Five Dollars, Kaffeeklatsches, and Dreams

Yesterday began with a bang when, on the recommendation of a new friend, I bellied up to a bar for breakfast. Most of you know I’m not a drinker, so I seldom belly up to anything. But the breakfast was a good as described. I tried grits for the first time, and you know what? I’m a fan. In fact, apparently I ate with hearty appreciation, or something, because a stranger came up to me, said, “It was a pleasure watching you eat,” and then slammed down a five dollar bill.

Uh, thanks? I used the money for a taxi.

I had a kaffeeklatsch with the wonderful Bruce Boston. The way he spoke…I’d love to read more of his poetry. He inspired me to get better at mine. He said that my prose was poetic, and suggested taking an intensive workshop to feel more comfortable with poetry. I loved that.

I had a sugar crash last night. Walked too far and ate too little, and it resulted in an embarrassing episode in the lobby of the hotel. I don’t remember most of it. I’m so grateful for my two dear friends who looked out for me. Thank you. I’m sorry. But thank you.

I missed my reading this morning. I just couldn’t shake the crash off and wasn’t well enough to get up. But I managed to make it here in time to run the pitches with Mason, and things went smoothly. Afterward, I sat by the balcony window, my feet up to it, watching the flowers move in the wind. A man below was playing his guitar. I thought how good it felt to do this, to be still, and how my favorite moments in New Orleans have been times of solitude or companionable silence. Just breathing. Just thinking. Then life called, and I rushed away, heels clicking.

But these moments? They’re in my heart. I’m storing them up for later.

I had a kaffeeklatsch with Ellen Datlow, who inspires and intimidates me. I admire her drive, her pull, and her confidence. I signed up because she intimidates me, and I want to get over it. This really helped.

Then I ran downstairs because I was on the “Are You Ready For An Agent?” panel with Tim Waggoner, John Mantooth, Cameron MclCure,  and Alec Shane from Writer’s House. It was pretty awesome. I’m pretty spastic. That is all.

My heart hurts today. I knew it would. I gave away my Bram Stoker Award ticket and came back to the house. To write and think and take a bath. To hold my daughters’ blanket to my heart for a bit. To watch the sun go down and dream.

2 Comments on “Five Dollars, Kaffeeklatsches, and Dreams”

  1. Mercedes, I am sorry you had a sugar crash and am even more sorry that you missed your reading this morning. I know that this has been a stressful weekend even though there has been good stress too. I am glad that you have taken the evening for yourself even though you missed the awards. Sometimes solitude is the best gift we can give ourselves. Hugs, Ardee-ann

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