Because my interview with Matt was so fun, I decided to do his sister, Alice.
But wait. That’s not her name anymore. It’s old fashioned. Pretty, sweet, vintage, even. But it didn’t fit my book. So one day, as I reflected on how perfect it was for Matt to be Matthew Alexander, a thought came to me. Alex. Cool name. But I like it better for a girl…
And so Alice’s name was changed to Alex.
|Close as I could find. And she’s not quite right. Alex has dark brown eyes, and her nose is slightly different.|
Me: Okay, Alex. What’s your favourite plant?
Alex: Plant? Um, roses, I guess.
Me: Roses? You couldn’t be a little more creative than that?
Alex: Sorry. I’ve never exactly had creativity as the top of my aspirations.
Me: What do you have at the top of your aspirations?
Alex: Learn to read hieroglyphics. That would be really cool.
Me: That’s your aspiration. Learning to read hieroglyphics. Are you sure?
Alex: Maybe get a job as a translator, perhaps write a translation guide. And make sure I keep my little brother out of trouble along the way.
Me: Do you have any pets?
Alex: We never really were a “pet” family. We had a goldfish. It drowned.
Me: How can a goldfish drown?
Alex: Matt was about four at the time, and didn’t know why the goldfish never came up for air. He pulled it out of the bowl so it could “breathe”. It had quite the opposite effect.
Me: Yeah, my family’s gone through more than it’s fair share of goldfish, too. Ever played sport?
Alex (laughs): No. I can safely say no one in our family does well at sport. I always got my worst grades in PE. Same for Matt. But sit him down in front of a chess game, and he’d beat you any day.
Me: So, what’s your biggest secret?
Alex: Would I tell you?
Me: Wouldn’t you?
Alex: Okay, fine. I… ah…saw that Matt was killing the goldfish and didn’t stop him because I hated that I had to look after it. I’m…not big with animals.
Me: That’s pretty bad, Miss Goldfish-Murderer, but all the same. Something more recent than when you were…ten, was it?
Alex: Work on your maths. I was eight. I’ve never really tried to keep secrets, because someone always finds out, and it always leads to embarrassment of some sort. So I might have a few, but I’m not telling.
Me: Ah yes. That’s right. I forgot you’re so stoic.
Alex: I don’t think that’s quite the word choice you’re after.
Me: No seriously. Stoicism is a huge part of your personality.
Alex: That may be, but it’s still not the word you’re looking for.
Me: Never mind. What’s your favourite place to be?
Alex: That’s easy. Library. The big one, with the pillars at the front, in the middle of the city, with two floors dedicated to non-fiction.
Me: Non-fiction? You’re kidding, right?
Alex: Fiction’s great and fun, but it’s a time-waster. You can learn far more from non-fiction.
Me: I beg to differ. Anyhow, do you play any musical instruments?
Alex: I used to play the piano, but… you know. Paths change. I needed to upgrade to a better piano, and I would rather join the literary club, so we switched to linguistics and I learned French within a year.
Me: So how many languages do you speak?
Alex: I had to learn Italian for school, French in the linguistics club. I skipped Year 9, or I would have learned Mandarin as an elective, but instead I did Latin in Year 10. I’m in Year 12 now (sixteen) in case you’re curious. I’ve been doing Greek in my spare time, and fiddling around with hieroglyphics. So fluently, three. Reading, speaking with too much accent, one, and attempted, another one. And I’m starting a program for Hebrew next year.
Me: So you think. What’s your comfort food?
Alex: Please, you make me feel fat. But I’ll admit that our chocolate supply gets slightly lower when things get tough.
Me: Ah, chocolate. To die for. So. On another note, have you ever been in love?
Alex: I’m starting to wonder who thinks of these questions. The answer is, no.
Alex: Are you trying to incriminate me or something? What if I asked you the same question?
Me: I’d say no, because it’s true.
Alex: And that’s the same with me. Can we move on?
Me: If someone said to you that aliens exist, what would be your reaction.
Alex: You’ve got to be kidding me.
Me: Was that aimed at the question, or was it your answer?
Me: I’ll keep that in mind… Anyway. Wrapping up now. Thank you for being far more cooperative than that dear little brother of yours.
Alex: You’re welcome. That was almost fun. Pointless, though.
Me: Not pointless to me. Oh, never mind.