Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Book Expo Lesson #3

Book Expo Lesson #3: You never know who you're gonna run in to at Book Expo.

It could be an agent whose name you remember, and at first you can't place it, until you reach back, way back in your memory and eventually remember that the reason his name seems like a part of your life is not because you were friends once or ever even met before, but because he did the same children's theatre as you when you were in middle school, and his name is so unusual it is like a tongue-twister, and your director made you chant it over and over as part of your theatre warm ups when you were just 11 years old. He played Peter Pan.

Or it coud be a diifferent agent, who it just so happens went to your Hebrew school, who knows all the same kids who went to the weird Quaker school downtown with you for 12 years, who's still in New York, who's still in publishing, and so are you.

Or it coud be a woman that you waited on once, maybe twice, at the restaurant where you work in the South End, who you can't stop staring at because you can't figure out where you've seen her before, who looks at you funny on the escalator because you won't look away, until you figure out why she has you mesmerized: she ate steak, medium rare, with a beet salad to start. She drank vodka tonics with a lemon, and the sweat beading off the glass in the close restaurant air formed constant rings on the table where it sat. And that drove you nuts.

Or it could be an old friend, turned agent, now pregnant and happy to no longer have a boss.

Or the next New York Times bestselling author.

Or Paula Poundstone, but all you can think is "bitch, why won't you take a goddamn flier???"

Or a guy from South Texas whose book about hydrogen gas is "perfect" for the Everything series, who won't stop grinning at you like a cat eyeing his mousy dinner.

Or it could be your neighbor, who covets your boyfriend's Audi A3, who drinks at your restaurant every week, who loves Sauvignon Blanc, who you never met until now, this moment, at Book Expo, hundreds of miles away from your apartment, in a completely foreign city.

It's a small world, and the publishing world is even smaller.

You just never know who you're going to run in to at Book Expo.

1 comment:

Kate Epstein said...

Oooh, a cameo for me and my bun, Ben! :)

I saw Arianna Huffington, who looked at me and the agent-pal I was hanging out with like, um, don't you know I'm famous? Aren't you going to make a big deal about me? No, we are not.

But I confess I wanted to make a big deal about Gordon from Sesame Street, but got too shy.