I knock on the front door to my own house and let myself in. I take one of the two chairs prepared for me – actually I take both of them. Once again I’m interviewing myself. This time to discuss my most recent project – ‘Empty Chair Interviews’. I assume the interview’s role and my interview begins…
“How did the idea for Empty Chair Interviews come about?”
I quickly change chairs so I can answer my own question. Yup, I’m still committed.
“The same way your mum does every Friday night… wait, that would be my mum… next question.”
“You’ve been writing this Empty Chair Interview series for some time now. So tell us (me), what’s the premise?”
“Simply put, it’s self-deprecating humour. Fuck you, fuck me (twice), fuck everyone and everything sideways through a shot glass. There’s nothing sacrosanct in this world. EVERYTHING is up for grabs. I’m kinda inspired by shows like South Park in that way. Don’t let society dictate what is appropriate.”
“Tell it all and tell it true!”
“Why the empty chair?”
“I’m glad you (I) asked me that. Obviously I can’t be there in person for most (any) of my Interviews. I’ve never even been in the same country as my interviewees, or even the same reality, in some cases. The empty chair represents my fantasy. I place myself in front of that chair and start talking to it. Then I listen to what it has to say. I’m not crazy… I just really like talking to chairs.
The ability to interview fictional characters is freedom. I can be anyone; meet anyone; do anything – unlimited cosmic power! All my childhood fantasies are coming true.”
“Who the fuck do I think I am, I mean… Who do you think you are?”
Sorry. I forgot to change seats for that one.
“I’m your friend; your brother; your lover (but hopefully not all at the same time). I’m that bar-creep who won’t leave you alone (actually I will, I’m a decent guy). I want to tell YOUR story, and I want to knock you down a few pegs in the process, just for the hell of it…”
“So why interview yourself… twice?”
“Back when I first started this series, I was dealing with a lot of personal issues, and Empty Chair Interviews really helped to distract me from those negative thoughts, and deal with them in the process. As I’ve said before, writing is all about getting to know one’s self. It’s been a crazy ride, and taking on a different character in each of my interviews (as well as meeting even crazier ones) has allowed me to see a part of myself and what I was dealing with at the time. It’s a way of healing.”
“Every character is a reflection of who I was, and still am.”
“What are you trying to heal from?”
“Fuck you! (or fuck me, rather… whatever) That’s a story for another time, perhaps. In fact I started writing this post so long ago that by now I’m probably over it. If I haven’t told that story yet, I likely never will. It’s no longer the point.”
“Are you satisfied with interviewing yourself about this subject?”
“Yes, and no. I wish someone would have asked me these questions on their own initiative, but who would? I KNOW who I am, and I KNOW the right questions to ask. No one else can do it. I guess that this is the only way I can tell my story the right way – through a weird and unnecessary interview-format.”
“How’s that novel of yours coming along?”
“Fuck you! (or me, again) That’s how.”
This seat thing is getting way too confusing. Excuse me while I finish my seventh beer for the night.
“Honestly, I haven’t worked on it for a while. As you may have noticed (if you’re a regular reader, at least) I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with this current project. I didn’t know that I could be funny before. It’s nice to explore a new fascist (pardon, facet) of myself (I swear to GOD that was a legitimate auto-correct moment). It goes back to what I said in my last self-interview. You should never limit yourself to just one style of writing.”
“You seem to be swearing more than usual, are you okay?”
“I’m just fine and dandy, thank you very much, yessum. *hic!*
Where was I? Oh yes, those hipster fucks can go suck a piss-soaked strawberry…”
“Actually I never asked me that, I mean… asked you.” (FUCK!)
Too many chairs… too many.
“I think we’ve gotten a bit off topic. What’s the next step for Empty Chair Interviews?”
“An interesting question…”
I stare at myself waiting for a response.
“It’s an interesting question, that’s all.”
“Well ok then.”
You’re a special cupcake, I tell myself. Hang in there.
– Empty Chair Interviews