19 may 01

This afternoon there was a McSweeney's event at The Store, located conveniently two blocks from my apartment. Around 30 or so people gathered outside on the sidewalk while Dave Eggers sat in The Store's doorway and signed people's books with pens and paints. Neal Pollack stood on a chair and read poetry ("I Wipe My Ass With Your Novel"—no idea if this is the actual title—was a highlight), and the Manhattan Choral Ensemble arranged themselves in front of the Psychic's storefront next door and treated us to some American tunes. All the while comforting fabric softener smells issued forth from the laundromat on the other side of the Park Slope Psychic. I hadn't brought any books with me to be signed so I purchased the only thing I could afford with my cash on hand, which was a McSweeney's Books sampler. Dave Eggers decorated the inside cover with a picture of a lizard looking creature and wrote "Amanda, meet Fidel." I then gave the book to Neal Pollack who wrote next to his book's excerpt, "Amanda, let this sample of my work be your summer solace." Then Zadie Smith showed up, causing me to kick myself since just a few hours before I had lent out my copy of White Teeth. I still had the dust jacket at home however, as I tend to hold onto the jackets when I lend out my hard cover books (I do this to keep the jackets from getting soiled and sullied which I realize doesn't make all the sense in the world as the dust jackets are there to protect the books and it should be preferable to have the book itself in good condition than the jacket that surrounds the book, but hey, I'm weird that way). So I went home, grabbed the White Teeth jacket and McSweeney's Five and went back to The Store. My McSweeney's became adorned with a picture of "Pluto, with face of Dabney Coleman," and Zadie Smith's book jacket now has the author photo crossed out and a note that reads "Here is a signed cover for a kleptomaniac too stingy to buy the book."