Zak, Alberto and Eric

Recorded on the 24th of November 2010

Zak appears wearing dark slim jeans, sleek combat boots, a black jumper and a bright smile. He checks his phone, puts it away and fidgets a little in his chair. 

Zelda: Hi Zakky-Zak, long time no see!
Zakaria: Hi! I’m not so sure about that. I think you’ve been in my head and I’ve been in yours for about a year, which was… enough, I guess, but sure, nice to see you too!

Ze: It’s been two months since you seduced Eric, and I want to update your fans and ask you a couple of questions.
Za: Hum… First, Eric seduced me, okay? Second… Do we have fans?

Ze: Yep. At least a hundred. So, take good care of them, okay?
Za: Yes! My first fans! After Eric, I mean.

Ze: At least you know where he stands. Let’s begin. What’s your full name?
Za: Zakaria Khoutifa.

Ze: What’s your nationality?
Za: French.

Ze: Where were you born?
Za: Paris. 

Ze: Do you have any siblings?
Za: My sister, Yasmine. You know Yasmine, right? Everyone does.

Ze: We sure do know Yasmine. She puked on Sacha’s Persian rug once. It never fully recovered.
Za: *silence* Who told you that? Was it Louis Mésange? He’s so dead. 

Z: … No? No, it was someone else. Next. What’s your date of birth?
Z: January 15th. 

Z: What’s your favourite subject at school?
Z: *He laughs* I wanna say drama club, but I have to appear a bit more studious, right?

Z: You can say whatever you want.
Z: Drama club it is, then! Though I do like maths and literature.

Z: Who’s your favourite teacher?
Z: Duvo, of course. I have a thing for crazy people. 

Z: Me too. Next: are you single, married or in a relationship?
Z: After so much trouble, you’re going to ask me that? 

Z: Well, yes. Are you married yet or what?
Z: *proceeds to laugh for about two minutes* Okay, okay. Sorry. Not married, but I’m in… in an intense relationship with a… dog-like human being who plays football. His name’s Eric and he’s a licker.

Z: Zak, eww.
Z: *snorts* That’s the truth! 

Z: But, the audience…
Z: It’s not like I meant it in a lewd way. He justhe’s… Wait, did you think…? He likes to lick things. I’m a respectable boy from a good family, I don’t go around getting licked by people within the first couple of months.

Z: That’s not what I heard.
Z: Who did you talk to? 

Z: I can’t say.
Z: Eric and I just kiss. 

Z: So I’ve heard.
Z: Goo—Fair! Good!

Z: That will do. Where do you live?
Z: *wipes his brow* Rue Linné. Paris 5th. Best district in the city.

 Z: What’s your favourite breakfast?
Z: I’m not a big eater in the morning. A cereal bar will do. Some tea’s pretty nice too. Recently I discovered coffee. Eric really got me into coffee.

Z: What do you mean?
Z: I usually don’t like bitter things but he’s tried really hard to make me like coffee, so now I do, but it has to be made exactly the right way, and only Eric and I can do it right. 

Z: Can I assume you get really moody if your coffee’s not the way you like?
Z: Yeah I’m awful. I’m not gonna deny it. I stick to tea when I’m at my place, and coffee when I’m staying at Eric’s, because he just loves it when I drink his coffee. He’s… you know. Eric.

Z: So you’re staying over at Eric’s already?
Z: You’re nosy.

Z: That’s my job.
Z: Fine, whatever. I’m gonna tell you the truth. Yes, I do stay over on Sundays, because Sunday afternoon’s his only time off, really, so we hang out together, do our homework together, then we fall asleep together, and the next day, he makes coffee. I do crash at his place on Saturdays too at times. Constance is really cool, while my parents fuss over Eric and Yasmine’s always checking if he’s not taking too many liberties with me, so Eric’s a tad nervous around her. 

Z: I understand.
Z: Eric’s not even allowed to touch me, I swear.

Z: Why do you swear? It’s only me.
Z: I don’t know! I justDon’t get any ideas, that’s all.

Z: It’s a free world, Zak, so you can do whatever you want.

Z: I know, I know. It’s just… I have a reputation, you know.

Z: Okay.
Z: Can we move on?

Z: Sure. Who’s your favourite football player?
Z: Did you ask that on purpose?

Z: Yes.
Z: That’s sneaky. But it’s Eric, of course. I know one day he’s gonna be huge, but I’m also dreading it because I don’t like stadiums. 

Z: You’ll bring earmuffs.
Z: That’s actually not a bad idea.

Z: What’s your dream job?
Z: Actor. 

Z: Are you religious, or spiritual?
Z: I’m an atheist, actually. 

Z: Really?
Z: Yep.

Z: Okay let’s continue. You’re very professional. It’s easy to interview you.
Z: Thank you, I try to be.

Z: Unless we start mentioning your sleeping arrangements with Eric—
Z: Nope!

Z: Moving on… How do you deal with stress?
Z: You can see that right now. I cast an uncomfortable smile and say “yep!” and “nope!” a lot.

Z: Respect.
Z: Thanks.

Z: How do you deal with heartbreak?
Z: Oh… It just got really dark in here. 

Z: Sorry.
Z: Not gonna think about that for a while, if you don’t mind. I’m in way over my head with Eric and I wouldn’t know how not to be, so, not gonna get into that.

Z: Do you love him very much?
Z: Shut up.

Z: Hum… Then can I ask something else? How do you think Alberto got over you?
Z: Alberto’s fine… I think. Nothing has changed. Ten days ago I saw him at an exhibition. He was good old Alberto.

Z: In what way?
Z: Struggling to find his ticket, pretending he didn’t see us, and almost walking into the glass door. Being Alberto! I… *he shifts in his seat* In the end I don’t think he really liked me.

Z: Why did he date you then?
Z: Well… If you see him, ask him. I don’t really want to talk about Alberto. Eric’s easily jealous. 

Z: Does Eric put pressure on you?
Z: Oh god no. Not at all. I just don’t want to hurt his feelings. I got to understand that with time, but it’s actually pretty easy to hurt his feelings. 

Z: Pretty easy for you, you mean.
Z: Yeah. He’s… He’s high maintenance.

Z: Do you mind?
Z: No, we’re literally like, the most disgusting people at school. We’re so in love people can’t stand us. Even Arthur tells us to go hide in a corner sometimes. And Arthur’s the most romantic guy I’ve ever met.

Z: How are he and Camille by the way?
Z: Amazing. *He looks over his shoulder* Sorry, Xavier.

Z: Haha! Poor Xavier. Next question. Drugs, alcohol, or both?
Z: I don’t… understand the question.

Z: Do you partake?
Z: I… I have been seen drinking beer a little, yeah. I’m invited to a lot of parties nowadays, and… and I thought they sucked, but, actually they don’t. Depends on the company. I haven’t done any drugs since we were on the boat, but… that’s because Eric doesn’t do weed and I want us to be on the same level.

Z: Does Eric still drink?
Z: With moderation of course. He’s too busy watching over me to drink much himself. It’s cute, isn’t it? 

Z: Cute, yes… What do you do for fun?
Z: Books, acting, going out with Cam and Arthur, spending time with Eric, any minute spent with Eric is fun… I like going to school, studying, not studying, I like exercising with Eric, and I like basically everything in my life at the moment, so… Everything feels like fun. 

Z: You exercise with Eric?
Z: I mean, he pretty much uses me as extra weight, but… yeah… that’s about it.

Z: All right! Sounds fun. Next one. What’s your best quality?
Z: Oh… What a tough question to answer… I’m really not the best qualified to answer.  

Z: Try. Try anyway.
Z: I don’t know… I think I’m nice.

Z: Just nice?
Z: Please don’t make me think too much about my qualities? They only remind me of my flaws. 

Z: Fine. Then answer this one. What’s your worst flaw?
Z: Oh no! This is worse! I… *groans* I can also be not nice. I can be a bit of an asshole, I think. That worries me a bit. I’m also… I’m also pretty jealous myself. 

Z: Are you?
Z: Oh yeah. But Eric’s the worst, he encourages me, and he wants me to be possessive. I just… I have to watch out for all these girls! He’s so popular with the girls, it’s insane. And he’s charming and he smiles back, he loves flirting but he doesn’t even realise he’s doing it. He’s not doing it to make me jealous, he’s just… He’s bright with everyone and he looooves people’s energy, and then there’s me sulking in the back. But he loves it. It’s so weird. He’s always asking me if I’m his favourite. He’s so needy.

Z: But you said you didn’t mind.
Z: I really don’t. I thought I was a cat person, but actually, I’m a dog person. Learnt that the hard way.

Z: Fair enough. How do you think people see you?
Z: A snarky, moody, but kind of okay guy with expressive eyebrows.

Z: Oh, it’s like you’ve thought about this before.
Z: Yeah… I tend to worry about what people think of me. I can’t help it.

Z: What are your politics?
Z: Fudge. What a weird turn in the conversation! I haven’t… thought about politics lately… Ahem… I’ve been busy with my life. You know? Having fun and not worrying about the state of the world. 

Z: But if you worried about the state of the world, what would you have to say?
A: I just wish we were kinder to each other, in general. And that our kindness would be reflected in our politics. That’s all.

Z: Next question. What’s your sexual orientation?
Z: Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay!

Z: And proud, apparently?
Z: Is there any other way? *He winks*

Z: Perfect! What keeps you awake at night?
Z: *His smile freezes. He mutters something under his breath.*

Z: What?
Z: *clears his throat* … Eric, sometimes.

Z: Does he text you at night?
Z: Not necessarily.

Z: So what do you—
Z: Let’s move on.

Z: Fine! What is your most pressing problem at the moment?
Z: Hum… Well, my exams I guess. I’m not really worried at the moment. I’m having a really good time. But… 

Z: But what?
Z: I wish I’d remained friends with Alberto. I wish he’d talk to me like he used to when we were… whatever we were doing.

Z: What did you use to talk about?
Z: Nothing, really. But I’ve had time to think about it, and I recalled that sometimes he… sometimes he seemed really relaxed around me and I wish I could have been his friend. I don’t think he’s got any friends left. I know what it feels like, to be alone. I know what it feels like to think you’re perfectly fine with it, but in truth, you’re not really. I just hoped he might stay in touch, but he’s just ignoring me. And not just me, but everyone else. 

Z: Maybe he’s embarrassed because you broke up with him?
Z: *throws up his hands in defeat* I really don’t understand him. Do you?

Z: Getting better at it.
Z: Are you going to interview Eric too?

Z: Yes! And not just him. Thanks for your time Zak, enjoy your newfound happiness and your half-human, half-Labrador boyfriend.
Z: Thanks for having me. After all, it’s not like your readers spent 550 pages stuck in my head this summer.

Z: That snarky attitude, I swear…

With a smile, Zak awkwardly gets up, waves goodbye, and leaves the room.


Recorded on the 25th of November 2010

Alberto shows up in an oversized black kimono jacket over a simple t-shirt, loose black jeans and in his favourite green Converse, a large tumbler of coffee clutched in his hand. He slumps on a chair and waits, his expression unreadable.

Zelda: Hi Alberto, it’s you and me once again.
Alberto: Hi.

Z: Since I know you won’t be talkative, at least keep your answers honest.
A: *doesn’t answer*

Z: Let’s begin. What’s your full name?
A: I’m not comfortable sharing that kind of information.

Z: Great start. *breathes slowly* What’s your nationality?
A: Italian.

Z: Where were you born?
A: Napoli.

Z: Nice.
A: *shrugs* 

Z: Do you have any siblings?
A: *gazes into the distance* Not that I know of.

Z: You think you may have other siblings?
A: Everyone shares that risk.

Z: If you say so… What’s your date of birth?
A: January 4th. Can I stop you here for a second? I really wonder how Zak knew that information. I don’t remember telling anyone.

Z: Zak was kind of stalking you. If you told anyone, he might have heard it, or seen it somewhere.
A: … Oh. I guess. 

Z: Well… let me try to make it interesting—
A: Good luck.

Z: *clears throat* What did you get for your birthday this year? You turned seventeen, right?
A: I did.

Z: And? What did you get?
A: *takes a sip of coffee, his face blank* I don’t remember. 

Z: Cool. Cool-cool-cool.
A: You’re welcome.

Z: What’s your favourite subject at school?
A: *takes a deep breath* I… *frowns at length* I would say History.

Z: Good! History’s good! Do you like your teacher?
A: I literally can’t remember his name.

Z: Let’s move on. Are you single, married or in a relationship?
A: Aren’t you supposed to know all that stuff already?

Z: It’s not for me, it’s for your fans.
Z: My fans. *looks dubitative* Okay.

Z: What’s your answer?
A: No to all three.

Z: Wait… What? You’re not single?
Z: *silence* I am. I got confused by the phrasing. 

Z: Are you glad or upset to be single?
A: I have zero opinion on the subject. 

Z: Does that mean you don’t care?
A: You could say that. 

Z: Good enough. Where do you live?
A: I’m not comfortable sharing that kind of information.

Z: Not even a city? For the fans.
A: Zak was my biggest fan and I gave him nothing. Do you want to ask again?

Z: You are something else, you know that?
A: Next.

Z: Fair enough. What’s your favourite breakfast?
A: *glances around the room, looking confused* Who cares what I eat for breakfast?

Z: Your fans. Humour me!
A: Fine. *thinks* My favourite breakfast… I like coffee.

Z: Right! Not bad! What else? Something to eat.
A: Smoothies. 

Z: That’s nice. Is that usually what you eat?
A: I don’t handle that sort of thing, you know that.

Z: Let’s move on, then. I’m supposed to ask you your favourite football player as a cheeky question, but—
A: I’m leaving if you do.

Z: Favourite movie, then?
A: I like too many movies. I can’t answer that.

Z: That’s a first! What kind of movies do you like?
A: *shrugs* The kind that makes people look at you like there’s something wrong with you.

Z: Okay… We’ll get back to that later. What’s your dream job?
A: Do people have those?

Z: Yes, it’s not uncommon.
A: *shifts in his seat* What did the others say?

Z: Ahem… Zak wants to be an actor.
A: Oh, right. I remember that.

Z: Eric probably wants to be a football player.
A: Does he? I guess he needs to run after something. Might as well be a ball.

Z: You’re very… perceptive.
A: Thank you.

Z: Okay, so… Dream job?
A: I really don’t want to talk about my future with you.

Z: Okay. Not nice.
A: Like you care.

Z: I don’t. You and I get along just fine.
A: For now.

Z: Okay, then, next question. Are you religious, or spiritual?
A: I’m a worshipper of the devil.

Z: WTF? *looks down at her notes*
A: *smirks* 

Z: Do you mean you’re some sort of emo?
A: It’s just something I heard.

Z: Someone told you you were a worshipper of the devil?
A: Something like that. Perhaps it was something else. Like I was the devil myself. *Alberto frowns* But that’s impossible.

Z: Why is that?
A: I’ve met the devil, I know it’s not me.

Z: So you are emo as fuck.
A: You know I don’t understand what this word means, right?

Z: Look it up.
A: No.

Z: Let’s move on. How do you deal with stress?
A: *frowns, then surprisingly smiles* Are you joking right now?

Z: You don’t want to answer?
A: Of course, I don’t want to answer, I don’t even want to be here, but you said—

Z: I know what I said. I’m sorry. I’ll move on to the next question. How do you deal with heartbreak?
A: Heart… break?

Z: Like, what did you do when Zak broke up with you?
A: Zak broke my heart? 

Z: Let’s pretend he did.
A: Yeah okay.

Z: Can you pretend a little bit better?
A: *puts his chin in his hand*

Z: Forget it. What did you do after he broke up with you?
A: I set the school on fire.

Z: Alberto, please.
A: Okay. Give me a second. *appears lost in thought for about two minutes* I left school, Xavier caught me, he invited me to his place, I said no, I went home.

Z: Can you be more explicit?
A: Can you??

Z: … Did you do something special that particular weekend?
A: I slept a lot. It was grand. 

Z: Okay. Next. Drugs, alcohol, or both?
A: *looks over his shoulder* It looks like I’m gonna need a lawyer if this goes on. 

Z: You won’t say?
A: I won’t say anything. To anyone. Ever.

Z: But it makes it look like you have something to hide.
A: I couldn’t care less.

*Silence as we proceed to stare at each other for a full minute.*

Z: Let’s move on… What do you do for fun?
A: *clicks his tongue* Unwise question. 

Z: I just realised.
A: Now I have to do your job for you.

Z: All right. Let me make it easy for you. Give me the speech.
A: *nods* I really enjoy fine arts and exhibitions.

Z: Oh, goodie! Wonderful.
A: *smiles* I know. 

Z: You must be really smart, after so many exhibitions.
A: *ignores my question in profit of admiring his shoes*

Z: Something more difficult—
A: Because the rest was so easy.

Z: Hush now. What’s your best quality?
A: *gives me his you must be joking look.* 

Z: Go on. Say it. For the fans.
A: *leans closer and whispers* I’m good-looking.

Z: Oh, really?
A: *shrugs* So I’ve heard. 

Z: What do you think?
A: I know I’m good-looking. 

Z: Like, good enough to be a model good-looking. It’s hard to describe on paper.
A: It’s lost, on paper. Look at my face.

Z: *sighs* Do you think you’re the most attractive man you’ve ever met?
A: I don’t know. I don’t look at other men, usually.

Z: Oh?
A: *narrows his eyes* 

Z: Then… what do you think of Zak and Eric, physically?
A: Huh… No one wants my opinion on the subject. 

Z: Nah, you’re wrong. Tell me.
A: Zak’s really cute. 

Z: Good. And?
A: I think he’ll be cute for the rest of his life.

Z: That’s really sweet.
A: If you say so. He’s not nearly as good-looking as I am, obviously, or else—

Z: Alberto—
A: What? Do you want me to lie?

Z: What about Eric?
A: *scratches his forehead* He looks like a dork and he dresses like a clown.

Z: *stares at him in shock*
A: *doesn’t notice* But in five to ten years he’ll be hotter than me.

Z: What??
A: Fact. I’m living my best years, probably… *trails off* … probably… *He glances up and notices me* But Eric’s got that jawline, and those deep-set eyes, and—what?

Z: Do you like Eric?
A: Say that again and I’m leaving. I’m just saying he’ll grow out of his clown phase and he’ll become sexy. He’ll still be a dork, though. *looks away* I can’t stand this guy, I swear. I don’t know how people do it. The noise…

Z: *laughs in her fist*
A: Laugh all you want, he can’t stand me either.

Z: That’s the absolute truth.
A: *He smiles*

Z: Next question. What’s your worst flaw?
A: Finally, the good stuff.

Z: Answer.
A: *opens his mouth, no sound comes out*

Z: Alberto?
A: I can’t think of anything.

Z: You’re a bit of a dick, you know that?
A: I don’t like to play along.

Z: I know.
A: There you go. You said it. I’m a dick. Major flaw. Don’t talk to me. Let’s move on.

Z: I can see that you’re upset.
A: When am I ever upset?

Z: Moving on, moving on… How do you think people see you?
A: *hesitates briefly* As something really good-looking.

Z: *snorts* Nothing else? That’s all they think of you?
A: *shrugs* What else is there?

Z: Okay, okay. What are your politics?
A: I don’t do politics. ‘Makes people angry. Do you know why?

Z: Tell me.
A: Because they turn on their TV way too early to watch ugly news, while I’m in bed until the last minute. Politics… What’s the point… 

Z: Let’s move on. What’s your sexual orientation?
A: *glares at me* None of your business. 

Z: You know what, that’s fair. What keeps you awake at night?
A: *emits a noise which sounds like laughter* Not my sexual orientation, that’s for sure. 

Z: Can you give another answer?
A: Look. Nothing keeps me awake at night. I sleep like the dead. Nothing keeps me awake during the day either. Have you met me?

Z: Okay, okay. Tell me, what is your most pressing problem at the moment?
A: This interminable Kafkaesque nightmare of an interview.

Z: Ouch. Not my fault if people like you.
A: *flicks his wrist* I don’t get it.

Z: Do you want to talk about your parents?
A: People have therapists for that. Also, never.

Z: Do you want to talk about Xavier?
A: *eyes widen* Why on earth would I want to talk about Xavier?

Z: Just couldn’t help myself. I had to ask.
A: *gets up* I don’t think I can stand you anymore.

Z: You can! Talk to you soon!
A: *as he leaves* Whatever.

Alberto is out of the door before the interviewer can add anything else.

Z: I think that went well.

Recorded on the 26th of November 2010

Eric strolls in clad in civilian clothes (!) which for him consist of denim jeans, a bright blue sweater and a short grey coat. His high-top sneakers are black, white, and a vivid shade of pink.

Zelda: Okay, this is our first one on one, so I’m a little ner—
Eric: Should I call you Mom?

Z: Never do that, please.
E: But it makes you all moody and I like it. 

Z: And stop touching my stuff.
E: But it’s a real mess in your head.

Z: Sit down. Okay.
E: You’ve got a lot of Alberto crap in there.

Z: Right. Let’s begin.
E: Do you have any food?

Z: No. What’s your full name?
E: Eric Sebastian Tucker-Régnier. Don’t forget the accent. I never use the Sebastian bit. I wonder why it’s there. I should ask, one day. Come to think of it… I think my godfather’s name’s Sebastian. I’ll get back to you on that, all right? Don’t fret.

Z: Okay… Thanks. Nationality?
E: Franco-American, I’ve got two passports, peaches.

Z: Don’t call me that. Where were you born?
E: Paris.

Z: Siblings?
E: Andrew, but we call him Andy like the cowboy in the Potato movie.

Z: The what?
E: The movie with the toys.

Z: Toy Story?
E: That one. There’s the Monsieur Patate and Madame Patate and they’re in love.

Z: I sometimes wonder how your brain works.
*He smirks*

Z: Date of birth?
E: October 19. Listen! Zak was shocked when he realised I was only three months older than him. He thought I was seventeen already. But I JUST turned seventeen. He said that explained why I act like a kid. I don’t mind, I think he’s—

Z: *coughs* Can we please, continue?
E: Sure, sure. I forgot what we were talking about anyway.

Z: You date of birth.
E: My birthday party?

Z: … sure.
E: I didn’t get everything I wanted but I got some pretty cool stuff. Zak stayed over, but the candy stayed wrapped. My new best buddy got me a video game and was really awkward about it.

Z: That’s nice. What’s your favourite subject at school?
E: Oh! Zak.

Z: No, I meant, subject to study.
E: Yeah. Zak.

Z: … Anything else?
E: Zak’s a—

Z: Let’s say EPS, then. EPS! (Physical Education)
E: *shrugs* Say whatever you want, I gave you my answer.

Z: Are you single, married or in a relationship?
E: I’m… not at liberty to say.

Z: *shuffles through her notes* What?
E: *leans in mysteriously* I can only say that I’m not single.

Z: He’s refused to marry you again, hasn’t he?
E: *scrunches up his face* Yeah, well, if you know then why do you ask? It’s dumb. Also, I consider myself engaged. Tell him that when you interview him.

Z: I did him before.
E: What did he say??

Z: He… laughed.
*Eric proceeds to giggle for two minutes.*

Z: You know you’ve only been together for two months, right?
E: I’m counting. I’m counting. 

Z: Right. Where do you live?
E: Raspail, with my mom. For now. But it’s cool. I… I love Mom. Her name is Constance, she likes watching videos of baby goats wearing sweaters.

Z: That’s… really nice actually.
E: *nods, looking cute* Oui.

Z: Favourite breakfast?
E: BANANAS! I have them for dessert too, or snacks. Or any other time of day. I really like bananas. Zak only tolerates them. 

Z: Favourite football player?
E: Oh. Tough one. Thierry Henry I think. He’s the one who made me want to become one. 

Z: Dream job?
E: I’d love to be a football player because I can retire super early, then do whatever.

Z: Okay, huh… What’s whatever?
E: I don’t know. Animals. I like animals. I should also have a kid at some point.

Z: Okay. I’m not telling Zak that.
E: Ha! Tell him I love him, okay?

Z: I’m not gonna do that. You’re in my head, remember.
*Eric watches me with a blank look*

Z: Moving on. Are you religious, or spiritual?
E: Yes.

Z: Is this answer in any way related to Zak?
E: Yes.

Z: Never mind, then. How do you deal with stress?
E: Exercise.

Z: That’s… healthy. How do you deal with heartbreak?
E: … Ahem… Exercise, hopefully. Let’s see about that… never. 

Z: Drugs, alcohol, or both?
E: Haha! Nice try! But I know you. So I’ll say: anything in moderation. 

Z: Including Zak?
E: Okay now you’re jerking me around!

Z: What do you do for fun?
E: Zak.

Z: Dude, what the hell!
E: I really didn’t mean it like that. You have a problem, not me.

Z: Ok, I’m sorry.
E: But yeah, that too.

Z: … We should stop here.
E: Don’t! I love talking about myself! Plus I was kidding. Zak’s an innocent, he doesn’t do these things. 

Z: If that’s truly the case, how do you cope?
E: … Exercise! *He starts fidgeting* Okay, ask me something else.

Z: What’s your best quality?
E: Phew… I don’t know. Mom and Zak say I’m happy-happy. Like, positive. 

Z: What do you think?
E: I don’t know, I hope they’re right. You wanna know Zak’s best quality?

Z: …. Okay…
E: So, it’s when he get his coffee in the morning. If you make it right, and I make it right, listen, don’t look away, I make it just right. He’s gonna take a sip, then he closes his eyes and makes this kitty face and he’s like “Mmmh. It’s good.” And that’s it!

Z: That’s… his best quality?
E: I mean, no, but it’s really cute and it makes me feel like… really big inside and warm and all. 

Z: O—
E: Oh! Wait! There’s also the way he sings Olivia Ruiz “Elle panique” at the moment. He heard it the other day and he was singing and I thought to myself, *switches to inexplicable Southern drawl* oh dear lord in heaven! *switches back to usual accent* He’s got the cutest voice and he can do Olivia Ruiz’s little kitty voice super well. 

Z: Now I’m panicking.
E: Don’t. Chill. He’s so good at it. He makes those little noises. Elle panique. *he whispers* Elle panique. He also had me learn the moves from the music video. Do you wanna see a picture of Zak?

Z: Hang—hang on a minute. He had you what?
E: *laughs awkwardly* Well, promise you won’t tell anyone?

Z: … Yeah, sure.
E: He loves the music video. I… huh… I also love the music video. You know, when she punches the brain? Anyway, he had me do the moves. If I do them well when we see the music video on TV, then I get stuff.

Z: Like…
E: *shrugs* Like kisses and stuff. 

Z: A tennis ball too, perhaps?
E: I still don’t know what happened to my tennis ball. I think Zak buried it somewhere because he didn’t like it. Or Xavier swallowed it. I don’t know. Hey, so, do you want to see a picture of Zak or not?

Z: I’d love to, but for some reason, I could never find a good one.
E: That’s because he’s mine, not yours. One day he’ll be even hotter than Alberto. You’ll see. 

Z: That’s funny. Alberto said the same thing about you.
E: He said what?

Z: That you’d become hotter than him one day.
E: He… did? *grows quiet for a minute* I can never read this guy. Can you?

Z: Well, yeah… We’re good mates.
E: You’re lying.

Z: You wish. Anyway, what’s your worst flaw?
E: Back to talking about me! Good. I’m too hot-headed, definitely. Not in a violent way, but in a dumb way. I should think more often before I do things. And I don’t like to lose. But I have to learn, you know. Everyone does.

Z: That’s right.
E: Zak’s worst flaw is probably Alberto.

Z: I didn’t ask.
E: I know. I’m telling you.

Z: What do you mean?
E: I don’t know. I just, I’m not sure I’m free of him, you know. 

Z: Okay, noted. Moving on: how do you think people see you?
E: Like, when they meet me?

Z: What’s their opinion of you in general?
E: I’m cute. 

Z: That’s it?
E: What? You’re saying I’m not?

Z: Forget it. What are your politics?
E: My… what? 

Z: My thoughts exactly. What’s your sex
E: My politics?

Z: Yeah.
E: We should protect the bees. All of them. Save all the bees.

Z: Save all the bees.
E: Yep. All of them.

Z: Fair enough. What’s your sexual orientation?
E: *heaves a deep sigh* I would… I think I’m bisexual. But now that I’ve been looking it up on google, you know, because of Alberto, now I’m not sure. For now, that’s where I think I am.

Z: Why were you googling bisexuals while thinking of Alberto?
E: I wasn’t. I was just trying to find out his deal.

Z: Have you tried asking him?
E: I would rather ask google than talk to him ever again so, no.

Z: Let’s talk challenges.

Z: What keeps you awake at night?
E: Z—

Z: Wait. Wrong question, obviously. What is your most pressing problem at the moment?
E: *stares blankly into the distance* I mean… I kinda have to pee, but apart from that… I’m pretty good. 

Z: Are things better between you and your father?
E: You know, when he came from New York, he was a bit pissed off and I was too, but after talking with my coach he was really proud of me because he knows I haven’t been slacking. So he thinks having Zak around is going to be a distraction, but I disagree because I can’t let Zak ever be disappointed in me, right? He thinks I’m a football superstar, so I better be good to keep up that image. As long as I keep up, Dad’s happy. My coach let him know that it would be a mistake for me to go to the U.S. after I graduate because I’ll have a really big opportunity to step up soon. Guys, watch me. In three years I’ll be at the World Cup.

Z: … Not if all you think about is Zak.
E: You’re not nice at all, did you know that?

Z: Since you do seem to have a pressing problem, we can conclude this interview.
E: Sweet, you know where to find me. 

Eric gets up and hugs the interviewer before strolling out whistling.