I am away from home. Today I ate sausage, biscuits, eggs, and grits, and I thought I would die from happiness. I am in a new city. I am somewhere else, listening to DP read his fiction. Usually I am the one who reads in front of others, but this time it is DP.
We both tell each other that we are better than the other readers. Usually we are right.
I may hate many things about the South, but I knew how to dress for this reading. I often don’t know how to dress. But I nailed it this time. The bohemian South. I even wore a fucking dress. I was reminded of what my best friend’s mother told me about getting into a car wearing a dress: butt first then legs getting in; legs first then butt getting out. You’d think Maternal Clause would have taught me that, but she didn’t. Maybe she favored longer skirts.
I’ve been with DP long enough that I don’t mind wearing dresses for him although I hate wearing dresses. See above. Does anyone want to think about how they get out of a car? See why I wear pants or shorts?
DP read like a dream. The boy can write. I have always thought he should be a Southern writer. His literary heroes are Flannery O’Connor and Lewis Nordan. And I was the adoring fan, listening to him in the audience. Adoring him. But he told people that I was an author too, even though I introduced myself as his groupie. Because it cracked me up. Because I knew the truth. Because I was looking up at Jupiter (?) from the bar patio as the darkness fell and remembering what is was like to read in the late Southern light. I have published more than he has. Not that I have to, but I don’t feel like I have anything to prove. I am not a better writer than he is, just more widely published. I am not a worse writer than he is either.
It was a good evening. What do you know without trying?