I was interviewed by a nine-year-old. I’ll call her “Kay,” but that’s not her name.
Kay is my hero. Kay is a foster child who loves Auburn University football. Kay is also serious about the sanctity of the interview process. Kay wants to be a lawyer when she grows up.
Her digital recorder sat on the table. She gave me a bottled water. She also had prepared homemade pimento cheese.
It was very good cheese. However, instead of using pimentos, Kay used homegrown habanero peppers from her foster-mother’s garden. Lots and lots of peppers.
The skin on my tongue will be forevermore mutilated by these peppers. My lower intestinal tract will never be the same.
The interview was for Kay’s school. Kay was supposed to be writing about people who were fascinating. But, she couldn’t find anyone, so she wrote about me.
She pressed the button on the recorder. “Please state your name,” said Kay, her pencil poised.
“Your FULL name, please,” Kay said, preventing obstruction of justice.
“What does the ‘P’ stand for, please?”
“No, not really, I was just trying to make you laugh.”
But Kay does not laugh or smile. Kay would make a very good poker player.
“Sean, tell me how you started writing?”
“With a pencil,” I said.
“Please be serious.”
“Okay,” I said. “I’m a writer by accident, really.”
“I was no good at anything else. And believe me, I’ve tried it all. I’ve worked a lot of jobs.”
“What kinds of jobs?”
“Oh boy, let’s see…. I’ve been a drywaller, a landscaper, an electrician’s assistant, a commercial framer, a house painter, an ice-cream scooper, a commercial fishing deckhand, a church pianist, and once, after a wild night in Biloxi, I was ordained.”
“Is that true?” said Kay. “Were…