I had the chance recently to sit down with the legendary Portland columnist, Nhemerson before his second round bout of the first annual Broowaha writer Deathmatch. I was reminded by his support staff (a yellow sticky note on his door) that this was a great honor and I should treat this interview like the gracious gift that it was. It went on to list the rules of interviewing such a dangerous man; No direct eye contact at any time, no mentioning of signs of aging like slight belly paunch or receding hairline, and that any mention of Dandy Warhols lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor would result in me being torn limb from limb.
As I went inside, the faint aroma of blood wafted around the corner as I came upon what was later referred to as, “The Throne”. It hardly resembled the computer desk it had been, and now was completely reupholstered with human flesh topped with flayed spines and wrapped in vocal chords. The fear became palpable as the Throne began to creak around so that the monster seated in it could face me.
The man was dressed from head to toe as if he had stepped directly out of a Sweating with the Oldies video. His hair held in place with the largest sweat band these eyes have ever seen, he snarled at me barely containing his primal rage as I sat down on a fairly mundane folding chair.
With the sound of that last song from the original Karate Kid in the background, I opened my notebook to take down this fierce warrior’s deepest thoughts about his upcoming challenge. Then, he spoke. “Only one question today. I’ve been training so much that I can only answer one question from each person who talks to me.”
I couldn’t decide what to ask him. Was he nervous taking on the founder of Broowaha, Ariel in the next round? Of course not, I was speaking to Nhemerson after all. Was his training going well? Of course it was. That was evident by his extremely boney arms obviously honed to razor fineness. Did he feel as though there was anyone on the docket that could possibly take him down? That was the silliest of all possible questions when I was staring at the De Facto Grand Champion.
So I asked the only question that made any sense. “Wanna go grab some lunch?” I timidly asked. “Sure” came his reply. I pity those that come up against Nhemerson in the next rounds, don’t say you weren’t warned.