I had to work today. This was upsetting more than in the usual way for two specific reasons. First of all, it was gorgeous out and who knows how many beautiful days we have left. Second of all and more importantly, today was the Word on the Street. For one amazing day, a small side street downtown was transformed into a bustling marketplace of authors, book sellers, publishers, food vendors, poets and people. People who love books. And I'm one of those people. I was supposed to be bustling about with the rest of them, listening to all the authors give readings, buying books and getting them signed, saturating myself in an atmosphere of creativity and the mutual love of books. Instead, I stood in a severely uncomfortable pair of shoes behind a makeup counter, helping shallow people feel good about themselves.
I realize of course that I'm being particularly harsh. After all, I love makeup and skincare so if anything, I'm as shallow as the next person. But I wanted to be out there, nay - needed to be out there. I needed the electric buzz of being around all those authors, to feel the intense longing to be one of them so that I could go home, set myself in front of my computer and write with all the energy and verve of a truly inspired person.
I did manage to sneak out during my lunch hour. I only had time for one reading, but I knew exactly who I wanted to hear. Alice Kuipers. My beloved Writer in Residence. Just being in the same tent with her for half an hour made me feel better, more creative. Her work was incredible. I'm not lying when I say she's incredibly talented. She writes Young Adult novels, but honestly they're an incredible read. I highly recommend you read her work. It's fantastic. For that short half hour, I forgot about work. I forgot that I make a ridiculously tiny wage and more often than not want to bang my head on the counter over what a failure I am. Instead, I felt powerful. I felt capable. I wanted to find a quiet spot and write. Write anything!
It really was a gorgeous day today. And as I walked back to work, feet pinched and mangled horribly by my wretched shoes, I breathed deep. It was crazy hot out, sweating like a pig hot out, but all the leaves were turning. It's fall. And although summer may be ending, the trees and greenery dying for another year, it felt like a beginning. A fresh start. Like something great is just around the corner.
That is, of course, until I got back to work, was bored and tired with feet screaming to be let out of their shoes and once again began banging my head against the counter.