Yesterday I conducted an interview in my car.
Okay, it was only a phone interview. I didn’t force someone to hang out with me in the minivan and all the assorted preschooler debris that accumulates in there over the course of a few days. But I did sit in the middle-row captain’s chair, where I called my source on my cell phone, turned on my little digital voice recorder and scratched notes on a legal pad.
As interviews went, I’d say it went pretty well. Definitely not the worst place I’ve ever had to do an interview. I’m not sure where that would be. There are a couple of contenders. I once did an interview in a morgue, in the midst of a bunch of vats of (brace yourselves) bones that still had some flesh clinging to them; the source was trying to boil the flesh off. (No, I am not kidding. Yes, I have blocked out the smell.) I also did interviews in the rain during the 2000 Presidential inauguration; the ink in my pens kept freezing up while I was trying to take notes on a soggy wet notepad. It didn’t help that freezing rain occasionally poured off the brim of my hat when I was trying to do that. And I’ve never liked doing side-of-the-road interviews, usually with law enforcement or emergency workers, while cars whipped by at 90 miles per hour.
The only downside of yesterday’s interview? This darned carpal tunnel syndrome. The neuropathy in my fingers got much worse the more I tried to write. By the end of a sentence, they’d be tingling so much that I could barely feel the pen in between my fingers. Everyone reassures me that the carpal tunnel is almost certain to disappear after I have this baby. I hope so. It’s driving me a little batty (battier than usual, I should say) in the meantime! Interestingly, in all these years that I’ve been a writer, I’ve never developed carpal tunnel syndrome syndrome. Not until I got pregnant, for the second time. Weird.
But, hey, I got the interview done and I felt good about it. It might have been easier for me to do the interview from the relative comfort of my home office (er, such as it is these days), instead of trying to balance the cell phone, digital voice recorder, and notepad all on my practically non-existent lap. But sometimes you just have to make do. And so you do. And that’s what I did.