I woke up early this morning from a dream in which I was being given a recipe to make antiperspirant. We were pouring the wine into cooking oil, which could then be worn to kill sweating. I woke up to an accidental bap in the face with a blanket, which once awake, I welcomed. I needed to get up.
I drove to my parents' house, where UPS was scheduled to deliver EVER, since I can't get mail at my own place still. The rebuilding is mostly done but they still don't bring mail.
It was 11 or so when I got to my parents house. It was quiet. I opened the UPS package tracker. It was listed as 'OUT FOR DELIVERY' at 8 AM.
Over the next 7 hours I circled my parents' kitchen and driveway. In the yard my dad was trimming little bushes. Across the street, men in big trucks arrived. I watched them climb 3 different trees in the yard and saw off all the biggest branches. The trees were huge, probably 50 feet high. The branches got cut and were swung to the ground with ropes. There was one guy way up there doing all the work. Once the branches were down, they started cutting the trunk out in 4-5 foot hunks until it was gone.
While inside I refreshed the UPS tracker probably 50-100 times over 7 hours. I wrote a little for about an hour, expecting at any moment for my dad to come in and tell me a package had arrived. I found I was too preoccupied to write much, so I quit doing that. I ate a lot of little snacky food standing in the cold outside in a t-shirt. I talked to a friend I hadn't talked to in too long. I talked to the dad of a kid I grew up with in the neighborhood about the cold, and how time gets faster, and how tomorrow I will be 30.
I spent a lot of time watching through the window where you can just see above the fence enough that when the brown truck came I would know.
Around 5 pm I started to get a bit frantic and skittish, wondering why the boxes hadn't come yet. I think I told someone that when the UPS guy got here I was going to 'fuck him in the head with a sword.' I'd been calm most of the day, but after so long and now it started to get dark, I was afraid the books weren't going to come. Waiting one more day all of a sudden after all the other waiting seemed something unbearable.
I started looking on the UPS website to see what else could be done. Phone #s or something.
At some other point I went outside again, for probably the 20th time that day.
The UPS truck was pulling into my driveway. It was dark now. I stood and looked at brown machine and waited for the man to get out of it.
He handed me two large boxes from Book Mobile. He thanked me and I thanked him. I think I started to hug him. He told me to have a good day. He got back in the truck.
Coming back into the house with the boxes my whole face for a second went liquid. I think I squealed or said words that don't exist.
I went past my mom in the kitchen with the boxes and went to the last room in the house where I slept when I stayed here during the hurricane, and where my sister slept when we were kids.
I opened the boxes. There was paper. I moved the paper. I touched my book.
The book is small and beautiful and perfect and exactly the dream object I'd been imagining all this time, even more than.
I took out some of the books and looked at them in reams. I opened one and touched the pages. I read part of one page. I looked at the spine. I stood beside the bed and looked at one of the books for a little while.
There is a lot of light in the room in this picture:
I took one copy of the book and took it back into the kitchen and handed it to my mom. She kissed me and said thank you. I went back to the books and sat down.
Perhaps you can't tell on the spine in the picture, but the title is white and my name is light blue. I feel kind of light blue right now, in the best way.
Tonight I'm going to pack the preorders at my house and drink some water. Looking forward to this finally getting into hands. Thank you again to everyone who has shown so much support already. And most to Derek and to Peter for the greatest 1 day before my 30th birthday gift I could have ever imagined.
You can order the book now directly from Calamari Press.