A Review of my First Kickstarter Experience and Reading Coming & Crying
I could say so much. [I did.] I might start gushing. [I did.]
I whimpered on the couch after “His version: We met at a coffee shop. I don’t really remember how, we just started talking.” At the coffee shop, I bit my lip to stop from shouting YES at lines like “through these tiny cupped hands, these two soft lips, this southern mouth wet with mischief,” but the laughter? I let that live. I laughed freely and I didn’t tuck my breath, didn’t hide my face when it darkened or flushed.
In between stories I took breaks. Brief pauses where I’d look around for someone to talk to, to shout at, someone to share this with. Reminded I was in the real public where we refrain from initiating conversations that go “HEY STRANGER I JUST READ THIS INSPIRING STORY ABOUT FUCKING, LET’S CHAT ABOUT HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL,” (unlike the uninhibited social saturnalia of the Internet) I settled for glancing over my glasses at the older gentleman pawing at the iPad on his lap—until he disappeared a few stories later.
Fine, sir. Just leave me and the book then; and that’s when I noticed I was petting the thing, closing the book and running my palm across the smooth cover, my fingers trailing across the face for every story, digesting, resetting, allowing each story the space it deserved.
I finished the book in my backyard, the sun going down on newly-born Minneapolis-in-autumn (wildly agreeable weather). I felt many things, but mostly I felt satisfied. The Internet At Large (i.e. Tumblr) set high expectations. I tried to ignore them. I wanted to enjoy the book on its own, untempered by the affections of others. I didn’t want to love it just because it was the thing to do. Worse, I didn’t want to be let down. Too often I am let down. Inflated to a contrived height and abandoned. Yet, here, from the first words, the first story, I knew I was safe. We were going someplace new and though it was unknown where we were headed or exactly who held my hand, I knew this feeling would stick.
Something exciting was happening! This book (this goddamn book! shout shout shout!) was exceeding every expectation I had. I wanted to eat the pages and run naked in the street. I fell in love with every author. I was satisfied and proud. Strange, I thought, to feel proud of this book I have nothing to do with, these people I don’t even know.
Then I really thought about this business from the beginning. How I donated money on a whim. Why not, seems exciting, I thought, and scraped together the dregs of an almost-depleted unemployment account. Send it out, I reminded myself. Give it away and it will come back to you. (I managed to magic myself a job less than a month later, PS. Although it wasn’t the money I meant as much as what I got later) I forgot all about it. Oh yeah I bought that book awhile ago someday it will come to me in the mail and wow my face off. It better be brilliant for all this waiting. How the trickle of backer updates began to affect me, how they began to arrive with eerie timing, when I’d begin to shrink from the world and need to be reminded of fresh life, of something hot beyond the horizon; that it is fucking possible to do it all and on your own (with a little help from your sometimes faceless nameless intangible friends) you just need to possess the will to take it all on, to grab hearts with your salty teeth, to sweat, to bleed, etc. </nike>
ANYWAY, yeah, and then, oh yeah, the book, that hard loving book with that sexy grey endpaper, I swear I tell you, I was sold as soon as I saw that grey
I thought it strange at first that I was proud until I realized I’d sat down early on, positioning myself in the audience, the den of the silent participant. But these days, we are not so silent or removed, are we? We can be a part of anything, everything. We can share what we create as we’re doing it, or even before we’ve started. We can tune in as soon as we’re ready to listen. The beauty of the new connection.
New? Or always there, inherent in humanity? When I readied myself to leave the cafe, I found him—the gentleman I’d befriended when I peered over my lenses—sitting in the chair behind me. His face suggested he’d been peeking at my reading. It was such a short moment, it was so fast, but in that look I loved him too.
((thank you, mostly, for setting free the cages, loosening the stops in my throat))
now. next stop, Nanoka.