Wednesday, the day after the day my book came out, I wore gray pants and a gray shirt. One sock had pale stripes and the other sock had dark stripes, but they both had stripes, so I call it a match. At the café, I ordered my usual. Then I dropped change all over the floor and scrambled around picking it up. I sat at the corner table near the outlet, the one everyone wants. I wrote. I left for work. I squeaked through the closing doors of an R train and made it to the office minutes early. I typed emails and checked pages and walked things around. I signed two books for supportive coworkers. I put off packing for the office move next week. It was a day (except for signing books I wrote), like any other.
Thursday, the day after the day after my book came out, I wore all black, my usual. I went to a different writing spot, wrote, or tried to, and then went to work. At work, I continued to avoid packing for the office move, and after work I saw an old friend, my best friend since I was thirteen, and her dog jumped on me in wild abandon, and I gave her a signed copy of my book, and we talked about me visiting her class of high school students (she teaches ninth and tenth grade English), and we had dinner, and then I took a detour home and walked through my former university’s campus, and I thought, All these years later and I finally have a book out. And it was such a long time coming, and such a different book than expected, it felt surprising, and strange—and I like surprising and strange things, so I felt pretty good.
Friday, two days after the day after my book came out, I didn’t write at all. I don’t remember what I wore. I do remember that I succeeded in avoiding packing for the office move AGAIN, and I really must take care of that on Monday.
Today is Saturday, three days after the day after my book came out, and I’m out at the café writing the new novel. I want to finish this chapter by Monday. I want to be a better, more organized, less distracted person. I have to go to the post office today. I really need to put away the laundry when I get home.
And all the while, the book is out there with its pretty purple cover, and I’m in here, angsting, worrying, idly staring, and daydreaming like I tend to.
What does this prove? That once your book comes out, you really are no different, on the outside anyway. It’s like that time I was in high school, after I did that thing I’d regret and I stared at myself in the car’s rearview mirror, trying to see if I looked any different now, if anyone would be able to tell when they saw me, if it was written all over my face. If it was, I couldn’t find it. My hair was an awful mess though.
It’s just like that, except no regrets this time.
So days have passed since the book came out, and I have big plans to focus on in the coming months, and a looming deadline, don’t forget the deadline, and I really have to pack for the office move sometime. Just one week after my book came out, I will be moved to the cubicle. This sort of ups the angst in a very poetic way, if you think about it, and lends me a sense of urgency and desperation. I happen to write best from a place of urgency and desperation.
But what-ever. A book I wrote came out! Quick, someone, tell me… what do I do now?