“I’m writing a new book,” he said as I sat down.
“Is this what the e-mail was about?”
“Yep. I need your help. You’re good at this. I need a main character, and not just any main character either.” He looked around the cafe, and took a sip of his coffee. “I need a sink.”
“Yes, a sink. The opposite of a source. I need the ultimate steadying force, the cool, calm center of the universe. I need a man with no battles to fight and absolutely nothing to prove.”
“Well,” I said as I stirred my latte, “you’ll want a white guy. There’s not much left for them to prove. Already conquered everything.”
“Okay.” He pulled out a notepad and started to scribble.
“You’ll probably want an American too. They’re pretty content with the status quo, and a bunch of them aren’t really proud to be American anymore than they’re proud to be human. Maybe make him a bunch of European ethnicities to the point where the only real history he carries with him is the Internet provided entomology of his last name. Plus with the American angle you can put him in a nice and healthy nuclear family, make it a happy one, and then he doesn’t even have a reason to rebel against them.”
“Hell, make him an atheist, then he can’t even rebel against his religion. Move him around a bunch as a kid so he doesn’t have a hometown, but make it for some reason other than being a military brat. He could be homeschooled through middle school, so that way he doesn’t hate humanity too much.”
“Don’t make him the best at anything, but don’t make him the worst either. He’ll go through life thinking he could do anything, but without actually doing much. Give him the triumvirate of relativism, rationalism and pragmatism. That way he won’t get in any fights but he’ll also be single basically all the time.”
His notepad was filling up. “You meet this guy in real life or something?”
“No, I can just picture him.”
“If you had to give my sink a name, what would you call him?” He flicked his pen to the top of the page.
“Oh, I don’t know, it doesn’t even have to be a strictly masculine name. I might go with a name that doesn’t come up very often, but isn’t exotic at all. A name that everyone knows at least one of. ”
“… like …?”
“Sam. I might call him Sam.”