Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Talk to the Hand

“So,” asked Friend of Wife, “what are you going to write about the conference in the blog?” I must admit I had no answer.

The AWP conference, which ended Sunday, had been going remarkably well. There had not been any stupid neurotic worries or ridiculous moments of self-loathing. I had met many excellent people, and saw some old friends, all such encounters lacking drama. I had many drinks and did not throw up on anyone, nor did I have the desire to.

All in all, a success. But it also meant I couldn't feel sorry for myself. Without a single iota of heartbreak, feelings of inadequacy, or silent resentment.

Just what the hell could I bitch about? In other words, did I have any blog material whatsoever?

No worries

Even after Friend of Wife made her astute observation, I lacked of despair, anger, or other such woe. I had too much to drink on Friday (didn't say or do anything stupid that I recall) and missed a panel discussion on Saturday. I also sat through half a rotten session, all of a half-good session, and ambled the book fair without incident. I went to Stanley Park, Granville Island, and a sampled some of the city’s seafood, which was top notch.

This is not the stuff of high drama.

On the 1:30 a.m. taxi ride from the airport, I rode past a row of zaftig women in hot pants and fake furs, holding shiny purses and wearing wigs (I didn't stop). When one counts a large number of crying babies on the fight out as one of the worst things that happened, it leaves little room for despair.

There must have been something that went wrong in Vancouver -- perhaps, using my remaining brain cells not drowned in Molson’s and vodka tonics, I can remember an what it was. Someone who runs a lit mag dissed some I know, a pointless insult the person quickly shook off. Wife abandoned me for fifteen minutes at a party while I guarded her purse and she chatted up an editor. Was buzzed enough at the time not to care.

Perhaps the worst part of it all is that Wife will have all the reason to say that she told me so. "You're going to have a great time, and everything's going to be excellent," she said. Damnit, Wife was right once more.

We agreed that if there was any angst, it came at the book fair, in which publishers and literary journals hawk their wares, trade-show style.

"That magazine rejected me," I said, passing one booth.

"That one rejected me," Wife said, passing another.

We bonded.

I passed out business cards, wrote the blog's URL on them, and briefly worried that someone would actually read the thing, and unmask me to the world for the messed up bottle of nerves that I am. Lacked a pen at one point and wrote down “http://bookfraud…” using an eyebrow pencil. Whoo hoo.

These pititful non-events are the best drama this brooding loner can deliver to faithful readers awaiting tales of resentment, anger, and vomitus.

I missed saying goodbye to a friend after we were supposed to meet at a bar. That was the lowlight, besides a hangover one morning. Maybe tomorrow or the next day, when I am no longer exhausted and spent, I will think of something cogently interesting tell. But I doubt it.

I mean, I have nothing to complain about.