Interviews are a great way to learn more about people, so this week I’ve asked Lily to interview our new person inside, 9.
After all, I’ve been around for almost eleven months so people know a lot about me.
And I’m glad they do, Lily. In case you haven’t been following our blog, Lily is my inner fourteen-year-old. She surfaced shortly after I had dinner with a friend from the distant past. I hadn’t seen him for decades but once we got over our initial reticence and started talking, we kicked way back to the time we were teenagers. Two days later, Lily made her presence known to me.
Everyone needs to remember what it was like to be a kid and you’d pretty much forgotten, like, by the time you turned nineteen.
That’s a topic for another day, Lily. Or maybe never. Moving right along, let’s do the interview.
LILY: Hi 9, and thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.
9: Hi. This is neat, but I’m kind of nervous.
LILY: That’s okay, 9, new experiences are like that. Ready for some questions?
9: Sure. Okay.
LILY: O-kay! Something I’ve been curious about ever since you showed up, that day we had our adventure at the parks that had just reopened: what is your name?
LILY: Your name, 9?
9: Oh. Well. . .I really like being called 9.
LILY: Is that what I asked?
9: Hey, grown-up person?
(Oh, she’s looking at me!) Yes, 9?
9: Do I have to answer that question?
Well why not? I mean, I guess you don’t have to, but- –
9: Because for one thing, you both know perfectly well what my name is, and for another, I like being called 9. It has a ring to it.
LILY: You are such a weird little kid!
9: Like you, weird big kid!
Time! Isn’t there enough conflict in the world without the two of you getting into it? Let’s stop with the name-calling. Lily, please move on to the next question.
LILY: (So much for the free press!) What grade are you in, 9?
9: Fourth. Mrs. Morton’s room.
LILY: What do you like best about school?
9. Reading. It’s my goal to read every biography in the grade school library.
LILY: So you must like history, too?
LILY: (Brat.) Let me rephrase that. Which biography is your favorite so far?
9: Clara Barton, I guess. There aren’t that many biographies about girls in the library.*
LILY: Clara Barton was a nurse, wasn’t she?
9: Yes. She was a hospital nurse in the Civil War. She pretty much taught herself how to be a nurse, taking care of her older brother David when she was a teenager. He had a head injury and she had to take care of him for two years! Then she was a teacher for a while. And this is kind of neat- -she founded the American Red Cross.
LILY: Do you want to be a nurse when you grow up?
9: No way! Blood is icky.
LILY: So what do you want to be?
9: I don’t really know. My grandparents gave me this book a couple of Christmases ago, with two pages for each school year. They ask about that in the book, too, and I’m supposed to circle one of the choices that’s printed but I haven’t yet.
LILY: Interesting. Why not, do you think?
9: It’s because- -I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but they only give girls three choices. Lots of people’s moms are teachers or nurses, and air hostess is on there too. Air hostess sounds like the most fun, but they don’t let you do that if you’re fat.*
LILY: Or if you’re 9. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I was 9, either.
9: No duh! I know that, you know.
LILY: Right. I forgot about that for a moment.
9: So what do you want to be?
LILY: I figured it out after being in the junior high play and doing a theater workshop with a bunch of professional actors from Seattle. I’m going to be an actress!
9: Wow, that’s really exciting! Are you going to be on TV?
LILY: Of course not! TV is for philistines. I’m going to be a stage actress, 100%.
I hate to interrupt, but isn’t 9 the one being interviewed?
9: I don’t mind. It’s neat to find out we’re going to do something fun for a living.
LILY: Don’t kid yourself, 9, acting takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and there’s a lot of rejection along the way.
LILY: Right. Sorry. Next question. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
9: That’s easy. A cat!
LILY: Me too!
Ditto! Oops, sorry. This is catching!
Thanks, Lily, for helping us get to know 9 a little better, and thanks 9, for sharing more about yourself.
9: But wait, though, what do you do for a living?
You’ll find out soon enough, girls. Soon enough.
*Thank goodness things have changed! 9’s year of reference is 1969. . .
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