Kate Christensen is the author of Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites and six novels and contributed to the anthology Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not To Have Kids. Before participating in a discussion about why people choose not to become parents, she revealed her recurring nightmares, what food (and drink) she’s most likely to binge on, and how many pairs of shoes she owns in the Zócalo green room.
If you had one more hour in the day, what would you do with it?
I would build another meal into my day. I would build a fourth meal.
What’s hanging on your refrigerator door?
My refrigerator is sadly empty. There is nothing on it. Maybe there’s a dish towel which lives there from time to time when I don’t put it on the stove.
What are you reading right now?
It’s about a taxi driver chef, and it’s called Driving Hungry [by Layne Mosler]. It’s in galleys, and I’m blurbing it because it’s great. I don’t usually give blurbs, but when it’s a really good memoir, I’ll do it.
What food are you most likely to binge-eat?
I binge on red wine more than I binge on food. But potato chips are a close second, and the two together are sublime in any quantity. Preferably vast.
When and where did you learn to ride a bike?
Berkeley, California, 1967 or 1968. I must have been 5 or 6. I think my mother taught me, or maybe it was my father. I don’t recall. I have a vague memory of the sidewalks kind of being bumpy and the training wheels, and I think there was a day where they came off and it was momentous.
Who is the one person, living or dead, that you’d love to have a beer with?
Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?
I have the usual recurring dream about showing up for a test unprepared or naked, or having to give a speech I haven’t prepared for. But there’s a dream I’ve had all my life, and my sister shared it with me. It was a nightmare we had when we were little. I was driving an old Ford, a Model T or A, and my sisters were in back screaming in terror while the car careened, crashing into things, and we narrowly escaped death. Possibly coincidentally, I didn’t get my driver’s license until last summer.
What’s the last board game you played?
It’s called It Was a Dark & Stormy Night, and it’s ridiculously addictive because the more you play it, the more you know the answers. It takes the first line from works of literature and gives you the year, and you have to guess the work or the author.
What does it take to get you out on a dance floor?
Very little. Almost nothing. A glass of wine. The right song. I don’t even need anyone else out there.
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Twenty-five. Rough guess.