I tried to look taller and more mature. After all, I had never been to a book signing. And Universal Cerfin wouldn’t be considered proper reading for one of my age. So, I “borrowed” my tiny older sister’s best dress, the one that swept the floor with a low, murmuring rustle, and a slinky, silky swish to the sleeves. Rather than the single long braid down my back, I arranged my hair with tiny flowers and lavender woven into small braids pulled up, and clipped with the hair brooch mother left me. I wore cast off ear baubles (my older sister was rather vain), and the thin chain from my naming ceremony around my neck. I pretended to listen to my sister’s prattle for several days so I could watch her artistry with brush and paint pots. She could turn her pale, pinched face into a radiant, beautiful visage. Unfortunately, I would need far more practice, as I discovered, crying a little as I washed off my painted face.
The boldest move was getting out, dressed as I was, with the book in hand. But then, that was the point of the book – think on your problem, open the book and . . . there was the answer. Though I didn’t always understand everything Bott Grojean had written, I knew that I must meet him. The book signing at Foreword Books would give me that opportunity. This was admiration; not a young girl crush. I didn’t believe in such things, and after listening to my sister, I didn’t want to know anymore about love. Some were said to swoon upon meeting him, but I figured it was just pr for the book and the tour.
So, the book’s directions worked, of course, and there I stood trying to look mature. Then, it was my turn. My prepared and much practiced speech dissolved into giggles. Perhaps because I came with no illusions, I saw Bott for what he was. A young boy around my age – no more than 200. He put his finger to his lips, I nodded, indicating his secret was safe. He signed my book with extra care, and a little note: hot chocolate at 6:30? I suggested he open a copy of his book for the answer.
A piece of stuff and nonsense written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver 73: Making Sense of Nonsense.
Image: Sketch, girl with rosary, JW Waterhouse