Not What I Was Expecting

So I had it all worked out. I even had it written down on my calendar for weeks. I was going to a book signing at Politics and Prose to see this joker, Peter Mayle.

I have to say, I really enjoy reading Peter Mayle. Especially in the summer. A Year in Provence made me feel as if I myself am in the south of France, drinking wine and lounging in the shady terrace of a sunlit villa. Aquired Tastes made me feel as if I was even more fabulous than I already am, which takes a very talented writer to do.

So I was all about rushing over to Politics and Prose after work to see this literary genius in the flesh. I swung the car into an open spot, whirled the backdoor open, strode through the downstairs cafe, bounded up the stairs, whipped my head around to see…nothing. No chairs with eager fans clutching Peter Mayle works in their hands and their posteriors clutching their seats. No goatee-sporting grad school Tenleytown types milling around the politics or religion sections. Nothing!

I marched up to the mellow cashier and exclaimed, “Y’all not having a book reading tonight?!” Umm, nope. “What, what, what happened?” It turns out that Peter Mayle has heart issues. Too much sun and fine wine will do that to a person after he has led a life full critical acclaim for the publication of entertaining works of fiction. Bah!

Where is this leading, you ask? There was then a moment wherein I could have become either 1) upset and disappointed and full of rue at my wasted trip to Northwest or 2) make the most of the experience. And shockingly, I had selected the second one. As this is not the way things usually seem to go, I must believe that this was an unconcious decision.

So how does this happen? What makes for that unconcious tip into the realm of abandon (and dare I say delight?) instead of staying in a veritable slough of despond? And if you care to know what makes someone write like this, keep in mind I was in the place a good half hour, which will bring all those GRE words to the surface.

In any event, I joined a book club and left with what, to my mind, will be a very interesting read. My evening could have been very different, but it wasn’t. I encourage all your subconciousnesses to do the same.


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