N: --Just like that. This thing is really amazing. One button push and you start or stop recording, and it does transcriptions, and everything. I’m so happy I got it. Anyway, thanks for giving that interview!
M: Sure, that was interesting.
N: Maury, um, can I ask you some questions?
M: Sure, go ahead.
N: Well… so when you do your My Little Power Ranger stuff, it’s like your job right?
M: Yeah. I make money from YouTube ads and Patreon and stuff. People like knowing what’s going on in the Halcyon City superhero scene, and I provide.
N: So… so if someone else was doing that, they’d be like, competing with you, right?
M: I’m not actually worried about that. Nono, I wanna talk to you for a second. It’s not bad, just some real talk, okay?
N: Okay, sure.
M: I think this interview stuff that you’re doing is neat. I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere in the long run. I think you’re looking around for a foundation for life, you saw what I do, and you’re latching onto it for now.
N: … Okay …
M: Which is fine, you’re still growing up, figuring yourself out. This is natural and normal. It’s cool. I’m even flattered by it. I think I’m saying, though, that you’re gonna find it’s really hard work, and that you might enjoy doing something else better. If you reach that point, it doesn’t mean you failed. All these experiences are good for you.
N: but what if … what if I actually am good at it?
M: Then I’d much rather have you as a partner than a competitor. If you did interviews well, and like doing that, I’d put you to work doing more. You know Leslie?
M: Yeah. She does that for me, part time, and I share revenue on the videos where she appears. But she’s also got a day job as a refrigeration mechanic, so she’s got other ways to pay the bills.
N: I thought she worked on cars.
M: That’s apparently her big hobby, other than MLP.
N: Cool. … So… So what are you saying, I mean about me?
M: I’m just saying, don’t be discouraged, no matter whether it works out or not. You gotta learn what you like, and what you’re good at, and if you’re lucky they turn out to be the same thing. But it’s not guaranteed.
N: Can I ask you another question?
N: So like… God, this is embarrassing.
M: It’s okay.
N: There’s… a friend of mine, a girl I have been talking to more recently.
N: Well, I…
N: … I think I might, y’know, have…
M: You have a crush on a girl?
N: … Maybe? I don’t know, I mean, it’s stupid, right, I’m a girl too, and I-
M: You can be a girl and like girls. You can be a guy and like guys. You can like both, if you like. You can like people who don’t want to be just guy or just girl. You can like whoever you like, hon.
N: I mean, I sort of felt like this about other girls before, like honestly some of the Ponies, they’re really cute and I dunno, I just, I just, bah this is stupid.
M: It’s not stupid. I’m curious, though. You like guys, right?
N: Oh yes.
M: Like Jason Quill?
N: … Yes…?
M: Okay, so is it like that feeling? Do you feel for this girl what you feel for Jason?
N: Well, no. I don’t know!
M: Tell me about Jason. It’s okay, nobody’s going to hear this.
N: Okay. So, Jason’s famous, obviously. And he goes to Gardner, and I’m there too until HHS gets fixed up. So that’s awkward.
N: But um, it’s not like… geez, this is embarrassing.
M: It’s okay.
N: So, he’s not a friend, right? I can’t see myself ever just talking to Jason Quill. I mean I’d like to, but it’s never gonna happen. But he’s a delicious fluffy biscuit with golden butter on top I’d put in my mouth any day of the week.
M: That’s not a phrase I ever expected to hear, much less from you–
N: Geez, this is why I didn’t wanna talk about it!
M: Okay, fine fine, I’m sorry for prying into your deepest fantasies about Jason Quill, even though I can see them on Tumblr anyway…
N: I’m gonna block you now.
M: Alright, so how does that feeling compare to what you feel for this girl, or any girl?
N: They’re not the same.
M: Right, but in what way?
N: Hmm… like… like… there’s a couple other boys, okay? So, they’re like a bonfire, y’know, really hot and bright, but I don’t wanna get too close or I’ll get burned, but it’s really comforting to just kinda stare at them. Just kind of being nearby is really nice.
N: And girls are like… hot bath water, I guess. Not like scalding, but just, like, here’s a bath bomb and a book, and I’m gonna slide into the tub and just bask in the good feeling for an hour.
M: So the boys give you a more passionate but distancing feeling, and girls feel more approachable but less stimulating?
N: Yeah, I guess. Is that… is that okay?
M: Of course it’s okay.
N: So… so I read that people who like both guys and girls are selfish–
M: You read wrong. That whole idea is nonsense. You get to like who and what you like, Nono.
N: But- but wait, I mean, what if that’s true? What if I’m selfish?
M: You’re one of the most unselfish people I know, hon. In fact, real talk, you could be a little more selfish sometimes.
N: Okay… but, like, shouldn’t I make up my mind or something?
M: I mean if you start dating somebody, yeah, stick with 'em. But until then, if anyone complains about who you’re interested in, that’s their problem, not yours. You hear me?
N: Yes ma’am.
M: That makes me sound old. Try again.
N: Yes Maury.
M: Was that what you were worried about?
M: It’s fine, hon. You can probably ask Duskshine about some of this stuff and she may be able to help a little more, but I’m happy to listen to anything you have to say, okay? I hope you always feel safe talking to me, and if you don’t, I wanna hear that too, so I can fix the problem, okay?
M: So what’s this girl’s name anyway?
N: Just a second, phone battery’s low. Let me plug in.
N: OH SHIT, this thing’s been recording this whole–
author: Bill G.