Saturday, July 27, 2013

What About Now? - Character Interview - Leiman

What About Now? - Interview with Leiman - First Appeared in Lonely Moon
---------------------------------------------
Me: Hello guys 'n dolls!  Today, I have a very special guest from my second novel.  He's so cool, I didn't even give him a first name (haha).  I'd like to introduce you to Ensign Leiman.

Leiman: Hello, Andrew.  I would ask you how you're doing, but that would seem a bit redundant, wouldn't it?  Ya' know, considering you made me up...

Me: Maybe, but it would be polite...just kidding.  This is very special for me, because, and don't tell Captain Hane this, but you are my favorite character from Lonely Moon.

Leiman: I can't make any promises that he won't find out, he is my captain after all, but that's a very interesting thing to say.  Why is that?

Me: Hey, I'm supposed to be asking the questions!  But, for our readers, umm...it's because I based alot of who you are, the things you value, the way you interact; alot of that came from me.  You are very much a reflection of myself, in more ways than I care to reveal.  Granted, you are a great deal smarter than I am, but you and I share so much.  We even both wear glasses!  Backpedaling a bit, but you're a very special character to me...and I'm glad you made it off Earth.

Leiman: Well, you should know then, I don't do well with this emotional stuff, so best to start with the interview, yes?

Me: Agreed.  Okay, first up, we've got - Let's say, just for a moment, that we're back on Earth, in New York City, where you were stationed before the invasion.  We're in your apartment, and you're doing some intense spring cleaning.  What do you keep and what do you toss?

Leiman: My apartment is pretty clean, so I wouldn't be doing any spring cleaning to begin with.  But, for the sake of the question...umm...the first things to go would be...well, you know how quickly technology changes in your time.  In my time, it changes almost daily.  I've got dozens upon dozens of old datapads and tablets that were obsolete weeks after they came out, but our recycling centers are backed up, at least before the invasion, by months out, meaning they don't take recycling until they're able to process what they've got.  It's a mess, truly.  So, would definitely get that taken care of.  There's a lot more I would keep.  My books on Aurans and Turgs, those have to stay, of course.  Especially now that we've got one of each on our crew.  Umm, (laughs) my mom gives me, (goes quiet) well...gave me...before the invasion...she liked to travel, frequently. I mean, she went everywhere.  Dubai, Australia, Iraq, France, Spain, Venezuela...she'd been all over.  But, the funny thing was, everywhere she went, she would buy a shirt from there.  You know, some real tourist-ey shirt that just yells I'm not from here but want to take a piece home with me; she would buy two, and send me one.  And every Christmas, we'd wear the newest one as we opened gifts.  Those are keepers...

Me: I'm sorry about your mother.  You must miss her a lot?

Leiman: Everybody lost someone when Earth was invaded.  I guess, I mean, I just keep telling myself I made it off for a reason, and I think Captain Hane was apart of that reason.  The work we're doing, it could really make a difference.

Me: I believe that.  We can move on.  What's one memory that's stuck with you since childhood?

Leiman: (Laughs) oh man.  Okay.  In high school, I think it was my sophomore year.  I was young, stupid, but who wasn't, ya' know?  Anyway.  I was a nerd, a geek.  I knew it, everyone else did too.  They weren't afraid to let me know, to remind me that I wasn't cool or popular.  And, to a kid who's teased and stuff, they just wanna' fit in, to be in with the crowd.  That's also the age where kids started getting into drinking and drugs and stuff.  Yes, even in the future, those things are still a big problem, probably even bigger than they are in your time, Andrew.  But, umm...one day, I was putting some things in my locker, and one of the cool kids, if I remember correctly his names was Ricky, he came out of nowhere with this look on his face.  He looked ready to shit his pants, he was so scared.  White face n' all.  He asked me if I could hide something for him.  This was probably the first time the kid had said any word to me that didn't involve the words 'ass' or 'pansy'.  It was strange, it made me feel important in a way, so, of course I agreed without even knowing what it was.  He pulled this little baggy out of his pocket and gave it to me.  I looked at it for a second, and I remember even thinking, 'He wants me to hide oregano for him?' It took a bit to sink in what it really was, and it was pot, of course.  So, I looked around, shoved it deep into my pants pocket, and when I got home that night, the first thing I did was hide it in between my mattress.  My mom, at the time, didn't clean my sheets until the weekend, and it was a Tuesday I think.  Well, what I didn't know, was that my Aunt was coming to stay that Wednesday and Thursday, and my mom was a bit of a neat-freak, so everything had to be clean.  So, the next day, when I got home from school, she was waiting for me with the baggy in her hand, standing beside the downstairs bathroom toilet.  I watched her drop it into the toilet and flush it away.  I mean, she knew it wasn't mine.  I didn't even have to defend that, but she did tell me, and I hadn't said a single word at this point, that I shouldn't stick my neck out for people who don't deserve it.  She knew, somehow, I have no idea how, she just did.  She knew I had trouble making friends, and I didn't really have a lot, still don't, and I think she understood how desperate I was to make that happen.  Desperate enough to do something stupid like hide weed for someone who didn't give two shits about me.  But, looking back, that's just part of being a kid.  It's all about the learning experience.  Some of us just pick up on it sooner than later.

Me: Let's say you're getting ready for a night out.  Where are you going?

Leiman: Look at me.  I'm a pretty simple guy.  I'm easy-going, not hard to please.  I can tell you, if I'm going out, it's not on a date.  Haven't had more than a handful of those...ever.  So, If I'm being honest, and I'm going out, it's probably to a movie, by myself.  Probably something obscure, something no one knows about, but in a few years goes crazy popular, and by that point I'm that guy that's been a fan of it for so long, I'm bitter to those people who are all 'gaga' over it.

Me: Did you just use the word 'gaga'?

Leiman: Don't make me sick Leo on you, Andrew.

Me: We have time for two more.  What is your Motto, Leiman?

Leiman: Shakespeare said once, 'I will follow thee, To the last gasp, with truth and with Loyalty.'  I first came across this quote when I was studying for my masters in physics.  I remember, I was scrolling through books about stars on my datapad, specifically red dwarfs, and there was As you Like it, out of nowhere.  To this day, I'm not entirely sure how it managed to get through the search filter, but out of curiosity, I read it, and happened upon this quote.  At the time, I knew it was important to me, the way a soldier knows a gun will become important to him someday, that he may use it, but not entirely sure what he will use it against.  The quote struck me the same way, that I would come to know and to understand the meaning behind this powerful set of words.  So, I wrote it down on a piece of paper and folded it up, and put it in my wallet, and there it has stayed.  When Earth was invaded, I took it out and read it aloud to myself, over and over, finally aware of just how profoundly it had rooted itself to me, that I could attest to the truth behind the sentiment.  It was wonderful, and I still feel it, and even now that I talk about it, it makes me think of the crew that I'm now apart of.  I guess, with it, it brought a sense of belonging, that I'm needed.  It's nice.

Me: Last one and I won't take any more of your time.  Favorite song lyric?

Leiman: There's this song, so hard to find in the time period where I'm from.  It's a song by this guy named James Taylor, that's probably hundreds of years old.  It's called Fire and Rain, and there's this line - I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend but I always thought that I'd see you again. Like the quote, it seemed important to hold on to, to remember.  When Earth was invaded, and I realized my mother hadn't made it off-planet, those lyrics really hit me hard.  It just makes me think of her.  

Me: Thanks for your time, Leiman.  Again, this was good, very special.  Thanks for reading. :)

Andrew S.