CONTAINS SPOILERS! DON’T READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIRTY NIGHTS.
Ani: Aiden, thank you for coming here today.
AH: Did I have a choice in the matter?
AS: No, not really. I’m still thankful though – I know you are really miserable right now.
AH: Miserable? That’s what you call it?
AS: Ummm… what would you call it?
AH: Dead and unburied while being pissed on by Iraqi insurgents in a ditch full of shit and having the words “fuck me in the ass” cut out on your chest and shrapnel under your fingernails comes close. But, tomato – tomato.
AS: Ah…. that sounds… shitty?
AH: If you have an ounce of decency as a woman, you will not try puns with me.
AS: Good point. Though I don’t really have decency.
AH: Clearly – judging by the hell you have left me in since you finished your “book” on May 19th, at 6:37 p.m. Hideous pajamas by the way.
AS: Umm… I can always take them off?
AS: Then behave. Where are Jazz and the others?
AH: Right next me, as you can see.
AS: Why are they holding on to your arms for dear life?
AH: Because my last words to them were “I only leave the cabin dead.”
AS: Interesting command – and a good segue. We have some readers that are seriously worried about you.
AH: They have my deepest gratitude. I demand that you put them and me out of our joint ditch of shit very soon.
AS: I’m writing as fast as I can but I’m really picky about my Oxford commas.
AH: Do. Not. Mention. Oxford. To. Me.
AS: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Okay, mental note. No references to England if you want to live through the night. Moving on to other questions. Have you talked to Benson recently?
AS: Is he alive?
AH: Define alive.
AS: Ah…. breathing and conscious?
AS: Does he still work for you?
AS: Where is he now?
AH: Undoing dirty deeds.
AS: What about your parents? Are they still in Thailand?
AS: Where are they?
AH: On a plane.
AS: Where are you right now?
AH: In your fucked-up head.
AS: Ummm… where exactly?
AH: I cannot disclose that. But there is an empty building next to me and I use the term building -.
AS: Okay, okay, no details. Less risky questions. Oh, I know, something that will put you in a good mood. We have a lot of questions about how big … ummm… Private Dick is?
AH: You’re serious.
AH: It’s custom-made for one specific woman so measurements are irrelevant.
AS: Still… readers want to know.
AH: Fine. As someone put it once, take the cubic root of 90, multiply by two, add the third digit of Pi, and subtract the rounded Pi.
AS: I think we can guess who would have come up with this formula.
AH: I’m sure you can. It was not Dalton.
AS: Speaking of Dalton… is he aware of recent events?
AH: Not from my mouth.
AS: And Bob – have you talked to him?
AH: Define talk.
AS: Ummm… civil conversation where most of the words consist of human sounds?
AH: Then no.
AS: Okay. How about Reagan, have you talked to her?
AH: Under the previous definition of talk, no.
AS: And Javier?…. Aiden? Hello? Ummm… Aiden? You’re freaking me out. Did you just walk out of my head? Aiden? I will move onto other questions, I promise. Aiden? Ah… I will write a sex scene outtake… oh, here you are! Thank you.
AH: Don’t. Mention. It.
AS: What is your favorite song?
AH: Fur Elise.
AS: Your favorite food?
AH: Baci chocolates.
AS: The last Baci quote you read?
AH: Love me for love’s sake only.
AS: The last meal you ate?
AH: Father’s day breakfast at Crater Lake lodge.
AS: That’s a while ago, Aiden. You need to eat.
AH: Bite me.
AS: Okay, my fault. I get it. Do you currently own a certain nutritional supplement named “Peter?”
AH: No. Pursuant to a certain sale contract, the ownership of Peter and all intellectual rights thereto appertaining automatically reverted to …. ah…. (*swallows hard… again… again…) to… (deep breath)… to… (looks out of the dark window)…. (seems to count in his head)…. (deep breath)… to… (holy fuck, is that a tear?)…. (closes eyes, shakes head)…. to Her (whispers). (Clears throat). Any other questions?
AH: Why are you crying?
AS: Because I love all three of you so much.
AH: You have a fucked up way of showing it.
AS: I know. I’m sorry – it’s for the best, I promise.
AH: Whatever. Any other questions?
AS: Yes, sorry. What are you wearing right now?
AH: Purple shirt, grey pants, shoes, socks, wallet.
AS: What’s in your wallet?
AH: (glares, then eyes soften). A picture.
AS: You don’t need pictures.
AH: I do. And will need them again very soon.
AS: What else is in your wallet?
AS: What else?
AH: Baci quotes.
AS: Anything else?
AH: Are you a fucking CIA interrogator?
AH: A note.
AS: A note? By whom?
AH: You’re CIA. Figure it out.
AS: Anything in your pockets?
AS: Care to elaborate?
AH: (reaches in his right pant pocket and pulls out a folded piece of paper. Unfolds it carefully. Shows it to me. Without a single word.)
AS: A plane ticket? August 23, 2008. The day She flew to the U.S.?
AH: (whispers) My Christmas present. (Looks out of the window again.)
AS: Umm… anything on your skin?
AH: Are you fully determined to humiliate me?
AS: No. But I think the readers need to know your goodness.
AH: (Sighs heavily. Undoes the buttons of his shirt slowly, opens the shirt, revealing his chest and looking away).
AS: Jesus Christ! In Her handwriting?
AH: I can replicate Her hand, not Her touch.
AS: Can I read it to the readers?
If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I’d toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.
But now, all ignorant of the truth,
Of distance’s unbending wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.
Aiden, you’ve changed Emily Dickinson’s words!! It used to be about time, now it’s about truth and distance?
AS: But you’ve still left the poem ambiguous: both terminal and eternal?
AH: You’re the writer. What will you choose for me?
AS: (sits up from chair and walks to Aiden. Curls up on the floor and puts head on his knee, sobbing.) You deserve only the best. I love you.
AH: (puts hand on my hair.) Oh fuck. I love you too.