Yesterday was my first reading in about six months. It went well. At first, when the reading began, there was almost no one there. Then some more people came, and when I finally started reading and looked at the "crowd," it seemed to be okay.
EJ came up with me to see Yale, which she had never seen before.
My old friend Rob made it there.
There were some people I didn't know.
I read a story called "Mammals" which ends with a long, semi-comic scene where a serial killer is cutting a guy up. This older woman in the audience who was maybe kind of nuts but who I liked was totally delighted by this last scene. Sometimes when you do readings, people who seem a little crazy show up and ask strange questions. There is a sort of instinct to take a condescending attitude. But sometimes the strange people really like your writing, specifically, and pay close attention and actually seem to "get it." And then you sort of think to yourself, How dare I condescend, even in my own mind, to this person who's so enthusiastic about what I'm doing here? Anyway, it was nice.
John Crowley hosted the reading - it was great to see him again and catch up. And he took us to dinner. Sushi, delicious.
Later we walked around campus for a little while. So strange to see it again. I have very mixed feelings about Yale, but just physically being there after a year away - from the greenery, from the architecture - was a little overwhelming.