In the interest of making it to the Dan Chaon book reading thing on time last night, I had to take a Tajômaru shower .
A shower so quick that the water didn't even have time to get wet.
I did figure that I might have a little trouble finding the building, and that I would have to walk through the rain, and that I might have a little trouble finding a parking space. I didn't figure into the equation that room number 284 would be on the ground floor. Go figure.
The reading was really good, and I felt a bit out of place, as everyone else who was there was from the writing MFA program. I recognized all of them from when I used to work across the street. I remembered thinking that they were (mostly) pretty full of themselves, but that many of them were nice. Not that I know very many of them personally, but the way they treated other people suggested to me that they were pretty obnoxious.
When the reading was all over, there was supposed to be a Q&A session, but somebody decided for the whole group that we didn't have any questions. Then came the book signings and the refreshments. I bought a copy of the new book, had it signed and left. I was disgusted with the amount of sycophantism in that room. "Oh, can I get you a napkin?" "Do you need another bottle of water, since yours is only half full?" "I see your shoe is untied. Shall I tie it for you?" "By the way, your book saved my life." I'm sure I've drooled over indie-rock stars in the hallway of the Cat's Cradle, but I don't do it anymore. Now that I see other people doing it, I'm sort of embarrassed for myself that I used to do that kind of shit. Perhaps I've exaggerated the fawning, but I didn't imagine it.
I'll let you know how the book goes, but for now, I will highly recommend Chaon's collections of short stories, Fitting Ends and Among the Missing.
Sun Kil Moon Ghosts of the Great Highway