This week’s topic is a real challenge. I spend my time dreaming up stories about imaginary people, although sometimes real people make appearances. Putting myself into a story is something I’ve never thought to do. But our resident hound is asking us to imagine what it would be like to meet a fan of my writing. So… here goes!
It was one of those days when I had a list of errands to run. I’d finished the first two, and discovered I had a half hour to kill before the next stop opened, so I decided to treat myself to a pumpkin chai latte. I stopped at a nearby coffee house and placed my order. The beverage was too hot to drink right away and I took it to an empty booth. Pulling my phone out of my purse, I settled in to check my email.
“Omigosh. Is that really you? I can’t believe you’re here!”
I looked up to find out who was so amazed that I would be frequenting the coffee shop. I’d thrown on my usual errand-running outfit—jeans and a t-shirt. Perhaps I wasn’t properly dressed for the morning business crowd.
A young urban professional slid onto the bench opposite me. She leaned forward as if she was about to bless me with some top-secret information. “I am one of your biggest fans!” she whispered. “I’ve read everything you’ve written and everything that anyone’s ever written about you. I just love how witty you are, especially on Twitter.”
Since most of my tweets tend to be about my books and those of my friends, I wasn’t sure why she would consider them witty, but I thanked her anyway.
“And the topics you cover. I mean, they’re just so relevant to today’s society. I really admire the way you stick up for the Little Guy.”
“And your sense of humor—I just can’t stop laughing sometimes.”
“I’m so glad.”
“I can’t believe you’re here. I mean, this is so insane. Hey, could I have your autograph?” I agreed, though I was still amazed to find such an ardent fan of my work. She opened her briefcase, dug out a blank sheet of paper, and slid it across the table toward me with a pen.
“How would you like me to sign it?” I asked.
“My name’s Juli – no e at the end,” she replied. “You know, I almost didn’t recognize you at first. You’ve frosted your hair. ”
I froze just as the pen touched the paper. I’ve never colored my hair in my life.
“How did you cover up all your tattoos?” she asked.
It finally clicked. “Uh, I have some special make-up I put on them when I want to go ingocnito,” I answered. Then I signed her paper.
All the best—Margaret Cho.
The girl did her best to stifle a squeal and shook my hand energetically, thanking me over and over. She stuffed the autographed paper into her briefcase and left the coffee shop, waving again through the window when she got outside.
If I ever meet the real Margaret I’ll have to thank her for giving me my first experience with an eager fan.