Each week, The Wanderer Online interviews a make-believe local celebrity (always based on a real person) as part of Louis Nguyen’s new “Day Dreaming Series.” In week one, Nguyen channels his inner-Dominick Dunne, sitting down for coffee with student advocate Peter Cosmos.
I met up with Peter Cosmo during his lunch break at his favorite fast-food chain – McDonald’s – for a quick interview. It was an unusually hot day and I was thankful to see him finally show up after an hour, for he had rejected all of my phone calls.
In true Cosmic fashion, he was dressed in his signature navy blazer, a pair of tan leather brogue shoes and his extravagant messenger bag, hanging nicely on his slender shoulder. Most importantly, his pants were rolled up above his ankle, showing his abstract printed socks that would make any hipster jealous at first sight. Kosmo’s Rayban glasses shimmered like a beacon of hope to the future of this nation, just as he thought he was.
“How are you, Peter?” I ask. “Call me Mr. Cosmo! And I am doing good but extremely busy. Me and my colleagues were working on some very important projects to save the lives of thousands of university students” he responded sharply. He further stresses: “Next time, please set up a meeting with me through my assistant at – some random room number in SUB – as you know I am on a very tight schedule.”
Then, before I could open my mouth, he casually walks up to the cashier, eyes rolling around like a hawk in the sky. He orders a delicate and calorie-conscious happy meal with an extra small orange juice. “Do not forget my toy!” – he quickly demands with the anxious employee nervously taking his order. The poor lady looks like she could burst into tears any second, especially if Peter’s perfect satisfaction goes unfulfilled.
As he eats his lunch, I continue with the questions: “Tell me about your fashion choices.” He replies while drinking the juice like Biggie Smalls sipping on champagne: “I prefer something fancy but on a budget. However, I hate when people replicate my style, you know? Honestly, I feel like I am the epitome of fashion on campus. It’s a shame that I have only been featured a few times on The Gateway and once on The Wanderer.” I manage to calm his anger: “We are very sorry. As you know there are a lot of young and fashionable students around. We have to give others a chance.” He gazes around, his eyes wandering onto some girls waving at him, but he could care less to wave back. “I forgive you, but still, you should have known better.”
“Where do you like to shop in Edmonton, Mr. Cosmo?” I quickly change the subject. Peter Cosmo goes into a rant: “Mostly online. I don’t see any local stores that suit my unique and eccentric tastes. Unlike my best friend – Lorenzo – who likes to spend money foolishly on famous designer brands, I prefer new designers. I want them to feel honored that I wear their clothes before they even make a dent in the fashion industry. Of course, I consider myself to be the better-dressed person in comparison to my friend. I am flattered that he finally can come to a fashion sense of his own.” He then sneeringly shows me his iPhone and a picture of a ridiculously dressed Asian man. Just to emphasize, his iPhone is stuffed beautifully into what can be described as a very eccentric wallet/case, chic very antique, as if it is made during the Great Depression.
“I am aware that you also have other colleagues at the university. What do you think of their styles?” I ask. Instantly, Cosmo replies with a devilish smile on his face. “Sardine and Kolt are definitely the inferiors. I don’t know what Sardine’s beautiful girlfriend ever saw in him? He dresses like he just left high school a few days ago. Kolt’s style reminds me of a background dancer in that Gangnam Style video, itty-bitty oh so silly. Dante can dress but too bland. My only real competition when it comes to fashion is Anderson. But you know, I am way more charming, so I win nonetheless. Real talk!”
“Where do you see yourself in 10-20 years in terms of fashion?” I asked hurriedly as he stares into his classic watch with a polished leather strap. The watch looks like it once belonged to a poor alligator. He looks at me with annoyance: “I AM FASHION, now and forever.” His facial expression darkens as he proceeds to fan himself with a hand-made fan, fashioned out of his left-over campaign posters from his previous election. “How could you ask such a question? I am so disappointed. If anything, the question should have been: How will my style change the world in the next 20 years?”
“Do you have any last words to the young students out there who are really inspired by you on campus?” I have to bring the conversation to an end as he kindly reminds me that my time is up. “Be yourself because you aren’t me. There are three people in this world that can be like me. Those are me, myself and I.”
Then Peter Cosmo hastily gets up and leaves behind an empty tray of food wrap, leaving me mesmerized by his bold and benevolent self. Words cannot describe the honor I feel to be there that day, interviewing the iconic, ironic and fabulous Peter Cosmo.