The feeling of it
Actually, it’s more like THANK YOU. With lots of !!!!! at the end. Just to be perfectly clear.
I don’t have much to show for the past ten days, I have to admit. I took a couple of cameras on the road with me, but somehow, I only brought them out when I was in transit, in the subway or on a train, or in an airplane, half asleep between Newark and Seattle, sitting next to a window whose surface was so intricately, so elaborately, so eerily scratched-up that it looked like the thumbprint of a giant. Oh well.
I guess I also managed to take a couple of meal-time shots, but really, only a couple. So, no, I don’t have much to show for my time on the road. Nothing except a few spent Sharpies, some dirty clothes, and a lot of disbelief and wonder that it ever happened at all.
Somehow, when I thought about doing a book tour, I imagined myself standing painfully, night after night, in front of a roomful of empty chairs, listening to the hum of the ceiling lights and cracking halfhearted jokes with the guy at the cash register to keep from curling into the fetal position and dying on the spot. But miraculously, that was not the case, not even once, and I have you to thank for that. Thank you. This blog has always felt to me like a conversation, a conversation that we’ve had for going on five years, but until now, I never got to see your faces, and you never got to see mine. In the past couple of weeks, that has started to change, and I like the feeling of it.
So thank you, and thank you again. Thank you to the bookstores who hosted me, to the friends and family who gave me beds and blankets and bought me cheeseburgers, to those of you who e-mailed and left comments here, and to those of you who came out to say hello, bearing brownies, biscotti, cookies, rugelach, olives, jam, dish towels, maple syrup, fancy salt, and handwritten recipes. You people! You people. I won’t ever get over you.
You know, there’s a little espresso machine repair shop up the hill from our apartment - yes, Seattle lives up to its stereotypes - and I’ve been thinking about it lately. The guy who runs the place is terrific. He’s very quiet and intentional, and very happy in a quiet, intentional way. He never rushes or seems harried, and half of the time, rather than charging you to fix your machine, he tells you how to fix it yourself, for free. He has a dry-erase board in the shop where he writes observations or snatches of wisdom, things seemingly simple - dead-simple, really, and even somewhat hokey - that you somehow wind up thinking about for days, turning over and over like a coin in your pocket. My friend Ben has taken to referring to the espresso repair guy as his Guru on the Hill, which nicely sums up how we feel about him.
Anyway, this weekend, Ben called to tell me that he had gone to the shop last week, and when he walked in, the guru was writing on the dry-erase board, and what it said was, “I can’t wait to see what happens next.” I don’t know about you, but I think there is something sort of great about that. And I second it, in about eight million different ways.
I am going to keep this short, since I’m more tired than I would like to admit. But I’m going to cook this for dinner tomorrow, which I’m pretty excited about, and next week, you should be prepared for an onslaught, a deluge, a whathaveyou of all things Delancey, because a lot is happening over there.
So, onward we go.
P.S. The book events aren’t entirely over. Click here for more, and if you’re in or near Olympia, you can find me this Friday, March 27, at 6:30 pm at the Olympia Timberland Library. It’s free and open to the public, so come on out.