The protagonist in my espionage series - Kolya Petrov - a Russian Jewish immigrant who became an American intelligence operative -is now eying me with annoyance because I'm insisting on writing a blog instead of working on the the next novel in the series.
Me: Do you want to talk about why you became a spy?
Kolya: Intelligence operative. Not spy. You write this stuff, you should know the difference.
Me: You called yourself a spy in Trojan Horse.
Kolya: I was being ironic.
Me: Yeah, me too. So back to the subject at hand - why you became - an intelligence operative.
Kolya: I preferred it to being a lawyer. Or flipping burgers. But I also believe in the ideals of this country, however imperfectly they've been carried out over the years. It's why I risk my life - or to be precise - why you keep risking my life. Even though it's a somewhat different world than yours, with different heads of government, and different threats than what exist in your world. Why'd you do that, by the way.
Me: Do what?
Kolya: Create an alternative political universe with a different President of the United States and a different President of Russia.
Me: I didn't want to deal with real political situations. At least not in my novels. Things change too quickly - and you have get all the details right. Besides, I've never been a fan of putting real people into novels. I always wind up wondering what actually happened versus what is fictional.
Kolya: Well, thank you for that at least. I'm pleased not to be in your world, right now.
Me: Horrible things happen in your world.
Kolya: I still prefer my imaginary world, even though you often have me clinging to cliffs by my fingernails, figuratively speaking, to the world you're in. Your world sucks right now. You have people wearing swastika face masks. You have a pandemic. Have you even been out of your house in the past six months? Then you have murder hornets. Sharks killing swimmers off Maine. Doctors who believe in demon sperm. Things are fucking crazy in your world, and they're getting crazier by the second.
Me: So why are you visiting me right now?
Kolya: You mean, why am I here in your blog instead of on the pages of your novel? Beats the hell out of me. You're the one procrastinating. I'm hanging off that fucking cliff, waiting for you to write me out of this situation.
Me: OK, let me just check my email.
Me: Facebook? Twitter?
Kolya: No and no. You're going to get into a political argument and then you're going to be too distracted or mad to write.
Me: We could have a political discussion here.
Kolya: I know you want to. But this is neither the time nor place. And anyway, American intelligence operatives should be apolitical.
Me: That's not really possible.
Kolya: Maybe not. I'm talking ideal world.
Me: Which is neither of our worlds.
Me: So let me just write something on Facebook. One thing. He wants to put off the election. You can agree that's bad in either world.
Kolya: There is no world in which fucking with the American election is good. So okay, you can go write one thing.
Me: Well, thanks.
Kolya: One thing. That's it. Someone responds, let it go. No flame wars. They never accomplish anything anyway. Then get the fuck back to work.
Me: You're such a pain in the butt. And you curse too much.
Kolya: Of course, I am. Of course I do. (He smiles, and the smile looks very familiar.) I'm your creation after all, aren't I?