someone should just stop me
I was interviewed today for an article on online journals. I can only imagine it will turn out looking something like this:
She’s Not So Hot: Meeting Pamie
She answered the door with her hair still wet and a cigarette in her right hand. Her giant cats were tangled around her feet as she stammered their names quickly and sat down. I could tell she was nervous. The carpet was obviously freshly vacuumed. Her iBook was placed on a table, but from the placement of the cords, I could tell she just threw it there pretending she doesn’t keep it on the living room table right in front of the television. She wore just a hint of lip gloss. The cheap kind.
She eyed my tiny tape recorder nervously. I guess because the tiny tape recorder is a symbol of a real interview, and not just two people chatting. She knows whatever she says will be recorded and can be used against her.
She immediately lit another cigarette and snatched the iced coffee she made me bring her as payment. We rejoiced about the iced coffee for a few minutes, but seriously, that stuff is like crack. I think she might have a real problem. She wouldn’t let me into the house without the stuff.
I think I only got to ask about one question. The rest of the time she spent babbling on and on, not really following one point to the next, but rather interrupting herself as if she was giving herself the interview. I’m glad I taped it all, because I never would have walked away having learned something. There were just too many words coming out of her mouth. All in rapid succession.
She’d answer the phone while I’d casually wait for her to come back to the interview. Her conversations were non-conversations: “Yes. No. Yes. Uh-huh. I know. You’re the interview. Sweet. Don’t do that. Cool.” Another phone call. This one longer. She looked at me with apologies: “He lives in L.A. He calls me but he’s still having to answer phones while he does it, so I only get to talk to him for every other ten second period. Sorry. Hold on. Yes. No. Hey, call me in twenty minutes, okay? Yeah.”
At one point her giant cat jumped onto the chair I was sitting in and began licking my hair. I tried to act real cool about it, assuming she’d get up and get him off me, but she just waved her hand and said, “Oh, he does that.” I’ll never get the feeling of his spit out of my ears.
I thought maybe she wouldn’t turn the “Pop-Up Video” off the television, but once she saw my tiny tape recorder, she gave it the respect it deserves.
I don’t even think I asked her about the history of online journalling, as I’ve been doing research, and already know these things, but she gave it to me anyway. I already knew half of the stories she told, as I am able to pull up her webpage and read it, just like everyone else, but that didn’t seem to stop her. I wonder if all of her friends have to sit through the same stories they already read that day.
Sometimes she’d tell me a good story, and then follow it up with, “Don’t print that.” I hate that.
I don’t know. I wanted to call my boss and tell him I was going to be late for the meeting, as we had reached a two-hour mark with no hope for her coming up for air. She was barefoot, wearing a small t-shirt. I couldn’t tell which of the two bras she had recently purchased she was wearing. I think the white one.
I admit I zoned out there for a second and started debating which bra she must have been wearing. I think it was when she was discussing how some people write to her and ask her to have Taylor write a guest entry. Where am I going to use that in my story?
I didn’t get to ask her about five questions that I had because I was afraid of the length of the answer. The only time I got to ask a question was when she’d stop just holding a cigarette and actually light it.
No wonder her entries are so long. This girl could talk forever.
She mentioned other journals, and the creation of her own. She talked about her frustrations, her hopes, her goals, and what she thinks of herself now. She talked about herself alot. I guess when you keep an online journal, you like to talk about yourself. You have to. I just thought maybe she would have worked all that out online so that we could maybe talk about other people once in a while.
The room was getting smoky, and my tongue felt strange from the Vietnamese Iced Coffee she demanded, but I was stuck in this living room waiting for her to maybe stop talking for a second. I didn’t even get a chance to run to the bathroom. I wanted to see the hallway.
When she ran to the back to see if she could find the shrine to the tiny wooden hand, I whispered a silent prayer that when the tape ran out, she’d take a hint.
Two sides, people. We did two sides of the tape. She looked disappointed when the second side ran out. I had to wave my hand to give her the signal that she could just keep on talking. What choice did I have?
I didn’t go to her house to talk about mightybigtv.com. Why did she spend so much time talking about it?
I really just wanted to hear the mix CD she had made. I wanted to talk about Weezer and bras. I didn’t want to hear so much about Tae-Bo and the Mach 3. I already know the power of the Mach 3.
She never stopped talking. I was crying at one point, because I missed my home and food, but she didn’t even notice. Didn’t even offer me something to drink. I smoked like, two cigarettes to her nine.
She speaks in a weird combination of online handles and real names. Sometimes she’d say Beth, sometimes Xeney. Someone was named Wing, but later I could have sworn she had a real girl’s name. What’s a “stee?” What’s a “Brently,” and why are his phone calls more important than my interview?
Her phone continued to ring, and I couldn’t imagine how much e-mail she was missing while she was talking to me, talking on the phone, smoking and plotting the rest of the work she had for the day. She knew she had an entry, a recap, and a script to write after I had left. I figured this would give her a kind way out.
But something compelled her to keep talking.
I didn’t have the heart to tell her that this article was actually about nine people, and that I was probably only going to use about two quotes from her. Gwen was real nice and direct and I just spoke and then she’d answer the question and then we’d move on and we got through a whole list of questions in less than an hour and all of Gwen’s statements had actual points and didn’t end with the words, “I don’t know. It’s weird.”
I have a headache.
I think I’ll keep to reading her online, where I can shut her up anytime I want to. I don’t have to sit through the whole thing. You know what she does? She interrupts. You’ll be talking, and she’ll just interrupt you to add what she thinks about what you’re saying. I’m not done! I wasn’t done talking, and she’ll just fit in what she’s thinking about what you’re saying, as if she’s not really listening to you, but rather thinking what she’s going to say next about what you’re saying. I hate that. I really do.
I learned a lesson, though. She’s fun on stage when she’s allowed to talk for forty minutes and you aren’t supposed to talk back, but get her in a room and it’s all, “Blah, blah, blah, me, me, me, cats, me, blah.”
Maybe she was nervous. Maybe she didn’t know what to expect, and didn’t know what I was going to write. I was going to say very nice things about her, about how funny she is. But now, I’m just tired. She didn’t stop talking for two hours, people.
I need a nap.
“Squishy?” More like “Blabby.”
New Webhead: An open letter from your coffee mug.