Okay, I see that the Powers That Be controlling British programming will be airing Guys and Dolls again, and you people (that’s all of you who dig Davecat, Sidore, as well as assorted looky-loos) are wondering who I am, why he keeps talking about me, and if I have a sister. I in fact have two sisters, and no, you’re not their type.
So, since that entry is on the now defunct Diner, I present in its entirety the original post from June 19, 2006.
Interviews. I imagine doing them in my head, because one day I may have to do them for a movie press junket and my public speaking skills are about on par with those of caffeinated rhesus monkeys. I’m easily distracted, my train of thought can be derailed by the sun glinting off a gum wrapper, and I tend to ramble. No, really. In my imagination, when I give interviews, while I want to sound intelligent and informed, I think I come off sounding pretentious, and then there is the rambling.
This weekend I had to work – craziness that threatens to consume me – but I took a few hours for an interview on the subject of RealDolls. I don’t own a RealDoll, but my oldest and dearest friend Davecat has one for a companion. Because it’s apparently my fault that Sidore is in residence with him, I was asked to interview for a documentary airing in the UK. They wanted to talk to the close personal peeps of people who owned synthetic companions.
Dave gave me the heads up, first asking with all the tentativeness of someone fully expecting to be shot down and then set on fire. I agreed (to his shock) and in a few days I received a call from Nick, and things were set to Saturday at my place about 12:30. It meant some marathon cleaning and some finagling to escape from work for a few hours, but I got it to work by the skin of my teeth.
While I think I give pretty decent directions, they still managed to get lost, and unlike some people who live in fancy subdivisions with curvy streets and cul-de-sacs guarded by trolls, my location is fairly straightforward off parallel streets and right angles. I mean, *I* make it home everyday – what’s the problem.
Saturday was warm, which is a lot like saying the ocean is a little damp, and I don’t have air conditioning. I tried to make the place as comfortable as possible despite the heat, which normally doesn’t bother me, I try to be prescient of other people’s needs – lots of water on hand, iced tea, soda, damp cloths. As it turns out, they’re from England where air conditioning is banned by the Crown, and in fact when I apologized for the lack of air conditioning, Nick said “What?” as if I were apologizing for my imaginary friend farting.
We chatted a bit, Nick and Tanya getting a feel for me and my surroundings – no matter how clean it is, I always feel like I have to apologize because I live there and it *looks* like I live there with a husband and two cats (and maybe an army of Hessians): stains on the carpet, clutter in every conceivable corner, books, dust, etc. They got to meet Loki, who automatically assumed they had arrived to pet him and they automatically assumed he’d jumped into the window to eat them. Zeus refused to come out. All pleasantries aside, we got down to the business of setting up.
I changed into short coveralls and a white shirt with cute Victorian-style cuffs, which is to say the arms were fitted but the cuffs themselves were angled and flowy. The shirt, true to form had a rather plunging neckline, hence the coveralls to maintain some modicum of modesty.
Nick had to mic me, and in fact he seemed to carry the mic apparatus around for a few minutes before approaching me in that adorably charming way the English have about asking you if they can stick their hand down your shirt front. I hope I didn’t look too eager.
We sat down, fans off to not interfere with the sound, and after a few tape changes and an interruption (Doug popped by between umpiring games) we managed to complete things in about an hour and a half. We were all warm, and a little sweaty, but there were smiles all around. She said I did well, but she’s a citizen of the Crown and by law they *have* to be polite.
I don’t know if I interview well. There is the persona that Internet people see (brash, bitchy and decidedly morbid) , and then there’s a persona that meat life people see (sarcastic, distracted, and decidedly morbid), and now there is this other me that is clearly only for interviews. I may have to have that me gutted.
Lots of questions, and one thing is ultimately clear – I’m a lousy friend. When it came to questions about how Dave might feel (I dunno, about anything), I was unprepared to answer them because I don’t know how anyone feels. And – this is going to sound terribly callous – it’s because I don’t get that emotionally vested in people. Are you happy – glad to hear it. Are you sad – I’m very sorry, are you going to eat that? I don’t ever ask people, “but how do you feel about it?” because I either don’t care or they haven’t told me, and I don’t pry. I have an idea of how people feel about things, because as writer I can at least fake it, and when you ask me how someone might feel about something, I can only imagine. Therefore, a lot of my answers were, “I can imagine …” which must sound incredibly lame after the first ten times, but at least it’s real. I’m not going to fake answers and tell people what they want to hear because I’m not that great a liar and keeping up with false answers is just too much work.
It’s a borderline sociopathy. I can’t help myself.
Did you know I’ve only met Sidore in person once? They were as surprised as I am.
Let’s see what got discussed – While they often referred to Dave as “Davecat” I only do in print. He’s always been Dave to me and that’s the end of it. Dave refers to me as “Monti”, which is what family calls me, but for everyone else, it’s “MontiLee” (or “Penda”). I got to tell Tanya that I’m named after a hooker, which seemed to thrill her completely.
They asked me about the first time I met Sidore and what my first impression of her was. Frankly, I think she wears too much eye makeup and my impression was that she could tone it down a little. I didn’t think of her as an expensive sex toy, because it’s simply not how I view anyone’s companion the first time I meet them. Really, when you meet the Significant Other of a friend, is the first thing that pops into your head, “so, what’s that flavor of sex like”? (and if it is, I want you off my blog, pervert) And honestly, I don’t think of people I know as friends or acqaintences as sexual objects. I mean … no.
Eventually the conversation turned back to me and my role in the whole thing. My relationship with Dave was put into sharp focus and maybe if perhaps the decision to not continue the relationship beyond “Friend” status led to Dave and Sidore hooking up. (I mean, it’s not like I drove him into the arms of a child killer, she’s just not organic.) They asked me why we never dated, and I think that my answer of “he’s just not my type” wasn’t good enough because they asked twice more. Finally, I think I gave the answer of “he’s too short” with a little shrug (and he is, by about an inch, so there). The thing that put Dave and I into the same orbit almost 20 years ago was not a common interest, but the common goal of making it through high school with as little emotional trauma as possible. We failed but that’s not the point. On the surface, we have nothing in common, we just enjoy each other’s company. We are a constant in each other’s lives. I can’t explain it any better than that.
Tanya is a great interviewer (we’re both Sags!), and she asked great introspective questions that lesser people might have ignored. The accent makes interviews less like a Gulag interrogation and more like a chat. While I don’t find myself funny on purpose, I do understand that because the way I speak and the way my brain works are intertwined, a lot of what I think exits out my mouth, and more than once I cracked her up. Nick asked some questions as well, and then they watched me knit up a pair of stockings that will be completed when Sidore gets back from her stint in rehab. As Davecat said, there is more filming in store for when she gets back and I hope the weather cooperates for it.
If honesty was what they were going for, they got it in spades and while Davecat seems eternally grateful that I participated, we’ll see when the final product comes out how grateful he stays. My defense will of course be. “well you didn’t tell me not to tell them that”. I’m so dead.
After the chatting they wrapped up. They said I did well and that Dave and I are articulate and descriptive. I hope I’m at least likable.
Nick took shots of my place and an old Noir Leather ad of Sidore and That Other Girl, and then we mused about future shots in a few weeks. It will probably involve Loki and a swing. (heh) By then, Black Petals #36 should be out and then they’ll get to see the story I wrote following the incident with That Other Girl. I told Tanya about it, the significance of the title, the story and why I write it. She seemed very interested, but again – Crown law.
While lunch had been offered, it was getting late and they had to head back to see Sidore off. See, she has a bit of a drinking problem, and I think it started when she was trying to keep up with me, so she’s off to detox. Pacing me – it can’t be done people. Please, for the sakes of your livers, don’t even try.
Actually, she’s going in for a little nip and tuck, but my rumor is better.
I’ll be anxious about it until I see it and get reactions, but for the most part I’m very happy I did it. I hope it comes out very well.