This week I went to a bookstore hosting Amanda Fucking Palmer reading her fan-fucking-tastic The Art of Asking. It made me cry.
My boyfriend and I rolled out of bed around 7 o’clock to drive forty-five minutes to the city which would be graced with her presence. We listened to Who Killed Amanda Palmer on the way there, the guitar hero serenading us as we drove down the unreal empty streets of the city. We put some shitty donuts in our digestive tracts, and some even shittier coffee.
We drive to the bookstore, get one of the very last spaces in the parking garage, and get to the bookstore proper. There’s one fan waiting outside the unopened storefront. We decide to take a stroll through the park across the street, shouting at the geese to get a job, threatening them with fist fights, which was punk as fuck.
We return to the bookstore. Still no one. Jesus Christ people, where is your taste?
Got stoned at a friend’s. She let us play with her chihuahua/pug mix puppy which, due to the nuances of genetics, has about five years to live. Just super duper blazed, and suddenly you would be pulled into a puddle of puppy love.
They let us into the bookstore and we got our books. I devoured the first fifty pages. Then we waited. And waited.
Then we waited some more.
About threeish hours later, despite the plane delays, the Palmer had landed. She was amazing. She was all like “Soooooo – I wrote this book” and it was punk as fuck. God. Jesus. Mary. You had to be there.
She read from her book, about her time as a street performer. The premise of her act was that she dressed in a gigantic wedding dress and stood on top of some milk crates, and handed out flowers to people who dropped some money in her hat. It was pretty Zen and whatever: an analogy of asking for help to support your art and delivering the goods to your audience.
Then she sang. I swear, everyone in the room fell in love with her all over again when she strummed the strings of her ukulele. She played “In My Mind“, a favorite of mine.
She read more passages from her book about her relationship with her husband Neil Gaiman (for whom I have the utmost respect). She talked about her own problems with asking for help from him, that even she struggled with the concept. But she articulated it in a much more eloquent way, I swear.
And we waited some more. We went out to smoke with all of the ukulele-bearing, tiny piano-toting awesome people. Quickly munched some sandwiches, wandered around a pagan & Wiccan ceremonial supply store, went back in.
The way the system worked was that everyone was given a ticket with their book, and the ticket had a number on it. Amanda would sign the books, starting at number one, going down and down the line. That was cool, though. Hoss and I chatted with this cool chick in front of us.
The light at the end of the goddamn tunnel. Amanda was doing signatures in a fucking blanket fort. I gave my phone to a guy for a picture. I sat all nervously, legs folded beneath me as if I’m sitting down for a blaze sesh, five inches away.
Something magical happened.
Amanda FUCKING Palmer looked at me with an amused look then pulled me closer into the picture. Our cheeks were actually touching. We walked away, and I shook her hand and thanked her.
(Consequently, that is now the only picture of my boyfriend and I where he is not in drag. And its with Amanda Fucking Palmer. We win.)
We got our complimentary muffins and went out the door. We drove home, lit some cigarettes, and listened to the rest of Theatre is Evil. This song came up and I cried. Silently. I cried because I was caught up in the love for art. I cried because I thought that just maybe I could do this writer thing.
Not to sound like a Misery ripoff or anything, but I love you, Amanda. My thank you to you was more than an appreciation of your time. You renewed my belief in the online art community, and made me proud to be a part of it.
A final note: stop pretending art is hard, goddammit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njDQsQpFIqA