Stefano Daneri is my cousin. Genetically and experientially, he is the closest thing I have to a brother. Technically, as our mothers are identical twins with identical DNA, Stefano is my half brother. I can genuinely say that the half he has provided me for the past twenty years is greater than any whole I could ask for. We are intensely alike, and the slight but profound traits that differentiate us result entirely from Stefano being simply a better person than I am. Where I equivocate, he is sincere. What I bemoan, he celebrates. He has overcome time and time again situations that would have been my certain downfall. I am him through the glass darkly. He is me occupying the best possible of lights. One of the great honors of my life has been acting as Stefano’s introducer to the wondrous aspects of being: tennis, music, movies, books, and seeing how he makes each of these my owns his own. Most impressively, he is the most honest person I know, won’t lie, cannot lie. It baffles me as much as it makes me ecstatic to be at all like him. He is my second favorite coworker, first favorite member of The Morning Star Vortex, and my oldest friend. I would give him the shirt off my back, the skin off my back if he asked, though I know he wouldn’t, because I wouldn’t.
Interview Series Day 12: Stefano Daneri
SD: War is conflict.
CP: Where and when were you born? Where do you currently reside?
SD: I was born in Plantation, Florida on August 16th 1990 at 6:25 P.M. I currently reside in Birmingham, Alabama.
CP: What is your first memory?
SD: My first memory is either watching flamingos at Disney World in Florida with my dad, or listening to Randy Travis’s “Too Gone, Too Long” with you and your sister.
CP: Are you sure those aren’t scenes from your first nightmare?
SD: or being handcuffed to your basements stairs for three hours.
CP: There we go. That’s as real as real gets.
CP: What is your animus or power animal?
SD: I would either say the fox or Velociraptor.
CP: Why not the genetically engineered Velfoxiraptor?
SD: You actually stole the words out of my mouth. I was trying to create the hybrid name, but you stole it. A combo would be awesome.
Note: I thief where Stefano would never thief.
CP: What is your idea of a fate worse than death?
SD: Probably having every disease in the world and dying at a really old age.
CP: Are those concurrent fates?
SD: They are concurrent. Dying at a really old age with every disease in the world, not being able to experience anything that the world offers.
CP: Well, you’d be experiencing disease.
SD: Which is worse than death. In a sense, if disease was the only thing the world consisted of then it wouldn’t be bad…
CP: It’s still bad. Moving on…
CP: What was the last song you listened to and how did it affect you emotionally?
SD: I would probably say a Smith Westerns song off their new album, like “Dye the World”. That album makes me really happy, but really sad because I was on my way to see them in concert, and I missed my exit and missed the show. I ate gas station hot-dogs to make up for it.
CP: At least you know now what rock bottom truly feels like.
SD: Don’t remind me.
The Sentence Completion Portion of the Interview
CP: My name is Stefano Daneri, whilst on safari in Africa, I accidentally shoot my most reviled celebrity ______ with an elephant gun, I don’t waste any time in _______.
SD: Blank #1:Adam Brody. Blank #2: feeding him to the lions. Actually that is quite morbid.
CP: Why Adam Brody?
SD: His good looks, and wit, and the trance he has placed on my current girlfriend. His good-looks-wit-trance.
CP: One could imagine that she pictures him while being romantic with you? And you feel less the man for it?
SD: One could imagine that scenario, but I don’t think that is likely.
CP: I completely agree.
Note: I lied.
CP: My name is Stefano Daneri, my greatest athletic triumph was _______.
SD: Playing tennis in college. Being the number one recruit for the freshman class incoming class.
CP: Until you overdosed on beer and had to leave the team.
SD: Yes. Beer and books.
CP: My name is Stefano Daneri, in my previous life I was _________.
SD: One of the founding fathers of the United States of America.
CP: Which? The signatory of the colony of Rhode Island?
SD: No. Probably Ben[jamin] Franklin, except way better looking.
CP: So you wouldn’t be Benjamin Franklin?
SD: Maybe a general in The Civil War, or Lewis, or Clark.
CP: Union General or Confederate General.
SD: Touchy subject. I would have to say Union General.
CP: Sure you would.
Note: Classic Heart of Dixie racism.
SD: The confederate uniforms were way cooler.
CP: My name is Stefano Daneri and I just won a billion Canadian dollars, I’m totally going to______.
SD: Figure out what Canadian dollars are worth then buy a sweet suit and classy shoes and travel. Maybe start a record label. That’s what I want to do.
Note: Future Dust Records est. 2014
CP: My name is Stefano Daneri, if I could eavesdrop on a conversation between any two people in the world, those two people would be _______?
SD: Probably Ben and Jerry.
CP: Ben is dead.
SD: Any conversation ever?
CP: Jerry and the ghost of Ben?
The Basically Personal Questions Portion of the Interview
CP: What three classic rock albums best describe you?
SD: Define classic.
CP: They play it on 105.7 The Hawk.
SD: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tongues. David Bowie’s Hunky Dory.
CP: Do you believe in God? Why not?
SD: I don’t know what to believe in. God can be anything. At times I don’t believe in “God” because of all of the terrible things in the world that happen everyday, but I am afraid not to believe in something because what if I am wrong.
CP: God can be anything.
SD: Who knows.
CP: Who’s to say my desk lamp isn’t God?
CP: What are your top two horror movie franchises and why?
SD: Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the Thirteenth. I think Freddy Krueger is hilarious. After watching Friday the 13th Part 3 3D, I was sold.
CP: Which military skill would you most like to possess?
SD: Navy Seals Stealth.
CP: That a thing?
SD: Parachuting? Tank driving?
CP: You have been elected The President of the United States in a landslide win over the reanimated head of The Headless Horseman in the 2016 election. What policies would you enact? Which would you discontinue?
SD: I would legalize marijuana. I would create a more socialized health care for citizens, but not socialism. I would like to eliminate illegal immigration.
Note: I’m assuming Stefano meant he would want to nationalize existing illegal immigrants, but I refuse to rule out he meant he would exterminate them.
CP: What Nickelodeon character do you most identify with and why?
SD: The younger Pete from Pete & Pete. I admire his creative honesty and humor.
CP: What is creative honesty?
SD: He didn’t care what he did. He was honest and creative. He had a radio station called WART.
CP: What would you do if you knew you were going to die in ten minutes?
SD: Who is telling me? Does “GOD” tell me?
CP: A voice in your head not your own tells you.
SD: I’d call my mom and tell her that she is a very strong woman.
SD(cont.): I guess call Noni.
Note: Double aw!
SD: Yeah yeah yeah.
CP: Three dinner guests living or dead who would they be?
SD: Shakespeare. Kurt Cobain. Danny Devito.
CP: Redo one moment in your life?
SD: High school. I wish I made better grades and scored a lot higher on my SAT.
Note: Made grades!?!
The Word Association Portion of the Interview
The Favorite Anythings Portion of the Interview
CP: What is your favorite George Costanza quote?
SD: The answering machine song.
CP: What is your favorite song lyric of all time?
SD: “Never gonna stop king of the beach.”
CP: What is your favorite nickname for yourself?
CP: What’s your favorite part of the day?
CP: The nightclub?
SD: No. Not the nightclub. Probably the nightclub. Both. Yeah, both.
CP: Both is the correct answer.
Stefano’s Question for Carmen’s End of the Month Self-Interview
Q12: If you could write the screenplay for any book you have read, which one would it be (and it cannot be INFINITE JEST)?