Happy birthday dear Seedy, CD, Clay. This is how I remember you. Wearing my coat, taking my clothes, reading my books, listening to my music. I remember dancing with you at Cats, watching movies with you and Randy, visiting Ronnie with you, going to Marcy Mendelon’s art show with you, you drinking with Fawn while I was in New Mexico at my grandmother’s funeral and you knocking a beer bottle into her face, chipping her front tooth. I remember how you offered to go to the funeral with me and you patiently walked me through the whole ritual. You asked me to bring you rain back from the desert and I did.
“Mon Dieu, a global consciousness, ” I said. “So I’m going to be blamed one way or another for everything?”(Anne Rice, 52) asks Lestat in Anne Rice’s Prince Lestat. It is at this moment that Lestat learns that he is responsible for the possible destruction of all vampires.
Anne Rice finally wrote another book in her Vampire chronicles series. And all old school goths rejoiced. I’m sure a lot of new goths did too. I’ve found that a lot of my friends all read Anne Rice when they were teenagers. And they all still have a strong affinity for her books. Her stories are lengthy which allows us to bond with her characters; taking place in top tourist cities: New Orleans, San Francisco, and Paris. She loves the Victorian period, her Old World characters are always wealthy and living in large mansions. Her vampires are outsiders, which certainly appealed to me. Additionally, she had queer characters, which were the first ones I encountered in fiction. (I was 13.) And her characters were just queer; her books were not about teaching us—they were stories with some vampires, witches, and humans who just happened to be queer.
I’ve yet to read this new Vampire book, Prince Lestat, but it has certainly been moved up in my list of books to read. Anne Rice did a book signing at Books Inc at Opera Plaza. I went with my friend Santino and his boyfriend.
We purchased our books inside and then got in line outside.
We then waited close to two hours outside before making it into the store.
We slowly moved past the mountain of Prince Lestat books.
And then the mountain of earlier Vampire chronicle books.
At long last, it was my turn to have my book signed!
That was my initial moment of meeting her, I’m quite happy, as you can see.
As she signed my book I felt a bit awkward standing above her just watching and silent. So I said out loud, “I saw you in New York.” But I didn’t qualify that with, at the Barnes and Noble Vampire Lestat blood drive (I worked at that store and received a shirt that proclaimed I donated blood to the Vampire Lestat’s blood drive). So I probably sounded a bit like a creeper, following her. ugh. I was just so excited and nervous and found myself staring as she signed my book. In all, it was probably only a minute, but it felt like a short eternity.
Here we are with our personalized, autographed copies!! All in all, it was two and a half hours in line for our books to be signed. It was definitely worth it.
Here are the people still waiting in line after we had our books signed.
All these people waited to get Anne Rice to sign their books. She wasn’t speaking, just signing. I appreciated the ritual of waiting to see the celebrity author. I enjoyed seeing so many people dressed in solid black with dyed hair. We all love Anne Rice as an author, and we all love her enough to wait over two hours to get our books signed by her.
Last year’s holiday season I decided to buy all of my friends used books. I love giving presents but sometimes it can make someone feel awkward for not giving you a gift. But a second-hand book takes out all the guilt. They are less than a drink and oftentimes less than, or the same price as a cup of coffee. I started to track how much money I spent on books for gifts. Then I realized it would be fun to see how much money I spent on books in a year. I often times look at my bookcases and wonder how much I have spent. When a friend suggests we get a manicure, I always think, but I could get a book with that money. No judgement on women who pay to get their nails done; from what I understand it is often about indulging one’s self. For me, buying a book is a much greater indulgence and seeing a new book on my shelf makes me so much happier than looking at professionally painted nails.
One of my favorite things to do is look for books at thrift stores. It’s a bit compulsive; I start to wonder if I’m missing out on great finds if I miss a week. The majority of books I buy are used. It’s comforting to take home a used book. Perhaps it was misunderstood by the previous owner who didn’t recognize its beauty. Or perhaps the previous owner did love it but had to donate it because of a move. Either way, there is solace in giving a new home to an old book. That is the point of books, they are whole worlds that live on despite the author, publisher, owner, and reader.
This year I started thrifting before Thanksgiving. I scored some great finds for my friends’ gifts. The holidays are about spending time with people you love and respect. Giving gifts is super fun but sometimes unintentionally induces stress over what to buy and how much to spend. Giving a clean, used book is a great present that costs less than a well drink.
I just wanted to share some great reads with the people who make my life better.