Which of the following things didn’t happen to me this past weekend?
A) Cried at a museum.
B) Ran seven miles.
C) Met someone in a hot tub who knew Dan from college.
D) Held Sara’s head as blood gushed down her face.
E) Stayed at home, finishing my book edits. Then went to the post office, got my windshield wiper blades changed, did some grocery shopping, cleaned my house, made cookies and folded my hands in homemaker glee.
Yeah, good guess.
A) Went to this exhibit with Adam, Rebecca and Dan. I don’t know why I thought it’d be mostly cover art and posters inspired by comics. It wasn’t. Of course it wasn’t. Because I’m not a comic book person, I wandered to the back, to see the other exhibit.
I found myself staring at a piece by Allen Ruppersberg. It was a series of postcards depicting landmarks or hotels from around the country. Every morning for a year (in 1975), he got up, noted the time he woke up, and sent himself a postcard back to his home address. One postcard in particular got my attention because it of the UN building, the view I had in New York last month. Just before I went to find Dan to show him, I looked at the postcard above that. It was from Houston. More specifically, it was from the hotel my father managed in Houston. Then I saw one from my father’s hotel in Jackson, Mississippi. Of all the hotels in all of the country, two of these postcards were from places where I would one day spend the night, where my father would walk the halls daily.
“Who is this piece for, except for me?” I wondered.
I was telling Adam about the piece when he said, “If you want to see something really good, and really sad, go to the Chris Ware room.”
Off to the side, in a room painted an AB-approved blue, I spent about half an hour where I learned, for the first time, to appreciate the graphic novel. Please note I’ve dated every variety of geek, and I’ve been around plenty of comics and graphic novels, but this was the first time one had been presented to me where I was invited to participate.
It was this piece that drew me in, but it was one of these that did me in. It was about a sick cat and a lonely girl, and when I finished reading it I looked up, tears streaming down my face, and was a little surprised that everyone wasn’t bawling. I headed to the back of the museum, where I found Adam, said, “I read the one about the ca–“, and started crying again.
So I bought a Chris Ware book. I’m having to read it slowly so I don’t finish it all at once. It’s heartbreakingly fantastic.
B) Yes, Dan and I ran seven miles. Which means Dan consumed negative calories yesterday. He’s amazing.
C) This happened, too. I didn’t know the girl sitting to my left in the hot tub as a group of comic guy-friends were one-upping each other about something, as they do. Right when one of them burst into some kind of song about the situation, probably involving poop or kicking puppies, the girl turned to me and said, “This is why I don’t date comics.” We talked for the next hour.
Later in the night, right when I was saying something that probably involved poop or kicking puppies, she found me again. “Oh my God! You know Dan Blau!”
“She really knows Dan Blau,” Liz said.
Turns out this girl not only went to college with Dan, she currently lives across the street from him. This world is getting smaller and smaller.
D) I’ll let Sara tell the story when she can sit upright without blood falling from her nose, but we went to her improv show and she got her face busted in. (she’s okay, if you’re sara’s mum or dad learning about this for the first time. she’s okay. promise.)