118 10 Questions: Lesley Arfin

Photo: Terry Richardson

We first fell in love with Lesley Arfin when she began her cult-loved Dear Diary column for Vice magazine: she got personal… real personal (It was later turned into a book with an introduction written by Chloe Sevigny.). She’s scribed for magazines like Jane, Paper, Purple, and i-D (she was even the former editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Missbehave magazine–RIP), and now, she’s working alongside Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow on the HBO series Girls—as one of the staff writers. So yeah, Arfin rocks. With over 20 tattoos and a killer sense of humor, we had her fill in our online questionnaire. One tip of advice—don’t ask her to describe herself.

ELLE: What is your favorite smell?
Lesley Arfin: Tiny little baby smell.

ELLE: What do you consider the epitome of happiness?
LA: Love and service.

ELLE: How do you define luxury?
LA: Choosing to say yes or no rather than having to.

ELLE: What is the last dream you remember?
LA: A few nights ago I dreamt I was a soldier in Vietnam. I think it was because before I feel asleep, I was talking about Apocolypse Now. Also, it was Memorial Day.

ELLE: What’s your favorite childhood memory?
LA: I remember I used to spend (what felt like) hours at my grandfather’s house just walking around and exploring. Opening drawers (I found a gun!) and picking up delicate glass objects. I used to pretend I was a really rich girl who had no friends. Also I have great memories of hanging out at our community pool in the summertime before I went to camp. I also have great memories of going to our house in East Hampton on the weekends (the interiors were very Terence Conran). On the drive I would listen to George Michael and The Fresh Prince on my Walkman.

ELLE: What’s the last book you read and loved?
LA: I recently finished Stephen King’s new book, 11/22/63. It’s about a time traveler who goes back to stop the Kennedy assassination. It’s incredible. Now I’m reading Wired, the biography of John Belushi by Bob Woodward.

ELLE: Describe your home’s aesthetic.
LA: 1970s art teacher’s house meets California mysticism.

ELLE: What are your vices?
LA: Tattoos. I have over 20 I think.

ELLE: Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
LA: No, I don’t want to.

ELLE: What possession will you never throw away?
LA: My baby blankets, my black leather motorcycle boots.

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