Hello! Today we have a character interview with Book from What Comes After by Steve Watkins! Let’s here it for book!
If Aunt Sue did not force you to do the things you’ve done, would you do it anyways? Why or why not?
No, no, no. Why you even ask me that? I already feel terrible about Iris and all. I mean, she might of brought it on herself, some of what happened, but that doesn’t mean it should of happened—out at the lake and all. I don’t even know what come over me. Mama was just yelling at me to do it, and yelling at me, and I hate it when she yells at me, it’s just always scared me so much when she does that. I don’t know how exactly to explain it. But I am so sorry. I mean that. You can ask Tiny.
How do you feel about Aunt Sue and Iris?
Well, I mean Mama, she’s my mom and all. I mean, yeah, I love her, of course. Who doesn’t love their mom? And you’re supposed to obey your mom when she tells you to do stuff. And if you don’t, I mean, I don’t like it when she used to hit me. Not that she does, you know, any more. But I still kind of flinch when she raises her hand. It’s dumb. I’m a lot bigger than her. But still. And, well, I know I’m in jail and all, but being in here is kind of like being on a vacation from Mama if you want to know the truth. But don’t tell her I said that. And Iris, I guess I didn’t really get to know her much when she moved in with us. I kind of ignored her. Tiny liked her, but he wouldn’t ever say anything. He told me he felt her boob with his elbow one time when she rode to school with us—he was all excited about it. I don’t think he’d ever even kissed a girl. But Iris, she didn’t like that and quit riding with us. I told Tiny he was a masher and he said yeah, he knew he was. I don’t think he even knows what a masher is, though. Anyway, I hope Mama’s calmer or something when she gets out of jail. And I hope Iris is all right. I guess she’s not ever going to want to have anything to do with the likes of me ever again, though, and I don’t blame her.
If you can change your personality in any way or change the personality of someone around you, who would you change and why?
Don’t tell Mama this either, but I maybe would change her a little bit if I could. Like maybe she wouldn’t invite those men over like she does sometimes when she makes me leave the house and all, because she gets so low afterwards, and so mad at everything, so mad at me. Those guys are just a bunch of mashers, I’m pretty sure. I might make it so I don’t feel like she’s mad at me even when I know it’s something else or somebody else she’s really mad at. I can’t help feeling that way, though, and I don’t know why. I wish my being good at football made her happy. I mean, it sort of does, I guess. But I don’t know. It’s like she’d rather talk about how sucky the referees were, or how the coaches don’t know their head from their butt, or that sort of thing rather than what I maybe did in the game, unless I might of taken somebody out so they had to carry them off the field and they didn’t come back or something.
How do you feel about people who eat meat and those who don’t?
I guess I don’t really understand it too well, that somebody like Iris wouldn’t eat meat. I mean isn’t that what meat is here for—for us to eat it? What would you do with all that hamburger if you didn’t cook it up and people to eat it? It would just all go bad and rot and smell bad. Or the same with chicken. Even if you didn’t buy it from the grocery, if it just sat there in the chicken cooler it would still go bad or whatever. I wouldn’t ever eat dog, though. I heard there are some people that will eat a dog, in China and places like that, but I wouldn’t ever do that. Not even Gnarly. Well, I mean, especially not Gnarly. He’s just too skinny and bony anyway.
How did you feel when you landed in jail? Did you think you deserved it? Why or why not?
Like I told Tiny, I know I deserved it. I didn’t want to be in jail of course. I wanted to be out there with the team. Everybody said we were gonna repeat as state champions, and I don’t mean to brag or anything, but that was with me playing tackle offense and defense. Me and Tiny together, couldn’t nobody get through us, or stand in our way when we were blocking on offense. And wasn’t nobody going to keep us out of their backfield when we were on defense, either. We were like the Sack Brothers or something. Being in jail, I miss Tiny the most. We been friends since forever. Soon as we were old enough I always liked sleeping over at his house. His mom and dad, they were always real nice to me. Lot of people don’t know this, but Tiny’s mom taught me and him how to bake stuff, and we liked to do that a lot of times I was over there—cookies, biscuits, pies. I never told Mama or let on that I knew how. She would of made fun of me or something, I guess. But to tell you the truth, that’s kind of something I’m looking forward to, once I get out of jail, is just hanging out with Tiny over at his house and doing some more baking, maybe spending the night.
Thank you, Book!
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