Eye of the tornado.Posted: April 30, 2014
At 5am this morning I was woken by tornado sirens. I put on a bathrobe and went out onto the balcony; the night was unnaturally warm and the sky was purple. I took my iPhone and Mac Air and went downstairs and knocked on all my housemates’ doors and then sat against the wall in the innermost hallway. My housemate Kiki joined me, and we spent the time talking about the mundaneness of gunfire in neighborhoods we’ve known.
It’s hard to summarize what’s happening in my life right now. What isn’t happening? Buzz is growing around The Girl in the Road, which got amazing reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, and a starred review from Library Journal. I set up an Author Page that’s been getting a ton of traffic. I’ve been corresponding with the producers of the audiobook, tracking down correct pronunciations from “Ouagadougou” to “Muthashi.” I’ve been interviewed by phone and by email, I’m giving the first of several author talks tomorrow night, and I’m writing a half dozen essays my publishers are placing in advance of May 20th. A piece just came out in Glimmer Train.
Meanwhile, I’m at rehearsal every night for Tarantino’s Yellow Speedo (trailer here, NSFW). I feel like I should show up in ball gowns every night because that’s how I feel. That this is sacred extraordinary time and must be marked as such. But I stick to jean shorts, and try to act casual, and watch people perform my words, but not just any people, but a group of absurdly talented and charismatic people whose bodies I watch Jay direct in space with such rare genius. My collaborators seem to know what I want before I do. They seem to know what I didn’t even know I wanted. I have an acute sense of Thisness: THIS is what I want to be doing with my life. THIS THIS THIS. Making art with friends. THIS. I am doing it RIGHT NOW and it’s so pleasurable I’m almost not present. It reminds me of the existential games of chicken I used to play as a child, where I’d stand in front of a mirror and think, “That is me. I am me. I am the one looking out from behind the eyes staring at me.”
No tornado came this morning. The storm moved to the northeast, and left me and Kiki to go back to sleep.