Friday, May 26, 2006
Cheryl and the Firecat
There's something surreal about having a friend who wrote a book. It's like all those things you promise to yourself as a teenager that never gets realized...like "I'm going to lose 50 lbs and become a super-model" "I'm going to learn to fly a jet" "I'm going to write a book"...except she's done it! She may also be a super-model and fly jets...I'll have to ask.
The bookstore for Cheryl Klein's reading was busy enough that I had to stand in line to get her to sign my book. My own friend, me standing in line to talk to her. sigh. And then it's a really odd feeling when she's signing my book...like she's a celebrity. I twisted my shirt nervously and tried to find things to say like 'good turnout' and another genius comment 'your reading was good'.
All night I felt like something was wrong with me. Just in a self-removed, there's some cloudy film between me and the world way. I didn't speak to anyone, and an acquaintance that bothered to talk to me was quickly blown off for my book. It's odd that I'd pass up friendly banter for a chance to read 'Films of the 70s'. After the reading, I wandered the bookstore, looking at photos of people who lived in this alternate reality that I couldn't associate with today. It's like being spun off the merry-go-round, and you can't get up speed to jump back on, so you just stand there watching it spin by, all your former kiddie friends a blur of laughing.
This bookstore has a resident cat. It has no tail. Something's happened between the photo above and last night to cause her tail to be amputated. She's adorable and fuzzy and somewhat anti-social as well. I felt exactly like that cat. Listening to the book, but removed from all of those 'people' out there. Also missing something. Something that causes balance, and beauty. That's what I'm missing.
My friend I went to dinner with before-hand has a new fringe-girlfriend-crush. It's the kind of thing where they smile frequently...before they mention her name with a preface like 'omg, the other day Laura said the funniest thing...' which is indeed funny, and makes me very jealous. It's not even at that honeymoon stage..It's at the 'I'm not sure what this is but it's something and it makes me happy all of the freakin time' stage. The stage where everything is beautiful, and everything shows promise. I was in that stage for 2 years once. It's insanely happy. To the point you think something is wrong with you. 'I'm too happy. Something is wrong with me' becomes a mantra.
I think Cheryl was nervous, but I say it was that 'I'm too happy' nausea. She had friends and family there, her new cute girlfriend, and a shelf full of her own books behind her. I was just there. Like the cat. Listening, observing, not identifying. Now if I could just lose 50 lbs and become a super-model cat, everything would be perfect.