I was going to get on here and say that my time in NYC so far has been a blur. But that would be a lie. My first day was incredibly long: we (Saskia and I) woke up at 2:30am, flew into NYC, met Amy G, ran an errand, went to the party, went out for noodles, came back and slept. It was crazy, but a blast. Today, I woke up at a more reasonable time, hung out with Sarah S and Saskia at the Museum of Natural History, walked a bit around Central Park, ate at Ellen's Stardust Diner, and attended the reading at McNally-Robinson, hung out more with people and such. It's been well-paced. Not too long, not too short.
Reading at the party was interesting, to say the least. Beforehand, my nerves grew and grew and grew and I kept thinking, "What have I done?! Why am I doing this?! Reading, first?!" But it turned out okay, so I've been told. Do you know how unusual and scary and weird it is to stand in front of a crowd and speak into a microphone and pretend like the voice you hear coming out of the speakers sounds nothing like it should and all the while having to read this personal piece that you've actually never read out loud to yourself, let alone to anybody else? (Bad planning on my part, refusing to practice reading it. But oh well. I was a trooper.) I can't say it was an amazing experience reading — this is the girl who freaks out over having to give lame presentations or speeches in English — but it was definitely a good one, though strange.
Everything has been so fun. Really. The anxiety and worry I had about coming here and being totally clueless and lost? It's really not that bad. If anything, it might be easier being here with only Saskia. Family and large groups tend to make things a bit stressful, but with a friend, it's easier to work your way around things. Not only that, but you have to learn how to do things, and fast. I mean, hello, hailing a cab? Crazy! We don't hail cabs in Lexington! No, you call the cab company and they come to pick you up. But here, hey, I had to hail a cab. And it totally worked! Things like that, finding out that what you're worried about isn't so hard after all: it's actually a total blast.
So Spring Awakening, the show for tomorrow (now to-) night is pretty much not going to happen. But Saskia, Hayley H and I still plan to hang with the strikers for a bit, maybe wait and see if the cast shows up. I saw the new Gap ad featuring the cast of Spring Awakening today in Times Square. I definitely had a glowy moment. (You know, when something wonderful happens and all you can do is smile and giggle and sigh?) What's great is that, when I first got the refund notification for the show, I was devastated, heartbroken, couldn't get over it, close to tears — but now, I'm all right. No, I'm great, actually. I think that it's hard to stay unhappy when you're bombarded with all sorts of new experiences and opportunities. Plus, I was way too worried about not making it to Amy G's place, or about completely messing up my reading at the party, or about getting lost in the city (ha). I can't freak out about one thing for too long.
The most amazing thing about this trip? The book. Before, my Moments — the kind when I realize that this is real, this book is real, this is amazing, this is terrific, this is really happening — had been admittedly scarce, and fairly small. But I had one on the plane yesterday, at least two at the party last night, and one at the reading tonight. Meeting all of these amazing people, coming to NYC, signing books — crazy and mind-boggling and wondrous. This is really happening, isn't it? Yes. Yes it is. And it is so remarkable.