I speak to a scholar
Nicholas Asleep is a scholar, and I spoke to him.
ME: Hello Nicholas Asleep, scholar.
NA: I am the scholar Nicholas Asleep.
ME: That’s what I said.
NA: It is true, that is what you said.
ME: Welcome to the interview.
NA: I feel welcomed. You are very welcoming.
ME: I appreciate the compliment. You are too kind.
NA: (hurt) I do not believe I am too kind. (thinks, speaks deliberately) I do not believe I am kind enough.
ME: Why do you think this? You have a reputation as a very kind man.
NA: I try to be a very kind man. But sometimes it is difficult. (pauses) Sometimes I think unkind thoughts.
ME: What type of unkind thoughts?
NA: I sometimes agree to speak to people with whom I wish no association.
ME: Like me?
NA: No, other people. (pauses) I am enjoying this conversation.
ME: You’re too kind.
NA: You said it again.
ME: The last time I spoke to you, you were working on a book. What’s going on with that?
NA: The book has been published and turned into a film which is shown in film school for its artistic value, and of which a book of criticism has been written, by me.
ME: I last saw you like two months ago.
NA: These things have happened quickly.
ME: Didn’t the books win Nobel prizes?
NA: Yes. The film too.
ME: They have a Nobel prize for film?
NA: They invented it to honor this work. They are too kind.
ME: Now you said it.
NA: I did, but they are too kind. It has actually been flagging my health.
ME: Really? How?
NA: Their kindness has forced me to sit through interviews like this, which are bad for me.
NA: I meant because of the chair. It is bad for my back.
ME: Would you like to sit on the floor? (I suggest this to mean we will both do it)
NA: How dare you ask a scholar to sit on the floor!
ME: I just thought I was helping…
NA: I am kidding. This is… fun.
ME: You are mischievous.
NA: (now actually hurt) I do not believe I am mischievous.
ME: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.
NA: (smiles) I am mischievous.
ME: Ha. This IS fun.
NA: I wish I agreed.
This is war.