May 21, 2012
HOME, May 21 – I took a week off from thinking about my book tour. Even now, I’m not sure what lessons I should’ve learned. I had a good time. I sold some books. A lot of people were very nice to me. Going into this tour, many of my expectations were rooted in the experiences of a previous millennium. No livid skinheads or uppity lefties took the time to confront me. No one confronted me about anything.
My only antagonist was the wall of rejection. Going into the tour, I knew that indifference would be part of the deal. And small turnouts are far less harsh on a book tour—where you have the luxury of a motive—than on a band tour. But it’s still tough dealing with society’s cold shoulder night after night. As a freelancer, rejection comes in easily-dismissible form emails. On the road, it’s a physical presence, a volume of empty space in every room.
Jesus, here’s a sad photo:
On this trip, I remembered some things about touring I’d long forgotten:
- The colossal waste involved with driving from city to city, all those mounds of wrappers and coffee cups I found myself cramming into garbage cans day after day.
- That weird thing where at least one person, at every show, without exception, will apologize for their own city.
- How much stuff people give me at shows, sometimes as networking, sometimes as an offering. On this tour, there were dozens of fanzines and CDs and albums, and, in one case, a taxidermied tarantula. Some things I had to ship home.
- How very many of life’s opportunities and adventures I will forgo for a little extra sleep, just to clear my head of that constantly encroaching confusion.
To this list, I can add one new observation: blogging about a book tour requires frequent use of the words “I” and “me”. Too much. I’m not happy with how much me there’s been in this blog. My life isn’t yet exciting enough to warrant so much real-time autobiography. Hopefully now I’ll have time to start writing about other things.