Éric Poindron’s Étrange Questionnaire
1 – Write the first sentence of a novel, short story, or book of the weird yet to be written.
The potatoes were finally going to take their revenge.
2 – Without looking at your watch: what time is it?
3 – Look at your watch. What time is it?
4 – How do you explain this — or these — discrepancy(ies) in time?
There are no discrepancies. When I say what time it is, the ether adjusts itself to accommodate me.
5 – Do you believe in meteorological predictions?
The skies! Look to the skies! They come as they were foretold!
6 – Do you believe in astrological predictions?
7 – Do you gaze at the sky and stars by night?
Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
8 – What do you think of the sky and stars by night?
Forever and forever and so far away and years beyond counting and imagination never fulfilled and yearning to touch what cannot even be approached.
9 – What were you looking at before starting this questionnaire?
An opaque e-mail from Edward Gauvin.
10 – What do cathedrals, churches, mosques, shrines, synagogues, and other religious monuments inspire in you?
11 – What would you have “seen” if you’d been blind?
The hairs on her arm, the curve of her ear, her pulse.
12 – What would you want to see if you were blind?
13 – Are you afraid?
14 – What of?
Defeat. Weakness. Inattentiveness. The burned bridge.
15 – What is the last weird film you’ve seen?
16 – Whom are you afraid of?
Anyone who has any power over me — basically, everyone.
17 – Have you ever been lost?
Where are we?
18 – Do you believe in ghosts?
No, I only wish for them.
19 – What is a ghost?
Reassurance of what’s next. Reconnection with what is lost. Comfort.
20 – At this very moment, what sound(s) can you here, apart from the computer?
Dog barking in the distance. As always, the ringing in my ears.
21 – What is the most terrifying sound you’ve ever heard – for example, “the night was like the cry of a wolf”?
Wind in tornado season.
22 – Have you done something weird today or in the last few days?
“Except my life, except my life, except my life.”
23 – Have you ever been to confession?
My grandparents would rise out of their graves to stop me.
24 – You’re at confession, so confess the unspeakable.
25 –Without cheating: what is a “cabinet of curiosities”?
A book full of stories I wish I’d written.
26 –Do you believe in redemption?
I haven’t killed myself, so yes.
27 – Have you dreamed tonight?
28 – Do you remember your dreams?
29 – What was your last dream?
Someone had shot and killed my best friend. I was at the funeral.
30 – What does fog make you think of?
The soccer field in 7th grade.
31 – Do you believe in animals that don’t exist?
32 – What do you see on the walls of the room where you are?
A rubbing of a medieval dragon. My Clarion class. Arek’s painting. Marta’s lovely watercolor of Counting to Five Thousand
33 – If you became a magician, what would be the first thing you’d do?
Start a rabbit farm?
34 – What is a madman?
Either a pitiful, dysfunctional wreck, a poet, or a prophet, sometimes all three. Often only the wreck.
35 – Are you mad?
“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
36 – Do you believe in the existence of secret societies?
Almost joined one.
37 – What was the last weird book you read?
38 – Would you like to live in a castle?
Not for too long. Drafty.
39 – Have you seen something weird today?
My cat’s feet.
40 – What is the weirdest film you’ve ever seen?
Wild in the Streets.
41 – Would you like to live in an abandoned train station?
42 – Can you see the future?
Sometimes I can’t even see the present.
43 – Have you considered living abroad?
44 – Where?
Sienna. Bergen. Bruges. Galway. Conwy. London. Edinburgh.
45 – Why?
To be somewhere else is to be someone else.
46 – What is the weirdest film you’ve ever owned?
None come to mind.
47 – Would you [have?] liked to have lived in a vicarage?
Hard to answer any question in the past-perfect, really…
48 – What is the weirdest book you’ve ever read?
Really am getting sick of these requests for superlatives. What’s the bluest paint you ever used? What’s the twinkliest star you ever saw? What’s the itchiest mosquito bite you ever had?
49 – Which do you like better, globes or hourglasses?
And one more. And one more. And one more. And one more. And one more.
50 – Which do you like better, antique magnifying glasses or bladed weapons?
Ahh, so that’s what it is.
51 – What, in all likelihood, lies in the depths of Loch Ness?
Very deep, very dark water.
52 – Do you like taxidermied animals?
They make me sad.
53 – Do you like walking in the rain?
54 – What goes on in tunnels?
“What we do in dungeons needs the shades of day.”
55 – What do you look at when you look away from this questionnaire?
Mira’s phone number.
56 – What does this famous line inspire in you: “And when he had crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him.”?
“…hoping to sell him insurance.”
57 – Without cheating: where is that famous line from?
58 – Do you like walking in graveyards or the woods by night?
I like walking in graveyards whenever I can. Walking in the woods at night is a good way to break your ankle.
58 – Write the last line of a novel, short story, or book of the weird yet to be written.
It will never heal, and if it does, I will tear it off.
59 – Without looking at your watch: what time is it?
60 – Look at your watch. What time is it?