by Victoria Danann
me: Sir Hawking, it’s such a pleasure to interview you again. A lot has happened since the last time we talked.
Ram: Aye. Some good. Some bad.
me: Yes. Well, that’s life.
Ram: No. ‘Tis no’ life. ‘Tis commercial fiction that has us runnin’ all over the Western world barely recovering from one horrendous injury before you have us doin’ bleedin’ sheet time again. And, when I say “bleedin'”, ’tis meant literally.
me: Yes. I know, but let’s focus on the great things that have happened. You’ve been inducted into the Hall of Heroes. You’ve got a beautiful, healthy, charismatic baby boy…
Ram: I’m no’ complainin’ about Helm and you know it. He’s bloomin’ perfection. ‘Tis the hero thin’ that turned out dubious because now my wife thinks I should conduct myself with a certain decorum befittin’ the honor. Great Paddy. .
me: She’s very proud of you.
Ram: (He smiles.)
me: You see. Your life isn’t so bad.
Ram: It has its moments. But you’re always trickin’ us into believin’ we’re doin’ one thin’ and then you sprin’ somethin’ entirely different on us and we’re goin’ in a bloody different direction. We never have a chance to decide if we’re comin’ or goin’.
me: Give me an example.
Ram: You think I can no’ come up with one? Right off the top of my head? How ’bout this? You led us to believe we were retirin’. Gonna enjoy life! Fruit of the vine and all that. So I’m busy bustin’ hump to get Elora’s dream home finished before the baby comes. Matter of fact that’s where I was when she was bein’ attacked by fuckers from her dimension of origin.
me: (I have to laugh.) Dimension of origin?
Ram: Aye. You have a problem with me callin’ it that, Mistress?
me: No. Not at all. It’s just that the phrase “dimension of origin” seems so politically correct and academic. I guess I wouldn’t have had you say that because I would have thought it was out of character.
Ram: (Scowls.) You think I’m no’ bright?
me: Of course I don’t think that! You wouldn’t have made it through Black Swan training if you weren’t smart.
Ram: (Nods) Exactly right. In the future, if you’re wantin’ to know what is or is no’ in “character” for me, then just ask me. ‘Tis what you should have been doin’ all along anyhow.
me: Quite right. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.
Ram: Because your vanity does no’ have limits.
me: Did you enjoy that?
me: Okay. If it makes you feel better to say such things to me, go ahead.
Ram: Well, if you’re serious, I have quite a lengthy list of thin’s I’d like to say to you.
me: (My turn to show him a third finger.)
me: This might be a good time to switch topics. You’ve collected quite a fan base since the last time we talked.
me: Yes. You’re the focus of nocturnal fantasies for a growing chunk of the fairer sex.
Ram: Fairer sex, is it? I do no’ believe women are especially fair. Selfish or self-involved maybe.
me: No, Ram. The expression doesn’t mean fairness as in justice. It means the prettier sex.
Ram: Duh! It was a joke!
me: Well, forgive me a moment of being uncharacteristically dense.
Ram: (Laughs and shakes his head.) You probably think bein’ dense is “out of character” for you.
me: (blink, blink) What does that mean?
Ram: Have you seriously never considered that you may be just one of the characters in this story? ‘Tis your job to play the spy who lurks and journals on what those of us with real lives say and do.
me: Is that what you think?
Ram: (smiles) Nah. I’m just fuckin’ with you.
me: Okay. Back to your fans…
Ram: Look. I do no’ want to seem rude or unnecessarily conceited, but attractin’ the fairer sex has never been a problem for me. ‘Tis no’ very surprisin’ that some would like to picture themselves in my mate’s position. (He chuckles.) Or maybe I should say positions.
me: Hmmm. No doubt. Well, let’s wrap this up. Why don’t you tell me where you see yourself in five years.
Ram: (narrows his eyes) ‘Tis a trick? I tell you what I’d like so you can make sure it does no’ happen?
me: You know it truly hurts that you think I’m so devious. Of course I want to see you get your happily ever after.
Ram: If I’m feelin’ distrustful of you, ’tis entirely your own fault. Reapin’ what you sow, you know.
Ram: I’d like us to be home on the farm, feeling safe and secure, raising elfren and Alsatian dogs. I want my mate happy every second of every day. She deserves it.
me: I’ll see what I can do.