This week, I’ve interviewed Nixon, as seen in Catching Hell by Marc Watson. Nixon is one of the most interesting people I have ever met.
C. Penticoff: “Hi, there. Thanks for joining me in this interview. Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?”
Nixon: “Gladly. M’name is Nixon O’tha Great Fire ‘N Ash, but many call me Nixon, or Nix ‘fer short.
Some fella years ago ruined tha’ name Nixon fer’ a bit. It took a few hundred years b’fore I could recover.
I’m a phoenix, n’ hunter o’ the one tha’ hold the Shi Kaze n’ wish t’ use it ‘fer harrmin’ others. I am a vessel o’ God. The keeper o’ the balance in life. I’m over six thousand years ol’ and I come from Scotland, year’s b’fore it fell t’ the hell it is now called The Lion’s Den.
I’mma shape shifter, takin’ which e’er form is needed to’ do my job. I’ve been big, small, man, woman, and child. I ne’er know wha’ I’ll be until the new day dawns.”
C. Penticoff: “A shape shifter? That’s exciting! How about we ask you some fun questions? What’s your favorite food?”
Nixon: “Well, I hate t’play on a stereotype, but I’m always lookin’ fer a good stout ‘n pleasant conversation t’go with it. Now, I know stout’s more of ‘n Irish thing, but the Scots love a pint ‘r two as well!”
C. Penticoff: “I wish I could handle beer, but it’s too bitter for me. Anyway, what’s your current job? Inquiring minds what to know.”
Nixon: “I’m the balance o’ the livin’. I am the force tha’ keeps the world o’ the livin’ in check, a duty ordained by the Lord Himself. I’m the batterin’ ram when the peace talks ‘ave stalled. I’m the muscle ya’ call when the pen fails.”
C. Penticoff: “I’m not sure I know what that means exactly, but your day job sounds much more exciting than mine. Okay, if you had to pick a celebrity to play you in a movie, who would you cast?”
Nixon: “Well nah’ t’ put too fine a point ‘onit, but I’d say it’s pretty clear I’mma Gerard Butler kinda’ fella. Grow ‘is ‘air out a fiery red and tha’s me. Maybe add a foot ‘er two t’is height.”
C. Penticoff: “Great choice! He’s a phenomenal actor, and quite the looker, might I add. Okay, let’s shift gears a bit. If you had to choose between dying today or living forever, which would you choose?”
Nixon: “Well, I’d say I’ve seen jus’ about enough ‘o this world in an amount ‘o time borderin’ on timeless, so I’d take tha’ sweet death ‘n say thank ‘ya.”
C. Penticoff: “I’m with you there. I admit I’d be terrified to know I was about to die, but I can’t imagine going through eternity losing everyone I love. Moving on. What’s your biggest regret in life?”
Nixon: “Tha’ nomatter wha’ I do, I’ll always be back, n’ there’s nothin’ I can do ‘bout it. I’ll always rise up t’find those tha’ need findin’, and I’ll likely ne’er get the rest I’d like. But tha’s my role, n’ I play it well.”
C. Penticoff: “Your life seems very exhausting. Nixon, what’s the one thing you wish you could have?”
Nixon: “In all tha’ years I’ve been ‘round, I’ve yet t’ experience one calm day. The nature o’ my job is tha’ I awake, and find the one I need ‘t hunt. When I find ‘em, I kill ‘em, and then I sleep again. I’ve ne’er had a day t’just sit and admire God’s splendor without the pull o’ His Will guidin’ me t’ my next target. Just one peaceful day.”
C. Penticoff: I sympathize with you. I hope you find some peace in your life, eventually. I’d like to end this interview with this question: What is the one thing life has taught you?”
Nixon: “Tha’ there’s a million shades ‘o gray, and it’s ne’er easy to figure ‘em out. There’s no good or evil, b’cause rare is the man or woman who dinna’ think their cause was just. It’s all perspective, but it’s a sad state tha’ most people ne’er live long enough t’ realize it.”
C. Penticoff: “Wise words, Nixon. I completely agree. One of the hardest things in life for people is escaping their own perspective. Thank you for answering my questions, Nixon.”