Bertram: Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Dante.
Dante: Just Dante.
Bertram: Okay. Dante. I’m pleased you consented to this interview. We are all interested in your story.
Dante: I am my story. I am the hero of every story.
Bertram: I’m not sure I understand. Let’s start with a simple question. Where you live?
Dante: I live everywhere.
Bertram: Everywhere? What are you, some kind of god?
Dante: I am immortal, but I take what I can, where I can, and live it up like a mortal. I control my own destiny. I am what I want to be.
Bertram: Aren’t you what Margay Leah Justice wants you to be?
Dante: She might think so. She’s made a good start, but there is so much about me that she doesn’t know, so much more that still I have to tell her. But I have every confidence that when I do, she will do a fine job of portraying me the way I want to be. She is such a stickler for accurate portrayals, after all. And she loves me. She just doesn’t know it yet. But I’m working on her. I’ve already convinced her to keep me around for a while.
Bertram: Do you love her?
Dante: I love only Lyric. She was all that mattered to me. My life was damned after I lost her. Now I live in the moment.
Bertram: Living in the moment must be adventurous.
Dante: My existence is an adventure.
Bertram: We don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Maybe it would be better if you just told me a little about yourself.
Dante: I like myself. I like everything about me. What’s not to love?
Bertram: Have you ever failed at anything?
Dante: Of course.
Bertram: Has anyone ever failed you?
Dante: I’d rather not get into that.
Bertram: Have you ever failed anyone?
Dante: You are obsessed with questions of failure. Why is that, I wonder?
Bertram: Perhaps if you’d just answer my questions we could get this interview over with. You don’t seem to be enjoying it any more than I am. And Margay promised you would cooperate.
Dante: It wasn’t for Margay to promise, but you’re right. Let’s get this over with. What do you want to know?
Bertram: Your achievements, fears, hopes, sadnesses, regrets, disappointments.
Dante: Those are all questions for mortals. I don’t bog myself down with petty human emotions. Disappointments? Not on my radar.
Bertram: What about favorites? Food? Drink? Music? Scent? Item of clothing. Prized possession? Favorite book?
Dante: I don’t need to eat or drink. I like classical music because it reminds me of heaven, and I love lavender because it reminds me of Lyric. I have no favorite clothes-they all look good on me. I don’t need possessions. And I have no time for reading. Anything else?
Bertram: You must do something. Do you have any special skills?
Dante: Oh, I am very skillful, but I don’t like to brag . . . Let’s just say the ladies love me.
Bertram: Do you have any distinguishing marks?
Dante: Careful. I think that could fall in the unmentionables category.
Bertram: Look. Just give me something, and I’ll tell Margay everything went fine.
Dante: Peter. I’ll give you Peter. He’s my only real problem. Why won’t he just step away and let me have a little fun, already? It’s a good thing I love to create conflict. And where better to be than right in the thick of it? Run from conflict? Ha!
Bertram: What is your most closely guarded secret?
Dante: If I told you, it would no longer be a secret. I’m no fool. But I’ll tell you one thing, life is made for living. Now I have to go see what I can do about stirring up a little conflict.
Bertram: Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to reading your story.
Dante: I’m sure that’s true. All you mortals want to live like me, you’re just too afraid to take the chance. So you’ll have to make do with the book. It will be availabe in November by Second Wind Publishing.