Driving, driving, driving, always in the frickin’ silver van, driving. Most of my important conversations are held in the car, with V3 hearing every word. I figured he would tune out this one:
“You know,” Princess Ai Lin said to me today on the way to her birthday lunch, apropos of nothing, “you are only one degree of separation away from Amy Tan.”
Princess Ai Lin knows I love Amy Tan. Love her. We attended a Lit Lunch at M on the Bund yesterday with Bea Long. The man speaking, Famous Author, is in the ensemble rock band the Rock Bottom Remainders with Stephen King, Dave Barry, and Amy Tan, among occasional others. Famous Author mentioned in his chat about his writing career that Ms. Tan was coming to town next week. He mentioned a lot of other things too, perseverance and failure raising their ugly heads once again, but my ears tingled at her mention. Immediately I began envisioning running into her in the megalopolis that is Shanghai and casually having a chat with her which ended with her becoming my pen pal.
And then Mrs. Famous Author sat next to me at lunch. I gave her my card in the event she needed help exporting a cat she didn’t get own. Bea Long, nice girl that she is, pulled up the pet exporter’s information from her cell phone. I wanted to stomp on that cute little black boot of hers but all I could do was smile. Mrs. Famous Author was a normal person and I am sure she could be my pen pal too, she was so genuine and friendly. Mrs. Famous Author likes, among other things, pseudonyms and is having a hard time learning Mandarin. Like I said, normal.
“I thought the same exact thing! Although I went a step further and specifically asked that God place Amy Tan in my path next week,” I replied to her. “And then I forgot about it this morning.”
We thought about this for awhile in the van, the van, the van, always in the frickin’ van.
“You could hang out at the Fabric Market. Mrs. Famous Author likes the Fabric Market and is sure to take her there,” PAL suggested, after awhile.
“Lurk amongst the bolts of silk on the off chance she needs a new qipao? I don’t think so. I was thinking maybe I could “run into” her at the airport …”
“How about the Literary Festival?”
“She’s not appearing there! That would have been the obvious choice,” I said.
“Where do you think the Famous Authors live?” PAL persisted.
“Somewhere in the French Concession.” I had heard Famous Author discussing a certain market, located in the area, with another litlunch guest. It sounded like they could walk to the market from his house.
I went home and pondered this. I pulled out a directory and there was listed Mrs. And Mrs. Famous Author, with their address and email. It was almost too easy. Crikey. Mr. Famous Author, I noted, uses a pseudonym. Not a very creative one, but still. So now I am faced with the ….
Question of the Day: Do I send an email, asking to drop off my books for Amy Tan to autograph? Or would that be considered stalking? Is it poor form not to send books for the Famous Author to sign, even though he signed one for me yesterday? These things shouldn’t be forced but … Leagal beagalettes, please chime in.