Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Starving for more Eggers

Last night Dave Eggers in all of his glory graced the stage at the Philadelphia Free Library for their One Book One Philadelphia program to discuss his book "What is the What." Excuse me while my heart skips a beat like all those dirty CDs on the floor of B's car.

I showed up at the library -- a bit breathless after running down the city block, not so easy in clogs, my friends -- as the doors were closing. So desperate was I to make it on time, that I forwent dinner to jet downtown -- again, no small deed for someone voted most likely to kill someone with a shoe if not fed every three hours. Lucky for me my friend J saved me a seat. Unlucky for the hundreds of people left out of the lecture room and stuffed upstairs to watch Eggers from a screen.

My hunger dissolved faster than one of those Alka-Seltzers that's supposed to cure your hangover when Eggers took the stage (note: I have only taken that Alka-Seltzer once and I promptly puked it right back up; it's still unknown if the "hangover cure" or the hangover itself caused the upchuck).

J pointed out M Night Shyamalan in the audience. I get a real kick out of sharing interests with semi-celebs honored for their creativities, but I digress. The event was less of a lecture and more of a conversation between genius author and adoring hipsters drooling, nodding, and sighing at his every word.

Eggers discussed the creation of the book (artistic and practical), and the relationship that formed between him and Valentino, from who's eyes What is the What was written. Sitting next to Eggers on stage was Abraham, a Sudanese Lost Boy filling in on the tour for Valentino, who's currently in Sudan for the groundbreaking of his newly founded school (which, by the way, he paid for with the proceeds from the book).

Standing in line to have my books signed after the talk, I couldn't help but overhear everyone in line around me. As expected, the conversation topics orbited around Juno, comfy shoes, and Amy Sedaris.

The hetero, yet slightly awkwardly, obviously non-romantically involved pair in front of me spent much of the 70 minutes discussing their plans to move in together, all the while interjecting their disdain for the average Barnes and Nobel customer, to which I ascertained they worked. One, a smoker, the other allergic to smoke. One, a cat hater, the other obsessed with her cat. I see great success. And probably some sex.

But alas, the mere memory of the aging stage holding a brilliant writer, the man who inspired him, and a bleeding human rights cause is enough to make this wanna-be writer all hopped up-, crazy sentimental-, whatthefuckandidoingwithmylife-like. On that creepily warm night in January (seriously, 65 degrees in January is awesome for this cold-hater, but slightly freaky just the same), I vowed to get my shit together. Read more. Take more photos. And most importantly, write the shit out of everything.

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