Kenji didn’t want me to interview him.
“I don’t care,” he enunciated, slender eyes becoming even narrower as he glared at me, “If everybody else thinks I’m toast. Or waffles. Or any other beloved thing.
“What matters is, I’m not great. Stop talking to me, about me. And give me some space.”
“But I haven’t talked to you in years,” I rejoined. My pen twirled in my hands between my fingers— until I realized, I’m not very good at this. The pen dropped from out of my hand and plunked onto the tabletop sitting between us. “Does that count, for what you want?”
“I,” he uttered as he opened his mouth wide, as if to object. But his mouth formed a self-aware ‘O’ shape, and he frowned— this time, he did not direct it at me. He eventually closed his mouth, and opened it again— but still co