01 June 2009
Its 11 in the morning, and he has yet to arrive for our appointment that was scheduled for sometime between 10:30 and 10:45. He was insistent that we meet here at this Greek coffee house, but only if we could meet in the morning. He said that would be the only time he would be willing to sit still. He enters from the side gate, and as he approaches the table he weaves in and out of the path of the oncoming waiters. He walks with a strange, little bounce in his step. To say that he merely walks on his tip-toes would be too dismissive. He finally arrives at the table, and sidles into an open seat. He doesn't say anything, but rather attempts to scan the entire room for familiar faces. His eyes move lazily from left to right back to the left again before he adjusts himself in his chair. He slouches down slightly giving the impression that he yearns to be parallel to the floor. Another quick glance around the room this time followed by the lighting of a cigarette and then another self-adjustment. After two long pulls from his cigarette, he clears his throat and speaks for the first time. "Were you waiting long?," he asks and before I can respond his eyes have already darted away from me and he is turning around in his chair in order to survey the entire patio. "Are you expecting someone else," I find myself saying out loud. He shakes his head, and slides lower down into his chair. "No, I just like to look," he sheepishly confesses. After a few more nervous drags from his Camel, he stomps out the burning cherry in the ashtray and then proceeds to grind the butt in repeatedly until it is fully extinguished. He then adjusts himself again, but this time he pulls himself up in the chair and begins looking straight ahead directly at me. He has a healthy stock of brown hair that maintains a curious existence as most of it lays civilly on the top of his head, but around the sides and back wisps of hair unfurl and curl several times over. He's just staring blankly now, and the more he sits still the more obvious it becomes that his face may be crooked and one of his eyes may be larger than the other one. Before having enough time to dwell on this, he clears his throat hesitantly and then clears it again. "Have you heard the new Grizzly Bear album yet?," he asks in a deliberate kind of way. "No, I haven't had the chance. How is it? What do you think?," I reply. Here I am the journalist, and he's already asked more questions then I have. "Oh, well its really good. Like really good. I was hoping you had heard it because then we would have something to talk about," he says as begins to motion towards a waiter and then proceeds to mimic the necessary motions meant to symbolize pouring a cup of coffee. "Thank you. Thank you very much," he says as the waiter approaches with said cup of coffee. I'm determined to get this interview done so I make a dull attempt at starting up some kind of dialogue. "I've heard that you like a lot of popular music. What do you think of Lady Gaga?," I ask this earnestly while hoping that something will register on his unexpressive face. He squints, and then shakes his head in such a manner that causes his hair to shimmy from side to side before coming to a rest. "I mean, she's not that bad. 'Just Dance' was an absolute radio killer, and besides she dresses in this zany way and she refuses to wear pants. I guess the worst thing that could be said about her is that she is probably more interesting than her music," he says. His words come across as deliberately chosen, but speaks with a rushed delivery so it sounds like he is saying much more than he actually is. "I'm more of a Katy Perry fan to tell you the truth. People were complaining that 'I Kissed A Girl' broke the Beatles' record for most weeks at #1 but I think that was a blessing. I mean, shit if that song hadn't broken the record then 'Lollipop' would have and do you really want to live in a world where a thinly-veiled ode to blow jobs is the longest running #1 single in history? I think not. Girls kissing girls sells much better then blow job believe it or not. And that song worked so well because it sounded like all the other generic shit you hear on the radio but it had the added bonus of having quasi dirty lyrics. It really was a masterful work," he pauses for a split second and then continues. "When I was in college, I read this book called Nightwood and in it everyone is all obsessed with this one character. In every chapter and on every page, all the characters would spend their time talking about this one particular character. Men and women alike were in love with this woman, but despite all the hype she never really appeared to the reader. Other people saw her and hung out with her so they could describe what had happened, but the character in question never actually spoke or anything," he says assuredly as he proceeds to light another Camel. "What does that have to do with Katy Perry," I ask. "Oh, right," he says in between drags. "Well, when I was reading that book I began to get the impression that this story could be retold in a modern setting and that the main character could just a pop star and that she could be described via magazine articles and infatuation. The only thing that would have to be changed would be the end because in the book," he pauses for a second almost like he is embarrassed. "In the book, the main character turns into a dog and then devours one of her lovers," he finally finishes. All I can manage to say is "Hm", and now I'm the one looking nervously around the room.