By Mary Atalia of The Seattle Globe
I knew this would be an interview that would be difficult to pull off. Mark Porter is a private individual, but with all of the accusations swirling around lately, he felt obligated to come forward and clear his name. He was hesitant to meet at all, so I agreed to his location. We met at a bar in the Central District.
Mary Atalia: Thank you for meeting with me. I realize you don’t typically talk to reporters.
Mark Porter: There have been so many rumors running rampant that I felt I owed it to myself to clear the air.
MA: Which rumors are you referring to?
MP: That I’m stalking Olivia, of course.
MA: Are you?
MP: Of course not. We’ve been in a relationship for ten years.
MA: Then why did she file a restraining order?
MP: Someone put her up to that. And it’s no longer valid. She didn’t renew it.
MA: But it’s not like someone can file on her behalf. She entered the paperwork.
Interviewer’s Note: At this point in the interview, Mark dug through one of his pockets, making the gentlemen at the table next to us a little nervous. They only relaxed when they saw him push a rumpled piece of paper across the table.
MA: What’s this?
MP: It’s one of her love notes.
MA: This looks a lot like a grocery list.
MP: Over half of those ingredients are my favorite foods. And do you see how she crosses the t’s?
Interviewer’s Note: Let the record show that the handwriting is pretty standard.
MA: Were you recently in prison?
MP: Not exactly.
MA: How is that possible?
MP: I don’t like your attitude.
MA: I apologize. Let me rephrase the question. Did you serve time for committing a crime?
MA: Would you like to expand on that at all?
MP: Not really.
MA: Could you expand on it?
MP: I did what I had to do.
MA: Did the man you beat attack you?
MA: How did he provoke you?
MP: He didn’t. I was considering my options when it occurred to me that I could get out of the army by getting into a physical altercation serious enough to warrant a discharge.
MA: His injuries were so extensive he has had to relearn how to walk and perform simple motor functions.
MP: And that is regrettable. But the army is no longer transferring me to Georgia.
MA: Was it worth it?
MP: Certainly. My Olivia - I see her all the time. That’s priceless.
MA: So you don’t dispute that you committed the crime.
MP: I already served time for it, so I don’t see the point.
MA: You said that you and Olivia have been together for 10 years. Have you ever been on a date?
MP: Of course!
MA: Where did you go?
MP: Just last weekend we went to the gym and the book store.
MA: Did you get coffee or a meal?
MP: She got a juice at the gym.
MA: Did you get a juice with her?
MP: I was busy.
MA: Were you in the gym?
MP: No, at the time I was in the car.
MA: Did you ever go in the gym?
MP: Of course.
MP: I don’t like your tone. What would your husband say about your questions?
MA: He would probably say that I’m doing my job.
MP: He must not provide very well.
MA: I want to work.
MP: I doubt that.
MA: Olivia is very good at her job. She works.
MP: That’s different. We aren’t married yet. Once we’re married, she’ll give up her job.
MA: Gee, look at the time. Didn’t you say you had somewhere to be?
MP: Yes, I’m meeting Olivia in five minutes. She’s cooking dinner.
Interviewer’s Note: I love my job, but I’m not paid enough for this.