Talk to Me #9: Drew Hayden Taylor

Nov 28, 2016 by

Talk to Me #9: Drew Hayden Taylor


When you learned to love.

I learned to love in a community. Because we were so small and close, I was literally surrounded by it. Everybody lived within two kilometres of everybody else. We knew and, in many cases, were related to each other. So in Curve Lake, I felt quite safe and cared for.

Your first cut, was it the deepest?

No, they keep getting deeper, but they tend to heal a lot faster now. Luckily I don’t have any specific memories of my first deep cut. I say luckily because if I did, that might make me bitter or sad. I tend to lump them all together as the price of admission to life and experience for writing. I try to be positive.

Your love who got away. 

Who says she got away? And of course, it all depends on how you define “got away.” Perhaps they all got away, except for the one I’m with now.

Your “type” – and why.

Smart, good sense of humour and a sense of adventure. As one older woman once told me, you need something to talk about the next morning.

Your favourite literary romance. 

I think they are called Scientific Romances… i.e. the works of people like H. G. Wells. The Time Machine is still one of my favourites. Not the most romantic of books but still defined as a Scientific Romance…

Your thoughts on friends being lovers. 

Been there, done it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Just like actual romantic relationships.

Your thoughts on the net amounts of pleasure and pain. 

Don’t really understand the question. Is this your official “Ghomeshi” question? 

Your story about unrequited love.

Jessica Rabbit….sigh….need a holodeck, I think, for that. All these questions about dwelling on the negative past. I prefer to look forward. There have been some whom I wanted a closer relationship with but it never appeared….all details have been at the very least redacted, possibly even deleted and wiped.

Your favourite author/artist on love.

A dark coincidence, possibly Leonard Cohen. Or maybe the 1980’s bands Air Supply/REO SPEEDWAGON, depending if I’m feeling teenagerish or possibly a little darker and more substantial.

Your reconciliation of the domestic and the erotic. 

Interchangeable. It’s often been said the brain is the biggest sex organ. By that I mean the most domestic situation could be erotic, and the most erotic situation can be boring. It’s the people and the imagination.

Your thoughts on marriage. 

As with many things in this universe, it works very well for some, and not so well for others.   Some of my best friends are married.

Love changes when you have children. 

I’ve heard that. I do not have any kids so I am not in a position to comment on this. Contact me when you want to know about cats in a relationship.

Your thoughts on resisting temptation. 

It depends on what is tempting you. In some cases, an additional 100 calories will not end the world, but another man/woman trying to seduce you can be a bit more catastrophic.

Your advice on breaking up. 

That’s like asking advice on dealing with a broken leg. You deal with it. Process it. Let it heal. Then move on. The thing is, everybody has their own way of dealing with break ups. Some shrug it off and move on. Others bath in a tub of ice cream and tears. This is why country music developed.

The influence of love on your work.

Tough question. I guess there is some. Love doesn’t inspire my work, but yes, it can influence it in many ways. I love science fiction so I wrote a book on science fiction. I have a preference for intelligent and bright women, which I have reflected in a lot of my work. I have a whole series of comedies that in its own way explores love, called THE BLUES series.

Your lessons from love.

It beats not being in love. It gives you something to look forward to at the end of the day, at the beginning of the morning, when you get good news and when you get bad news. Also, who you are is frequently reflected in whom you date. But ultimately, I learned a variation of the Golden Rule. Treat your partner as you would like them to treat you. Quite simple really.

Your greatest regret in love. 

Not being more discriminating. I was young. I was lonely. I was middle aged. I was lonely. Always try to pick quality over quantity.

Your thoughts on infidelity – one night stand, fling, or affair. 

A complex question that cannot be answered in one line. Usually not good, but, again, the world is a complex place.

Your feelings about the existence of a soulmate.

Yeah, I can see that. I believe it. Some find a soulmate. Others develop into a soulmate. I have tried, in my own way, to do both.

Your ideal love: madness or redemption? 

Easy. Redemption. I can find madness by myself.

Your advice on making love last. 

The world is a fabulous and exciting place to share. That keeps the love pumping. It’s difficult for you or your relationship to get boring or blasé when everything around you is exciting you- singular and plural.


Drew Hayden Taylor is an Anishnawbe writer from the Curve Lake First Nation In Ontario, whose new book, his 29th, is a collection of short stories called Take Us to Your Chief and Other Stories.

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