Interview With Myself #2

I am again sitting at my round breakfast table. The time is 10:42am and I am preparing for my second interview. Since I awoke at 6am this morning and then went back to sleep at around 7:30am I am getting a late start. My German shepherd is currently resting beside my ankle eating a biscuit of some sort. The morning is overcast and there is a breeze that is blowing leaves off the trees. I think my dog is impatient to go for walk but she will have to wait. There is dog hair all over my dark hardwood floors. My hair is a mess and I am still dressed  in my pajamas when this interview begins.

 

Interviewer: Good morning Randall.

Randall: Good morning.

Interviewer: Good morning.

Randall: Good morning.

Interviewer: Good morning.

Randall: Ok. Good morning. Let me make myself a cup of green tea real quick.

Interviewer: Take your time.

[Randall gets up to prepare his tea. Ofcourse his dog follows]

Randall: Ok lets begin this interview. I have a lot to get done today so let’s get going.

Interviewer: Yes it is already late.

Randall: It is.

Interviewer: Just out of curiosity what do you have to get done today?

Randall: Well I have to take my dog for a long walk. I need to water in the garden and possibly finish a drawing I have been working on. I want to do some reading and I need to spend six minutes doing my shake a weight. I also need to shower and get dressed, do a bit of meditation and check my bank balance. I am also driving into Pasadena with my wife today so that we can go to the art store and visit a vintage furniture store that we like. We will probably have dinner in Pasadena tonight.

Interviewer: Sounds nice.

Randall: Yes.

Interviewer: What are you reading at the moment?

Randall: I have actually had a difficult time finding things to sink my teeth into latly. I have an extensive book collection and have been picking books off the shelves trying to get myself into one of them. I have tried to read novels by Haruki Murakami, Tom Robbins and William Burroughs but I seem to have little interest in reading fiction right now. I have also tried to get interested in some non-fiction. I have started to read a book of John Cage’s essays called “Silence” and I have also tries to read Damien Echols memoir called “Life After Death” but I have not been able to get into either of these books. Last night I picked up a book by Gabor Mate called “In the Real of Hungry Ghosts” and like what I read so maybe I will be able to go deeper into it.

Interviewer: Why do you think you are having such a difficult time starting and finishing books right now?

Randall: I’m not sure. As you know, we have always had a really difficult time finishing things. I think that the reason why we enjoy reading literature so much is because we would often finish novels and that would give us that much needed sense of completion. But as you also know for every novel we have finished there have been two that have gone unfinished. I am not sure if as I have gotten older my attention span has shortened or if my use of the internet has caused me to develop ADD, which makes it much more difficult for me to be attentive enough to follow a narrative for hundreds of pages. I find that after ten pages of reading I am easily distracted and check my facebook or get up and do something else. Then I come back to reading. This makes it difficult for me to really sink into a narrative.

Interviewer: Have you finished a book recently?

Randall: I have. A few weeks ago I read Victor Frankel’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.”

Interviewer: If I remember correctly that is a rather short book is it not.

Randall: (looking a bit embarrassed) It is, yes.

Interviewer: Have you finished a longer book recently?

Randall: What do you mean by longer?

Interviewer: Say longer than two hundred pages.

Randall. Hmmm. Let me think. Yes in fact I did. About a month ago I finished a brilliant book of short stories called “Orientation” by Daniel Orozco.

Interviewer: How many pages was that?

Randall: (now looking a bit indignant) I believe that was around 160 pages.

Interviewer: Only 160 pages?

Randall: Yes.

Interviewer: And how long did that take you to read?

Randall: Probably a week.

Interviewer: A week to read 160 pages?

Randall: (silent)

Interviewer: Any books OVER two hundred pages?

Randall: A few months back I read Spalding Grey’s novel, “Impossible Vacations.” I believe that was just over two hundred pages and the print was small.

Interviewer: Is it safe to say that you have a difficult time reading books?

Randall: (some what rhetorically) What do you mean by this?

Interviewer: I know this may be a difficult question to answer since at one time you considered yourself to be a prolific reader. Now it seems as if you struggle through a two hundred-page book.

Randall: (taking a deep breath) Well I suppose I do. I don’t quite understand it myself. When I sit down to read I just feel distracted- as if there is other things I should be doing. I have trouble sinking into a book as I once was so able to do so easily. I don’t know maybe as a man grows older he feels like he should be spending less time lost inside the pages of a book and more time in his life.

Interviewer: Or maybe you have developed ADD?

Randall: Look what is this interview about? Did you come here to criticize my reading abilities and to point out how I have developed a mental handicap in my older age?

Interviewer: First of all I did not “come here.” I am already here. I live with you on a moment to moment basis so I am well aware of the inner turmoil you experience. I know that lately you have really been struggling to immerse yourself in a work of literature and I thought I would use this interview as an opportunity to get to the bottom of it.

Randall: Ok. Ok. I am well aware of your good intentions and I appreciate you wanting to help us out but I suppose I am not in the mood to talk about it at the moment. It cuts to something very deep and personal for me.

Interviewer: And what might that be?

Randall: (silence)

Interviewer: We don’t have to talk about it if you do not want to.

Randall: (after a moments pause) I guess it is that I am changing. That I may not have the same interests as I once did. Maybe I am just not as interested in literature as I once was. Maybe I am not as interested in writing or needing to be an artist as I once was. It is strange and I am trying to figure it out for myself.

Interviewer: Or maybe you have developed ADD?

Randall: Look I don’t think that is it. I realize that I have a difficult time concentrating but that may have more to do with lack of interest and facebook than it does with ADD.

Interviewer: Lack of interest?

Randall: Yes.

Interviewer: What are you not interested in anymore.

Randall: It is not that I am not interested, I just have a more difficult time losing myself in a book now. A part of me prefers just being in my life: walking, listening, communicating with others, gardening, listening to music and just being. I often feel as if reading gets in the way of doing these things. Reading takes up a lot of time for someone like myself.

Interviewer: Because of ADD?

Randall: Look there are still few things that I love more than sitting down with a good book. I just need to find that book which will keep my interest and allow me to feel like I am not wasting time. This has nothing to do with ADD.

Interviewer: Ok, I will let you believe what you want. We will agree to disagree on this point.

Randall: Fine.

Interviewer: Well I think these are all the questions that I have for you today. Anything else you would like to add?

Randall: Nothing. I need to take the dog for a walk.

Interviewer: Ok well thanks for speaking with me today. I look forward to doing it again some time soon.

Randall: (silence)

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