Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hero Interview for Made to Order Family by Ruth Logan Herne

Interview with the hero from Made to Order Family by Ruth Logan Herne:

1. Former Delta Commander Brooks Harriman, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

Not much to tell. I’m a singular kind of guy. And most people don’t realize I used to be special ops, that was a long, long time ago. Before I came home and realized my fiancĂ© was carrying someone else’s child. Before I became a drunk who almost killed a man in a fit of anger. I’m a woodcrafter now, a peaceable man, and a leader in AA. Furniture making is a skill learned working alongside my father, a craft I love. Working with my hands, making beautiful things of lasting quality. I’m blessed to do something I love so much.

2. What do you do for fun?

I tease Rita. She’s a great gal, wonderful, fell on some hard times that pushed her into AA with me, but she’s doing great now. And she’s easy to tease. She’s got three kids who deserve better than what life’s handed them so far, but the youngest one, Skeeter??? A real pain in the neck. Skeeter makes dungeons seem appealing, know what I mean?

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I don’t talk to my family. We’ve been estranged since I came home from the Middle East and found out Amy was pregnant with my brother’s child. My brother, the minister. Did I mention that? That my girl slept with my brother the minister and had his child? And now they’re happily married with two more kids and everything’s hunky-dory?

I’m over it, of course. I just don’t talk to them and that way I don’t have to deal with old baggage taking over my new life.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Losing control. As a commander, control was imperative in any situation, and I excelled at it. In life, in love? I don’t feel as in control there, and the fact that I hurt someone back in Baltimore, well… I have a hard time forgiving myself for that. And I worry it might happen again.

5. What do you want out of life?

Nothing, really. I’ve got everything I want. A great business. A few close friends. Respect of the town. I’m not husband or father material, so that option’s not open to me, and that’s just as well, right? Because I couldn’t be happier. Mostly.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

That one’s easy. My faith. I’m the kind of guy who prays on his own, who worships continually. I like to think of my life as a prayer, which sounds funny because I never step foot into a church if I can help it. I know the hypocrisy of the clergy. Shoot, I lived it first-hand. No, I don’t need some over-zealous person telling me how to love God, love my fellow man.
I’m okay on my own.

7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

I love books, in fact I designed integrated bookshelves for people to use. I’ve got my Bible on the coffee table, I read books on making yourself a better person, because we’re all a work in progress, right? I like to pick apart action adventure books, see where the author goofed up. Until you’ve lived special ops, you really can’t know special ops.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d reunite with my family. It’s hard, you know how it is. I’m embarrassed that we’ve been separated so long, and now my brother’s sick. I should go there, go to him, but… When you’re an alcoholic, even with my long track record of recovery, you second guess things that push buttons. Going home to Baltimore, to Camden Yards, to family… it scares me, makes me think I might not be able to maintain my control over my drinking and my temper. You’d think after twelve long years of sobriety, I’d be okay with all that, wouldn’t you?


9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

I don’t have a pet, per se, I DO have this annoying dog that keeps getting into my garbage, pilfering bits of this and that, leaving quite a mess around my neat, tidy, organized life. He seems to really like old mac and cheese, and he’s currently a very annoying presence in my life, some kind of reddish-gold retriever, nice looking dog but a real pain, you know? But I don’t want to blow him into the authorities, that could be his death sentence and he’s not THAT bad. So he ate one of my old shoes… Rita says I shouldn’t have left it on the step, and she’s right, of course..

He makes a mess of my yard, and the occasional middle-of-the-night ruckus. He’s a dog. They do that kind of thing, right?

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I like the here and now, but I’m fascinated with Vikings. Conquerors. Warriors. If I’d lived in the early days of the church, I’d no doubt be a closet Christian working as a Gladiator to bring others to God, to Christ because that was like the original Delta Force. Hidden men and women of God, risking life and limb for their faith.

Rita thinks I’d make a totally awesome gladiator, no doubt, from those looks she keeps sending my way. And doesn’t that gold knit look great on her, it kind of brings out the lights in her hair, her eyes… and now that her oldest daughter is working for me, I see Rita all the time. At AA meetings, in the store…

Have I mentioned I’m not husband and father material? Sometimes when I’m around Rita, when she shifts those baby blues my way, I feel… okay, it’s silly, but I feel like I can do anything. Be anything.

But I can’t so what’s the use talking about it?

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