That's right. It's finished. The cherry is busted. I sat at a table and I signed books for a bunch of strangers. I really, really did it. And now, you're gonna hear all about it.
I got there a little early, not having a fucking-clue what to expect. I took a short pause in the vestibule, to see what sort of publicity they had going for me out front. On a red flyer, they had printed out that 'Scott C. Adams' (instead of Scott Charles Adams) was going to be signing his book Never Dream (instead of '... never dream') (I knew those ellipsis would be a problem when I titled the damn-thing). Still, no complaints. After all, anyone who'd show up to talk to Scott Charles Adams would also show up for Scott C. Adams, right? Either way, these people didn't have a clue who I was.
I entered, and I waited. Nervous. Spotted a friend of mine, made small talk while I waited. Nervous. Discussed the sequel a little bit -- the fact that I was working on it, etc. Very nervous. Not sweating nervous, not voice-shaking nervous. Just regular old nervous.
There were a few chairs set up for the people I was to address -- a little, tiny spot for an 'audience,' numbering perhaps twenty or thirty chairs. I couldn't bring myself to sit behind that desk while I waited, so my buddy and I sat in the audience section while we talked.
We talked through Karen's announcement on the loud-speakers that I would begin singing books soon (Karen was the very-nice lady who helped me set this entire thing up) (very nice lady).
Just as an aside, I'm writing all this in Club Risque, and it's the time of evening that we Titty Bar Aficionados call 'The Changing of the Guard.' Out with the old, in with the new. It's an elegant, subtle process ... like a sunset. You just suddenly realize that you haven't seen any of these dancers before. The trick is, to show up about half-an-hour before the guard changes ... that way, you don't have time to get too attached to any of the women who are done for the day. I love this fuckin' place.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Karen the Nice Lady. My friend and I continue our chat, and another announcement goes by. I check my watch -- five minutes past when I was supposed to begin. "Well," I think outloud to my buddy, "I guess it's time to begin."
I stand and turn ... there are humans in those seats. I've frightened them from sitting in the front row, because that's where I was sitting -- but they're there all right. Not a huge crowd -- maybe fifteen or twenty, I think. In retrospect, I should have taken a head-count, just on accounta. But, I didn't. Maybe next time.
Just then, someone who was walking by stopped behind the desk. He made a little joke about being the author, and people laughed because the idea of such an ordinary person being The Author struck them as funny. Boy, were they ever in for a laugh.
And now, I have to take a moment to address the ladies in the reading audience -- because there was one common question among them, in all my conversations about this: 'What are you going to wear?' Of course, being a guy, this question always took me a little by surprise. The truth was, I didn't have anything really planned out. I mean, I'm a guy, right? I grab whatever's next in the closet. Which is what I did -- blue jeans, and a button-down cotton shirt. I think it was an armyish-olive color. And -- of course -- the bad-assed leather jacket which is so prominent in all the pictures of me on this page. The I-eat-pussy-like-a-mutha-fucka-from-outta-space Jacket. At least, that's what Blackwell calls it.
I think that's when I'll officially know I've made Celebrity Status -- when I make Blackwell's list of Ten Worst Dressed. Then, my life will be complete.
Anywho -- on the cusp of Regular Guy's joke, I stood and took my seat behind the desk. And I began talking. I talked about the book taking 18 months to write, and to not spend the three further months it would require to save the money to self-publish it would just simply be 'not following through.' I talked about the thing that's wrong with my brain that doesn't allow me to stop writing, and the fact that I can fool that thing into thinking that I'm still writing as long as I'm still typing. I talked about my general distance with the human populace, ever since this thing started. Then, I asked if anyone had any questions.
Dead ... fucking ... silence.
Five seconds can seem like a very short time. Five seconds of Hand Job isn't even a tick on the clock. However, five seconds can also seem like a very long time. A very, very, long time.
"Did you look into print-to-order books at all?"
Thank you, God.
I didn't expect them to keep me talking for an hour. Amazingly, they did. And the silences between questions didn't even seem that long, after that first one. The whole thing was very ... natural. After all, I sell cars. I talk for a living. It was just a long talk with a lotta people. No problems at all.
Then, the questions ended -- and I realized with some degree of apprehension that I had no idea what I was supposed to do next. Do they pay for the books, first? Or do I sign them, and then they pay for them? I'm not supposed to collect money, am I? What's six percent of $15? What if I don't have proper change?!?!?
Fortunately, I had someone right there to ask: The Crowd.
"Okay ... what now?"
I can only hope they found my naivté charming. If not, they just thought I was a moron. Either way, they still bought books.
And since that was the point, it was all good.
Oh, one more thing before I go ... I received the following e-mail
what is the true history of the internet?
Not a fucking clue, my friend. Not a fucking clue.