OK, so where were we? Oh, yeah, I was moping around my apartment in queens, writing posts about bringing hookers home for cake with my mother and getting trolled by some crazy person.
Yesterday, I said “enough is enough.” I was living in New York City now, the “Big Apple,” and it was time for me to live the life that was I was destined for — hobnobbing with the best and brightest in the big city.
So, off I went — from the land of Archie Bunker, the Nanny, and Ugly Betty, over the bridge (or rather under the river in the subway) to the Island of Manhattan.
As I took in all the neon lights and Saturday night hub-bub, my depression melted away as a fast as an ice cream cone in Coney Island in August.
I had a event to attend. I was going to NYU for the book launch party of the novel Petty Magic by Camille DeAngelis. I met Camille via Maggie Dammit and Sarah Miller on Twitter. Camille is utterly charming online and in real life, and I can’t wait to start reading her new literary fantasy. Largehearted Boy recently wrote about her novel, saying:
“If you read Camille DeAngelis’s debut novel Mary Modern, you experienced firsthand the author’s talent for creating truly unique and clever fictional worlds. Her second novel, Petty Magic, is equally impressive, inventively combining the paranormal, historical flashbacks, and a love story for the ages. A smart and funny page turner, Petty Magic will appeal to all ages of readers from young adults to senior citizens, and everyone in between.”
It was an honor to be invited to the book party.
One problem. I have hardly left my apartment for the previous two weeks, so I was overly-hyper to be in a room with so many other smart people. And since so much of my social interaction recently has been limited to Twitter and Facebook, I was out of shape in my ability to have normal social conversation.
After chatting with the witty Camille, I found myself talking with another attractive, intelligent woman with an open face, the type of person who instantly made me feel comfortable enough to open up to her. So I talked to her. And I talked. And I talked. I talked about New York. And LA. And books. And politics. And Facebook. And my mother. And Sophia. And living in my childhood bedroom in Queens. It was as if I was still on Twitter and I could chat all day without fear of being unfollowed by 98% of you. I mentioned that I met Camille online, and praised the blogosphere as a place where one can meet others as a meeting of minds, where you connect rather spiritually without holding any of the superficial stereotypes or real-life misconceptions you might have in the real world. It’s as if you know the “heart and mind and soul” of the person rather than the physical entity.
“I remember the first time I met a fellow blogger,” I said. “He was this guy who lived in Northern California. We really bonded. One day, he came for a visit, so I went to meet him at the airport, and when I opened up the door to the car and looked at him, I said, “Oh my God, you’re black!”
There were uncomfortable moment with my friendly listener at the party. I could feel the humor hissing out of my conversation balloon. I immediately back-stepped, trying to explains myself.
“It’s not that it really mattered that he was black.” I announced. “I just was surprised that he was. He had a European name. It was almost Swedish, so I imagined him very differently. Not that you can’t be a black guy with a Swedish name. I was just saying that you don’t know who a blogger is until you meet him, so you have no preconceived stereotypes. Uh, not that I have any preconceived stereotypes of African-Americans.”
I was digging a hole to China. I decided to change the subject.
“And, so, uh, what do you do?” I asked.
“I’m Camille’s literary agent” she answered matter-of-factly.
I figured my best approach was to continue asking questions about her, instead of talking about myself and putting my foot in my mouth.
“So, are you originally from New York?”
“No, from Florida.”
“Hey, my mother started going to Florida every winter. To Boca Raton!”
“Well, I grew up in Northern Florida. Not that many people know much about that part of Florida.”
“Sure they do! Isn’t that where that pastor lives who wanted to burn all the Korans?”
Yeah. I’m smooth.
Anyway — thank you Camille for a lovely evening.
I know many of my blogging friends have books that will be published this year, (such as you — Kyran). I hope these blogging friends will also invite me along to whatever literary parties they attend in New York, so I can chat with THEIR agents!