Amanda Faye Martin went to Kenyon College in Ohio, where she learned how to think about stuff while running around in Amish cornfields. By the time she graduated in 2012, she realized that the absence of transcendental truths/privileged values actually means that we have an amazing amount of freedom to design our lives. Equipped with this knowledge, she decided that the world is her playground/oyster (depending on how much she is underwater) and got an internship at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago because making plays are for people who have things to say and never want to stop playing. She's now touring the country with The Hampstead Stage Company, a traveling educational theater group.
Fireflies are little things seen through an eight year old boy’s eyes—fuzzy brown legs passing through dark green, net in hand, sounds of the Chattanooga river, your name being called in the distance. So it’s funny when you’re 23 and a girl and you see ‘em hovering round a bush at a Super 8 in Dalton, you can almost feel this other life. In the morning you float down the river, you rest your head on a raft, you open and close your eyes, green, black, green, black, blue sky, thinking, yes, this is what it would be like.
It’s a lot like driving through North Dakota at night, the drive is long and you gotta keep going, ‘cause if you run outta gas, you’re dead, you’re at the mercy of whatever decides to pop outta the bushes. So you’re lucky, ‘cause you risked it all, slowed down to pick up a hitchhiker, and she’s been there so long you’ve forgotten all about her otherness, forgotten who’s driving, you’re in this car together, cocooned, like a carrot or onion growing silently in the dirt, surrounded by darkness but gliding together and yeah, that makes it a little less terrifying.
Maybe it’s not so much that you want to keep mashing up strawberries and making jam, you just don’t want anybody breaking your precious jars. So that’s why she was afraid, I say, and that’s what makes you afraid too, and now me, like dominos of fear, because we’ve made so much jam and dying seems an awful waste. You say you didn’t know her too well anyway, but that’s not the point and I know it, so I keep myself snaked around your torso because in my hand I can hear your heart and lungs and they’re afraid, too.
It’s 42 miles till Fayetteville, and there’ll be trees, yes, it’s North Carolina, and sun, yes, but you really have no clue because one of the two no-brainer-given-circumstances-type things you guessed isn’t even true—once you get off that pretty southern highway it’s mostly liquor stores, a prostitute’ll ask you for a light but you gotta keep walking, you gotta soak your pants because of the gasoline you spilled when you were busy thinking about heating a sweet potato in the station microwave, where two men laugh at you anyway and ask why you like dem potaters so much.