aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,
aprilhenry
aprilhenry

My first time – Part I

The first time I ever did any book event was when I was asked to sign galleys of my first book, Circles of Confusion, at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Association meeting which was being held a couple of hours drive from my house. This was ten years ago.

My husband let me borrow his precious car (which was old, but not as old as my car), but cautioned me just before I left that I had to keep an eye on the engine temperature. I immediately forgot this advice, especially since I soon had to pee. Every time I saw a freeway sign saying how many miles to Eugene, I would translate it into how many miles until I could pee. I was afraid of being late, so I didn’t pull into any rest areas. My first clue that something was wrong was when I started hearing a ticking sound coming from the engine. Then I realized I was rapidly slowing down, even though my foot was on the accelerator pedal. I pulled off the freeway, lifted the hood, and even to my untrained eye, something was seriously wrong.

I managed to arrange for a tow, using my husband’s cell phone, which came with a free service called “Mr. Rescue.” Mr. Rescue is based in Florida and doesn’t know the first thing about Oregon. The dispatcher wanted to know what town I was near. All I could tell her was that I remembered seeing a sign that said Eugene 38 miles, and thinking, good, in just 38 miles I can pee.

While I waited for the tow truck, with my legs crossed, I waved off all the people who tried to give me their cellphones. I had to pee so bad I seriously considering opening both doors on the passenger side and crouching between them.

When the tow truck driver finally came, he told me he had been awake since Thursday morning. This was Saturday afternoon. He looked like you might expect for a serious meth user. I went to wait for him in the cab of his truck. The dash was covered with stickers that said things like “Don’t hold my ears, I know what I’m doing” and “Ripe and ready to eat.” I tried to bond with him so that he would only rape me instead of rape me and dismember me.

The amazing thing is that I actually managed to make it to the signing after my husband picked me up in my car. And he never complained about his car, not once, even though it cost thousands of dollars to fix.



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