Tomorrow is Monday. I got nothing scheduled tomorrow. So I can spend one more day trying to sleep off this cold. I’ll watch Supernatural on Netflix and Adventure Time on Hulu, the two shows I’ve chosento see me through this month. When I’m uncomfortable, I like to watch shows so removed from reality that I can’t share the character’s hurt. Or..go be with them in place where there really IS no hurt.
The next day is Tuesday. Tuesday, the 25th Seal breaks and the Four Horseman of the Bookpacalypse (Fear, Confusion, Weakness, FAILURE) ride slow-motion, black robes billowing, across my life, tearing flesh and leaving blood pooling in their deep hoof prints. My book, my dream comes true on Tuesday.
I’ll start that morning by getting up very early, and driving my daughter and I to Portland. LE is scheduled for a field trip with her class to a symphony that day, but I’m substituting a different field trip. We’ll go to my friend’s house. Her name is Bryn, and five years ago she eyed me up with utter seriousness and said, “I think you’re going to be the next David Sedaris and I want in on the ground floor.” That was after I’d published maybe two little pieces on Mental Floss. So now, I will love her forever for seeing something grand in me when I was anything but.
She’ll drive us to the tv studios, the kindest thing she could do. She’ll do it with broken ribs and a busted foot (her body just…hates her. That’s the best I can figure it. And is continually trying to bust free of her. Like a demon repulsed by her holy heart and mind.) She’ll save me from figuring out the one-way street grids AND parking in downtown Portland, and she’ll hold my hair if I stare to vomit.
Around nine I’ll be interviewed on the local ABC affiliate. I have already requested not to be put on the “chatting couch”. I’ve been watching previous interviews and if you’re tubby the chatting couch seems to angle you into an awkwardly slanted sea cow. I requested the chatting table instead.
“I CAN put you there,” said the terribly nice producer, “but it does have arms.” Translation, now…how fat are you, dear? I appreciate the forethought. I tell her I can do arms. My weight is belly forward, I can do arms.
For ten or so minutes I will talk about my book on live television. I will be weird, awkward, say “vulva” too much, forget where I was going with that, and probably get distracted by set props. This is the only way.
Snip snap snip…I throw the switch on the power grid in my brain that causes self-awareness. The energy firing those synapse sputters and dies. So I’m no longer aware of the camera, (who has never, in ANY form, done me ANY favors) or the viewers. So I’m not paralyzed with self awareness. Reality is mine to accept or wave pass.
For the first time my daughter might see that I have done actual work. That a year of playing on the computer had an end result. That’s why she needs to come. She’s been raised with parents who appear to put no value on competition or hard work. She needs to see that I have worked for something, and that work has afforded privileges. “Mom has a book,” is meh. Books are everywhere and she isn’t fond of them. “Mom got to be on TV,” is cool. “Mom threw up before and after….well that’s just Mom.”
After that, I don’t know. I’d like to go to a bookstore and see my book on a shelf. Many different interviews, book reviews, and podcasts will release that day. I’ll be in proximity to my parent’s graves…I may go there just to…I don’t know why I ever go there. I just do.
And then I will spend every night of the next two weeks at some event, somewhere, reading, signing, selling, trying to make folks happy that they bought my book. I don’t mind that part. The folks…the real ladies and such who laughed or smacked their husband’s shoulder in bed and said, “Listen to this!”…I love them. I see each of them and I want to know what we share in common that they wanted to know the same stuff I wanted to know. Also, let’s be honest, I’m a psychological vampire who would suck the marrow from their worst memories and highest dreams if I could arrange access. But that allows for a much more personal book signing.
I know I’m changing because change hurts and I’m hurting now. A constant post-adrenaline collapse in my blood. A familiar merciless squeeze, starting in the belly and stringing it’s thorned blackberry vines down my legs and around my neck muscles. Change is good and I have no business struggling against it. Only make the vines tighter and thornier. Especially when I think how much I’ve wanted it.
See you on the flip side, guys. I’ll be the Therese with the actual published book. That’s how you will know me.