Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Interview with Adam from Hellenic Immortal

Adam was able to sober up enough to answer these...

Tell me about the favorite pet you've ever had. Did you adopt it or did it adopt you?

The idea of pets is historically somewhat more complicated than you might imagine, actually.  I can recall a fair number of animals I would have called “friend”, which is approximately how I would identify a wild animal that I didn’t want to eat and that didn’t want to eat me.  But that was early on, when it was a bit less likely for said animal to be instinctively frightened of me.

Also implicit in “friend” is the idea of equal footing, which changed when animals became domesticated.  For the creatures it was possible to domesticate—just as a personal note, do not try to ride a zebra—it was very difficult to see them as pets because we treated them more like we treated plants: something we grow to eat, trade or sell.

Then came the idea of domesticating plus breeding, and then certain animals that I was hardwired to dislike, fear and/or hunt and kill and eat became household pets. Or rather, their smaller, tamer descendants did.  And it has always been very hard for me to see these animals the same way more modern people do.  Dogs I’m mostly all right with, because wild dogs and wolves tended to be okay by themselves.  You could form a bond with a lone wolf; it was the packs you had to look out for.  But cats I don’t like.  I know the modern house cat is smaller now than the kind I’m thinking of, but they aren’t tame; they’re just too small to eat you.

Anyway, to answer your question, I had a parrot once I was very fond of.  His name was Parrot.

Out of all the people you've met - if you couldn't be you whose life would you like to have led?

I’m not sure.  The problem is that everyone I might mention would be dead now, because that’s essentially true of everyone I’ve ever known.  To compound that, you would be amazed how quickly envy dies down when you see someone get older.  It’s possible envy itself is something that only makes sense for people with more finite lifespans than mine.

But okay, I can’t very well throw another non-answer at you after the last one.  My first inclination is to lean toward royalty or some otherwise well-to-do type of world ruler, but I’ve known a LOT of people who were kings of their own portion of the world, and there is an incredible amount of anxiety attached to that kind of position. And the life expectancy is not fabulous. Sure, you can have any woman you want, you can command everyone and get everything you want, but you’re incredibly susceptible to random events out of your control.  Like droughts.  A good drought will just ruin everything.

So if given the choice I’d probably pick someone like Newton.  Note I said “like Newton.”  Isaac Newton was, when I knew him, an incredibly dissatisfied and cranky person that everybody mostly hated.  But he looked at the world and saw it in a way that nobody before then had ever seen it. I would like to experience something like that someday.

Ok, seriously, who killed the Princes in the Tower? And do you have any idea what Richard III was really like?

I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to either of these questions.  In the mid-1400’s I was living in Picardy, and after that I was traveling around Eastern Europe and North Africa with a very entertaining vampire friend.  My knowledge of vagaries of royal succession in this period are vague and with a Gallic slant.

How do I find and make friends with a pixie?

Pixies are very difficult to find but not too tough to make friends with.  I supplied one method in Immortal that involved mushrooms, a few other semi-necessary ingredients, and molasses.  The molasses was to hold the pixie and the mushrooms were to attract her, and that works pretty well if you live in a zone where pixies are likely.  (Not that I know where pixies are unlikely.  I know you can’t catch one just anywhere, but why that is I don’t know, and asking a pixie is an exercise in frustration.)  Really anything that uses mushrooms and a lot of patience on your part should work eventually.

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