Sunday, April 6, 2008

An Interview With James

James is a thousand year old Mexican who gets his powers from his virility, the smartest person I know, and proof that the human race is devolving back into tadpoles. It should come as no surprise that he is being held against his will inside the rubber walls of Northampton State Hospital for believing he is Latoya Jackson. He livejournals at Most of his good entries are hidden behind a friends only lock.

Where do babies come from?

Oh, is this one of THOSE interviews? "Let’s ask the celebrity inane questions and watch his reaction"? Well, if you were hoping to provoke a dramatic scene from me, you've got it. Who goddamn cares where babies come from? This isn't one of the important questions. At some times, in some places, there is an absence of babies, and then something happens, and the babies are there. Just accept it and move on. Quite frankly, I find this sort of navel-gazing repugnant, in a world where there are so many serious questions to ponder. Where do the clowns go when the circus leaves town? Who is it that writes the answers, upside-down, at the bottom of the page? Which Nightmare on Elm Street movie most perfectly captured the horror of sleep? Why do bad people make good death metal? There is so much we need to know, and so much left to do.

You refer to yourself as a celebrity. I did not know that you were a celebrity. Please enlighten me on why you are a celebrity.

Were you not paying attention? WHERE do the CLOWNS go, when the CIRCUS leaves town? They up the tents, they gather the poles in long, ominous clusters, they wander through the fields, absently picking up discarded soda cups and popcorn cartons. But when the trucks pull away, there isn't a greasepainted face to be seen. Not a squeaky red rubber nose in sight. Just civilians, faces drawn and hungover, in the cab of each truck, in each rusted station wagon. I think we are reasonably forced to conclude that the clowns do not leave. That, in fact, a "circus" is best understood as a clown deployment, staged at the expense of small towns across America--each of which will find, in the years to come, that their sleepy and hospitable communities have taken a turn towards the comically absurd.

I see, you think you're the interviewer as well as the subject. I bet you have all your answers pre-written by some guy who you paid in kisses. What gives you the right to choose your own questions? Give me another pre-written response and I will make you the subject in my experiment to determine the chainsaw's effect on the human brain.

Do you see what you're doing? Faced with an interviewee who doesn't blindly capitulate to the demands of your interview schedule, you become defensive. Backed into a corner. "Where do babies come from?" "Why are you a celebrity?" "Why do you write your own questions?" I can't sink my teeth into these. Babies come from somewhere, or maybe nowhere. I'm a celebrity because people love me. I write my own questions because you're not giving me anything to work with here. And there is so much left to discuss, so many issues still left unexplored. The present is getting more futuristic by the moment. There is no time to waste. Now ask me something that matters, and stop breathing through your mouth so much.

You are now the subject of my experiment to determine the chainsaw's effect on the human brain. Why is that gooey thing that's seeping out of your brain turquoise?

There is really no reason for any reader of this interview to doubt anything that we say is happening, is there? Ah, the stark simplicity of the written form. Bradley, please take your finger out of your ear. It is disquieting. Oh no! I have dropped a tray of expensive
flatware on the floor, and the ceramic pieces have effectively exploded, each into a million perfect pieces, each shaped like Florida! And, as I watch my brain drip down to join the shattered plates on the floor, I am struck by how odd this interview might seem to someone who was not here. How arbitrary the transition from nonsensical bickering to dramatic violence against heads and soup dishes might seem. Gray matter pools with red around the broken white shards. We will smile, almost sadly, at future readers who doubt your transcription, muttering softly, "You had to be there."

Why are you outside on the street, jumping on people's heads as if you were a Super Mario Brother?

Time changes us, Bradley. Even as I, at this very moment, unfold three concentric pairs of perfect gossamer wings from the back of my head, I am reminded of that recent moment when the reader of this interview read that fateful query, "Where do babies come from?" Who would have thought, then, that she was about to embark upon such a disquieting journey, so full of hostile negotiations between interviewer and subject, nonsensical rants about carnival entertainers, and never-expanded-upon references to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise? And, as my mind fixes on this recent memory, I also think to the moment, still several breaths into the future, when that very reader will reach the final sentence of this interview and, looking back, feel vaguely annoyed at the two of us for having played so haphazardly with her free time. We stand, brave Bradley, suspended in this awkward moment like a cataract, poised to break across a gray sky before tumbling to earth again. This is why I have made the incision stretching between your left shoulder and the uppermost of your right vertebrochondral ribs, and why I have poured such a sticky-sweet acid into the resulting chasm. As my third and sixth eyes blink in tandem, a new mouth that is strictly speaking neither mine nor yours begins to hum an anacreontic melody. If you look closely you will see that my own mouth is wider than the stars, now. Do you have any other questions, cacographic Bradley, before I join in this joyous song?

Since it's obvious that you're ignoring my questions and creating ones of your own design by mixing semen with the Hebrew alphabet or something, this is my next question: Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah?

It has been a pleasure speaking with you today, Bradley.

Thank you for not answering my questions, Latoya.

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