The reading at the National Arts Club was a few hours ago, and it went very well. Many friends were there. I know I was the best of the three readers; Dick said that I have “stage presence,” and I suppose I’m a ham, though a nervous one.
Accompanying your deep insecurity will be a sour-grapes attitude toward the Ivy Tower and everything it stands for. Because you feel woefully inadequate as an acedemic, you will develop a steady inner monologue about the corruption of academia.
So I finished reading to an empty cafe, feeling more and more ridiculous by the minute. Even Adam had gone outside to talk on the phone with his booking agent.
There’s something about seeing how ancient wisdom applies to a modern life that makes everything seem that much more connected.
I become obsessed with myself as a minor author in society.
At the end of every reading, though, comes the dreaded Q and A. What could be an opportunity for clarification and exploration of the topics at hand, almost always turns into a self-congratulatory festival of back patting and show-offery.
“I saw him read from Downtown Owl at Highline Ballroom a few months ago; I can’t wait to read it,” I bragged. Sam wasn’t having it. “I was there, too. God, I love him. He actually emailed me once, with writing advice. I know his fiancée; she set it up.”
Everything seems vaguely normal, in that things seem predictably surreal, as you read sentences about Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning Gmail chatting about hamsters, until, after maybe two minutes, you realize you’ve been ignoring that there are tribal-tattoo patterns near the margins and in other places and that the text is glowing reddish-black and sometimes has a slightly 3D nature, like it’s projecting a holograph of itself an inch above the page.