First of all, from the moment you get there, the folks at Third Man make you feel like a star. I walked in and immediately someone greeted me, double-checked that I was, indeed, me and then Chet came out and brought be into the back, which is this large part kitchen/part lounge space. There’s a giant buffalo head. They had pizza, but I’d already eaten, because I didn’t expect they would have pizza. Everyone was like “You can hang out and talk to us or sit on the couch or…”
But I just wanted to read through my story a few times. Chet offered me a quiet office, but I wanted to read through it with some distractions. So, I just sat on the couch. The band, Ornament(?–I think that’s singular), came backstage for pizza and a discussion in which one of them tried to argue that The Doors without Jim Morrison and fronted by Ray Manzarek was the superior iteration of The Doors, which caused me to die of outrage, come back to life, and die of outrage again.
The other authors showed up. They were amazing. So nice and interesting. Chet took them for a tour, but I’d already been on the tour a couple times, so I read through my story again.
Then we went out and took our seats. The Butcher and his family were there, so I went and sat next to them. Chet gave me this amazing introduction that made me sound all classy and important, but my story started, “It goes without saying you don’t want fifty crawdads up your cooter.” So… yeah. But people laughed in all the right spots and that made me happy.
When I came off stage, Alice Randall told me my story was fantastic.
Then I sat down with my nephew and listened to great stories while he slept, because he can sleep through anything but quiet, apparently.
And I had flowers and everyone was super excited.
I think that’s everything. It was lovely. But it reaffirmed for me what a bullshit word “deserves” is. I don’t deserve this more than someone else. It’s not happening because I deserve it. It’s strange and wonderful and I am lucky. I can’t imagine trying to explain to my high school self this life. And I wouldn’t have known–didn’t know–back then to strive for this life, to want this life, because I didn’t believe it was possible for me. I didn’t think I deserved it.
And I feel like there are so many people out there who are just as talented as me, but maybe they didn’t move to Nashville, so they couldn’t get lucky.
Anyway, “deserves” is a bullshit word. Weird and nice stuff happened and I’m just going to enjoy it. And wish for weird and nice stuff for all y’all.