Here’s a transcript of my recent interview with Cupid. I wanted to have a video for you, but unfortunately we had some technical difficulties.
[As video begins, the interviewer is seated on the left. She stands and shakes hands with Cupid, who enters from the right, in flight. An empty seat is facing the interviewer’s chair.]
Sara: We’re here today to interview Cupid, the supporting character in my short story, “Cupid’s Calling.” Cupid was instrumental in guiding Penelope Grant to find her Mr. Right.
Cupid: Supporting character? I thought I was the star. My name is in the title.
Sara: Yes, but the story is really about Penelope and how she meets—
Cupid: What, you couldn’t get an interview with Penelope so I’m just second fiddle?
[Off-screen producer]: Why don’t we just start over?
Sara: Hi Cupid, thank you for being here today. Won’t you have a seat?
Cupid: Is that some sort of joke about my height?
Sara: Wh-what? No, I just want you to be comfortable.
Cupid: Uh huh. Well, then I have a list of complaints.
Sara: Complaints? Um, that’s not really what we’re here to—
Cupid: There weren’t any peanuts in my dressing room. And there was a “no smoking sign.” And no ashtray for my cigar.
Sara: Right. Well, that’s because there’s no smoking in this building, sorry. I was also under the impression that you supply/bring your own peanuts. You would have needed to have your personal assistant give us your dressing room requirements. We didn’t get any list, so we just stocked it with the standard items.
Cupid: I do bring my own peanuts. But I still thought there’d be some. I’m a celebrity. You’re supposed to revere me and cater to all my whims.
Cupid: It’s okay. I have some peanuts here in my toga. And a cigar. I’ll just smoke it now.
Sara: That’s not really—
Cupid: Why are those guys standing behind those big things and peeking at me?
Sara: Those are cameras. We’re filming this interview. Let’s begin, shall we? Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to work with Penelope as you guided her toward true love?
Cupid: You can’t film me. I didn’t agree to that.
Sara: [sighs] You did, actually. It’s in the contract you signed when you arrived.
Cupid: That scrap of paper? I thought that was just an autograph request.
Sara: No. See, it’s right here. [reads from document] The below-signed agrees to have his/her interview filmed and disseminated on social media for promotional purposes.
Cupid: Who puts a contract on flimsy/plain white paper and has someone sign it with a ballpoint pen and expects people to think that’s a binding document?
Sara: Uh, that’s generally how it’s done.
Cupid: Well, in my work, it’s a papyrus scroll and a quill pen, or it ain’t legal. I’m not being filmed. You’ll just have to take your little chimeras—
Cupid: —and get rid of them. I’ll be interviewed, but no pictures.
Sara: Sorry, guys. Can you just—yeah, thank you. Take a break.
[At this time the interview changes to audio only, no visual.]
Cupid: Finally. Getting some respect around here.
Sara: As I was saying, what it was like to work with Penelope—
Cupid: What’s that little rectangle you’re holding?
Sara: It’s my phone. It’s so I can record what you’re saying and write it down later. For the blog.
Cupid: I told you I don’t want to be recorded!
[Sounds of flapping wings, something moving over the microphone, voices become muffled.]
Sara: [indistinguishable]—that! I need that for—[indistinguishable]
Cupid: [indistinguishable]—going to sue—[censored]
[Loud thud. Voices become distant but clearer]
Sara: That is my PHONE. I need that for business besides this. You better hope it didn’t break.
Cupid: You can’t go around showing pictures of me. Then people will never leave me alone. They’ll be swarming me, going [voice becomes falsetto] ‘Oh Cupid, please find me my true love. I’ve been waiting so long!’ [retching sound] [returns to normal voice] I can’t take it. I need some anonymity.
Sara: I was only VOICE recording. So I can remember what you said when I write it up for the blog. Since you won’t agree to be filmed.
Cupid. Oh. Sorry about that. [Sounds of wings flapping. Scrabbling sound.] Here you go. [Voices return to original volume levels.]
Sara: Looks like it’s still working. Now, may we start the interview?
Cupid: Gosh, yes. It’s about time. I don’t have all day.
Sara: You don’t—but you—Never mind. Give my readers a glimpse inside a day for the angel of love. What’s that look like?
Cupid: [mouth full] Well, I eat a lot of peanuts. Great energy in nuts. Keeps me going. And I enjoy a good cigar.
Sara: I see. Any other vices?
Cupid: Vices? I don’t have any bad habits. You, on the other hand—you should stop scrunching up your face like that. You’ll get wrinkles.
Sara: Is that how you handle most of your assignments? You criticize your clients?
Cupid: I haven’t had any complaints.
Sara: Really? No complaints.
Cupid: No. They know I have their best interests at heart. Or, at least the Head Office does. I’m just the facilitator. I do what needs to be done.
Sara: Let’s move on to some reader questions, shall we?
Cupid: I don’t read that much. Don’t have time.
Sara: I meant questions that readers would like you to answer.
Cupid: Oh, from my adoring public? Sure, go ahead.
Sara: S.B. from Kentucky asks, ‘Do you take requests?’
Cupid: I’m not a lounge singer.
Sara: I think she means, about who you match people up with.
Cupid: Oh. No, I don’t get to make that decision. I just make the match happen.
Sara: C. B. from Ohio asks, ‘Where is my Prince Charming hiding?’
Cupid: Are these secretly your questions in disguise?
Sara: I beg your pardon?
Cupid: These are really from you, right? You wanted to ask me that?
Sara: No. I’ve been asking you my questions all along. But these are from readers of my blog or followers of my Facebook page. Things they wanted to know.
Cupid: Sure they are.
Sara: Whatever. Can you answer the question?
Cupid: I don’t get told where someone’s match is until it’s time for me to bring them together. And only if I’m needed for that part. Most of the time I don’t get called in for real one-on-one work. Penelope was an unusual case. Her guardian angel couldn’t hack it alone. She kept missing his nudges. Needed a stronger hand.
Sara: So, would you have any advice for C. B., then?
Cupid: Um, squeaky wheel gets the grease. And, uh, birds of a feather flock together. Oh, also, a stitch in time saves nine.
Sara: Those are just aphorisms.
Cupid: Your point being?
Sara: Okay, I think we have time for one more reader question. E. R. from New Jersey asks, ‘Do you have any pointers for helping my single friends find Mr. Right?’
Cupid: Sorry, that information is proprietary.
Sara: All right. Well, thank you, Cupid, for your time. We wish you the best and we hope to hear from you again if you ever find that Harold Crispus his match. Seems like a tall order.
Cupid: You should talk.
Sara: What, you’re having a hard time matching ME?
Cupid: If the shoe fits. Or rather, doesn’t fit. You’re no Cinderella, hate to tell ya.
Sara: Maybe your aim is off, did you ever think of that?!
Cupid: My aim is flawless. Some people just expect me to find a very narrow set of criteria. Some might call that being overly picky. Especially at your age.
Sara: [apparently to producer] Can I punch him? You think I’ll get arrested?
You can read more about Cupid, Penelope, and who in the world Harold Crispus is, in my short story, “Cupid Calling,” now available on Amazon.