Today I’m speaking with one of my characters from Because of the Blue Bloods. Her name is Elena Florence. Tall, slender, with silver-gold hair, she is one of the enigmas of my novel. She goes about nearly everything with disproportionate grace, yet her house is old, messy, and in disrepair. Here she is, people, Miss Florence, the sloppy yet graceful occupant of #47 Konetsaspekt, Konagia.
JP: Hello, Miss Florence, I’m glad you could meet me today.
EF: Pleasure’s all mine, dearie. Just, can we be sure to finish this by two? I have a few meetings to go to today, I have to be off of lunch as soon as I can. [Glances at gold-rimmed watch, sighing.]
JP: I’m going to be quick, Elena. Don’t worry.
EF: Call me Miss Florence, dearie, would you mind?
JP: Oh, uh…okay.
EF: It’s nothing personal.
JP: Not at all. So Miss Florence, could you tell me what’s happening at #47, K.A., right now? I hear that things have gotten interesting at your house.
EF: Well, I recently got three…well, they’re exchange students. Who told you?
JP: I know a few things. And it’s hard to keep things secret over at the K.A. Where are the exchange students from?
EF: [Pauses.] Cozane.
JP: Really? So they’re Chinese?
EF: Well, no…There’s actually a large non-Chinese sector in Cozane called China City, that’s where they’re from.
JP: China City—?!
EF: I know, it’s very ironic. [Smiles tightly.] It wasn’t my idea, dearie.
JP: It sounds like an interesting cultural experience so far. Is there much culture clash that happens at #47?
EF: Not too much…I’m fairly busy with my responsibilities with diplomacy and whatnot, there isn’t all that much time for socialization when I get home, and besides that, they’re children.
JP: [Thinking: What, since when is being a child such a bad thing…And what did that have to do with anything?] So what do your duties involve?
EF: I’m in charge of some public appearances, diplomacy, and officiating. I’m also a notary public…I can conduct weddings if a couple doesn’t want a public wedding or can’t afford it. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a private wedding though, they’re falling out of style here in the Konagia.
JP: Do you think that’s going to be a bad thing—in the larger picture, I mean?
EF: What? The disappearance of private weddings? I don’t see how that would be a detriment to society at all, dearie. In fact, if marriage of any sort went out of fashion, I’d say that then we’d be making progress. [Leans back in chair with a contented grin.]
JP: So you don’t believe in marriage?
EF: I believe that the single life can be a productive, enjoyable, and distraction-free one. And I’ve never liked the idea of being a housewife. I think I’ve got far too important work to get done to be a housewife.
JP: Don’t you think wives are important in society? Even if for nothing but moral support to the great men of the Konagia?
EF: What about the great women of the Konagia, I don’t hear you talking about them. I think that we can do without the sentimental intrusion on productivity and public service. Withholding from marriage provides the opportunity for one to pursue one’s callings, dreams, and duties to the flags without emotional distraction—Man or woman—That’s all. [Stands up.] I appreciate your calling, Mr. Cabit, I must be going now.