Last Thursday I schlepped my suburban troupe to the hip part of Portland to see Ariel Gore read at Powell's Books. I love her work (Atlas of the Human Heart, The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show), but the thought of meeting authors scares me, generally. I don't know why. I think it has something to do with the mythical proportions they inhabit in my brain and the fact that I can't string sentences together when the time comes.
I had other reasons to chicken out. Greg was out of town and I would need to drag the kids along or find a last minute sitter. I pondered this excuse and decided that if I can sit through two hours of soccer practice a week, they can repay me the favor (because kids love to think of others first, surely) and let me see my author. And I bribed them with a visit to the coffee shop where I would feed them sugar, to ensure their peaceful state of calm.
Lexi lost herself in the stacks, reading while clutching a baby doll she has suddenly rediscovered. Zack settled in next to me and drew my portrait. His attention to detail was stunning.
Yes, dear. I see you have captured the lines in my neck.
Yes, those are called wrinkles.
It was a long 20 minutes waiting, discussing in detail all my flaws in a public setting, but what's a little humiliation among mothers?
Ariel was glowing, very pregnant. She was funny and sincere. I tried to tell her that when I got my book signed, but I stammered instead, which is my way.
I drove home, intoxicated. I have been kicking around the idea that I want to be a writer since I was 8. I have spent years waiting for permission, for a sign, for the right time. What nonsense. All this drama and very little to show for it. I feel a little regret for being none too bright all these years, but better late than never I guess.
Check out: How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead. You won't be sorry.
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