of Nathan.
That’s true. At first I thought she needed professional mental help, but then, it became pretty clear she wasn’t the same girl I pretended to date. Morgan always had an edge, and she never let people really close. She pretended to let people in, but she was always surrounded by silence and secrets. Everything changed after the accident. The person who woke up just… wasn’t Morgan, at least not the same girl I’d been spending time with. I don’t really know how to explain, but she felt… genuine for the first time. You don’t know how shitty I felt when I realized I was falling for Liv. And yeah, you’re right, I thought I should give her up because that’s what I always do for my brother. He wants it, he gets it, and fuck me if it’s something I wanted to. He’s the good one, the smart one, the one with a bright future. But her? I couldn’t give her up. Not if she wanted me back.
Thanks for agreeing to talk to us, Clay! Good luck with your design portfolio.
You can find Ann Aguirre on her website – http://www.annaguirre.com/
You can buy the book w/ this AH-mazing cover HERE
The fancy number you need from me is 42!
Happy Hunting and best of luck to everyone!
P.S. I’ll be giving away a few fun things on twitter – @JRV_Perry – just hop on over, tag me, and say GO TEAM PINK, or say HI (in any way you like) and I’ll enter ya 😉