But I might.
No, he wasn’t angry that I was taking his picture, he actually requested the ‘bad-ass’ pose as opposed to the smiling and genial picture I took just before snapping this one. He mentioned something about not liking the fact that he falsely looked stoned in every other normal picture.
The day I found out that Pat was going to be appearing at Pandemonium books in Cambridge, I IM’d my friend Lisa and asked her if she would accompany me to the signing. This is one of those things that you plan for, and while we only talked about it three days ago, it felt like it took forever for the day to arrive and it moved too quickly to an end.
We ate dinner at Blue in Newton, a restaurant I would later find out was half owned by Steven Tyler. Thankfully, there was an absence of Aerosmith music playing in the background. I ended up getting a Hawaiian fish dish that was incredibly filling and tasty. If I’m ever in the area again, this is definitely a restaurant that I’d visit a second time.
Braving the cold, we drove to the small bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts only to arrive a bit early in anticipation of a line. All in all with such a short announcement of his appearance, he drew about 30 people (updated to reflect a more accurate account) on a night when the temperature dipped below 10 degrees.
I can’t say enough good things about Pat. I got the feeling that he was a bit nervous when he began talking to the eager fans, but soon calmed down to read the prologue out of his book, “The Name of the Wind.”
After he was finished, he then took questions, of which there were many. After taking a break, he then asked the crowd if they wanted him to read from the satirical college “advice” book or some poetry, and while I personally would have treasured the poems, the others made it clear they were looking for some laughs.
After a few more rounds of queries, we then ended with lining up to sign some books. This is where I turn to mush. While I maintain my utter warmth and friendliness, any articulate train of thought seems to fly out the window when I meet someone that I admire.
I shook his hand, introduced myself, and thanked him for coming out, to which he then replied, “I know you.” He rubbed his beard and tapped his lips, pointing again, “You look familiar.”
I snapped a glance back at Lisa, completely frightened and flattered at the same time, and I shrugged. “I don’t think we’ve met before, but a lot of people say that to me for some reason.” We then both shrugged it off, figuring that I had one of those friendly, girl-next-door, memorable faces.
I think he recognized my name from the letter I wrote him thanking him for the book, and the small fact that we hung out on Scalzi’s Whateveresque, but I was not prepared for the “You look familiar” comment. Convinced there is a billboard in every city with my picture on it that mysteriously flips out of focus whenever I drive by, I stammered more or less through my all too brief time with Pat.
“It really is a wonderful book. I had a wonderful time reading it.” At the redundant adjective, my logical brain immediately fought for control over the ‘deer-in-headlights’ emotional side and started criticizing my lack of proper description. I really need to train myself in not looking like an ass in front of important people.
In all seriousness though, Pat is the genuine article. He is warm, funny, friendly and extremely articulate. Although he lamented that his reading sucked, I found him to be extremely soothing on the ears. There are some people who shouldn’t utter a word of their own works, but Pat got it done with a professional yet loving caress a mother shows her baby.
He loves his own work and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes his story so poignant and magical.
Regardless, enough blathering. After 3 1/2 hours on the road, round trip, I’m tired. I may sound like an idiot right now and won’t realize it until the morning. Oh well. Needless to say, if you ever have an opportunity to meet this wonderful individual, I highly recommend it. You’ll have a wonderful time.
*Lisa and Pat at Pandemonium.