Fantasy Writer Becomes Real to Me

On Monday night, I was chatting with my brother on AIM about Jesus. We were both inspecting the Alternate Side Parking Calendar as currently we both have cars and I have received two tickets for forgetting to move mine. Plus, Ryan often drives around for a half an hour looking for a spot. He’s getting tired of it. Since Monday was a holiday and we were both quite pleased about not having to move our cars, Ryan wanted to check to see if there were any other holidays coming up. Together, we discovered that Yom Kippur is this Thursday. That’s 4 days we won’t have to move our cars. Rejoice, for not having to look for a new parking spot is something I do consider a holiday.

“Immaculate Conception” caught my eye right away. It would appear that Jesus was a three-week-old fetus when he was born. And that’s a little crazy. It’s no wonder many Catholics are against abortion. When you have the Son of God conceived immaculately and then born three weeks later, I’d say that’s one Extreme Fetus. I will never ever doubt the potential second coming of Christ ever again.

“Solemnity of Ascension” stole my eye right after I got over Jesus’ gestation period.

Holy crap. It took Jesus 40 days to get to heaven. It took Jesus longer to die than it did for him to be born. No wonder he was sometimes cranky.

What did he do for 40 days?

Maybe he looked for parking.

Without missing a beat, which is why I love my little brother, he answered.

It can’t be that crowded up there yet.

But Jesus isn’t why I’m writing today. I’m writing about an entirely different man—a mere mortal. A man who, for some, is Jesus-like. At the very least, he’s worshiped.

Right after we moved on to Purim (which I am still unsure about) Ryan starting writing in obscenities. Not only were they obscenities, but also they were of THE ALL CAP VARIETY. At first, I thought maybe he was suddenly overcome with Jesus and began writing in the heavenly voice referred to as “Tongues”. Who knew Tongues would sound so sinful?

Do you think you’ll get anytime at work tomorrow? I just realized something is taking place that I can’t go to.

I wish. I’m not so sure. It’s been unbelievable busy lately. I can barely eat. Why? What do you need?

That’s when he told me about Robert Jordan who, up until Monday night, I hadn’t ever heard of before.

[Chapter 2]

I tromped through the rainy streets of Midtown in search of a Barnes and Nobel that apparently just opened on 46th and Fifth. With me, I had a printout holding Robert Jordan’s name and the title of his latest novel. “Book Eleven?” I thought to myself. “How is it someone writes 11 books and I hadn’t ever heard of them before?” I wondered what he’d look like. I wondered if he’d be wearing a trench coat. I wondered if he’d be wearing pewter.

I walked into the bookstore and was immediately greeted by a small Asian man holding a stack of white flyers.

Are you here to meet Robert?

Yes. Yes, Robert Jordan.

Head to check-out. They have the books behind the counter. After you’re done, head upstairs to the second floor. Mr. Jordan is up there.

I purchased to book and headed upstairs where I was corralled through a maze of fiction novels. I called Toby from on line to see what sort of pranks we could play on Ryan when I pretended I didn’t come through.

You should buy the wrong and worst fantasy book and forge his signature. Give him that one first.

What? Like a Danielle Steele novel?

That’s not fantasy.

That depends on who you ask.

I hung up with Toby Joe because I felt bad for breaking the silence. Everyone around me was oozing with nervousness. My words were stirring it up like stomach bile, digesting whatever tranquility was left.

The guy in front of me was short. He wore a plaid shirt and was really into the new book. He inspected it above his thick glasses. I could feel the excitement rising off of him. The guy in front of him was nervously shifting from one foot to another. He was next. I could see him about to implode. For a minute, I thought he might faint.

As I rounded the last bookcase, I finally got a glimpse of Robert Jordan. He didn’t look anything like I imagined. He was tall, skinny, and probably in his 60s. He had a beard and mustache and wore a pair of glasses. He looked like a professor. He looked kind.

A man who had just received his signed book asked to have his picture taken. He was grinning from ear to ear. Robert obliged. The Asian man two people in front of me, the same one who was shifting from one foot to another, wanted to know why Robert chose to kill a certain heroine and if she was really dead at all. I had no idea who or what he was referring to, hell, there were 11 books to choose from. But I did know he’d leave without his answer. Sophia won’t ever tell us what Bob whispers to Charlotte so I knew that Robert Jordan wouldn’t answer this man no matter how many ways he asked the question. There are certain mysteries that shouldn’t be translated.

I’m not sure if airborne nervousness is contagious, but suddenly it hit me. What was I going to say to this man? Would he quiz me? Would he know I was there ONLY For my brother? What if he refused a signature calling me a poser? What if he hates me? Oh dear God, what if he hates me.

It was my turn to meet Robert Jordan.

A woman took the book and prepared it for him. She took the cover flap and folded it over the publishing information. She gave the book to Mr. Jordan. I stood there, frozen. Mr. Jordan signed and then closed the book and handed it back to me.

Thank you very much, sir.

The pleasure is all mine.

For reasons I am still unsure of, I actually bowed. And the only proof I have lies within a bunch of curved lines that make up symbols which make up words laid down in permanent ink.

22 Comments

  1. oh my cow, I used to read Robert Jordan and up until now had blocked it from my memory. I know exactly what books you’re talking about and, since I stopped at around book 8 or however far he got when i was like 24 or so, I am now wondering which woman he killed off. um, i got one for xmas and just kept going.

    i could possibly be the biggest dork ever. every now and then when it’s super hot or cold on the subway, i try to channel a layer around myself, just for something to distract me.

    your brother will know what i mean. significant winking wow, i’m a freaking dork.

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  2. The Immaculate Conception is actually a feast celebrating Mary’s conception, not Jesus’s. That’s a common misconception (no pun intended!). Sorry to poke a hole in the Jesus-fetus theory…click me

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  3. Oops. So he wasn’t that extreme. I mean, he was, but not about that. I really should have paid more attention in CCD.

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  4. OK, so I went to CCD from preschool till 10th grade and I still have no idea what CCD stands for..

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  5. When we were kids we called it “Central City Dump.” That was the harshest thing we could say without feeling like we’d go straight to hell.

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  6. You are awesome. That is all.

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  7. Zac: me, too, and me, neither!

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  8. holy crap (no pun intended)! I went to catholic school for 8 years…several of which at a school whose church was named “the immaculate conception” and I’ve always thought it was about the jesus-fetus. guess I never really paid attention.

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  9. My husband and his friend got me hook on those Robert Jordon books and told me there was only going to be 10 of those suckers. Bullshit, it became all too obvious while reading book 10 that it was going to drag out for a very long time. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills. That crappy ass wheel of time. and oh yeah, I just finished the book this weekend, the prequel to the first book.

    And Mia – he killed off the major character from the blue AJah the one that found Rand in the village – I can’t spell her name – oh my husband just told me, it’s Moriane.

    Damn, I’m such a book hound I’ll read anything.

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  10. So is it safe to say that the gent in front of me was referring to this woman he killed in book 11? I suddenly felt like I was in the wrong classroom as they all began nodding around me. I should have done research prior going. Are there cliff notes available for these books?

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  11. no way. moraine… she was cool. damn, they’re screwed. i also hated that feeling like things were just going to drag on and on! had to stop reading.

    i can’t take that sort of thing. kill who you gotta kill, marry who you wanna marry, get on with it. :)

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  12. OK, i thought that CCD stood for Catechism Class something or other. Turns out the acronym translates to The Co-Fraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Program. Never would have guessed that one.

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  13. Holy shit (pun intended this time) I was in a fraternity?

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  14. Suddenly, I feel allergic to myself.

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  15. No, Moraine was killed in book 9 or was it 8 (they all blur together now). But we all think it’ll turn out that she was in some other dimension and will be brought back. I quit reading part way in book ten – when I realized this was going to go on forever. I mean it’s well written and all, but get on with it. I don’t need a background check on each existing character with each new book. and I don’t need to know how the fabric feels with each different dress. and so on and they tell two friends.

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  16. Diedre, you’re going to make me read this book, too aren’t you. First, Harry now this. Yeesh woman! STOP LURING ME IN WITH YOUR VOODOO! :]

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  17. Moraine was ‘killed’ way back in book 5! I remember it clearly, because Asmodean bit it too – and Perrin wasn’t even in the book (who, back in hs, was my favorite character. Now, I just root for Faile to take an Aiel spear. She ruined him.)

    I too go annoyed with the dragging on… and there are a couple later books that I don’t own in hardcover. But this spring I re-read all of them (some for the third time – how sad) to freshen up my memory. I realized that the later books are quite fascinating. So much starts building up, and there are little bits and pieces that speak volumes about where people are located and what’s about to happen. That’s my take on it. And I’m doing my best to pace my reading now, because it’s kind of sad to think there is only one book left (and two prequels, heh). After all, I grew up with these characters!

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  18. Oh – Mia – don’t feel like a dork for attempting to channel. You know how many times I’ve attempted to reach that freaking Void? Subway travel has to be easier in the Void, but the only Oneness I can reach is the number of fingers I want to hold up.

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  19. bkgunner i sincerly hope you reach that Void, hehehh careful there! you are awesome and hilarious.

    i’m so glad for that refresher, it’s all coming back now. Perrin was my fave too, and I totally agree, may she fall to a black veiled Aiel (or however it goes, but that’s what i remmeber).

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  20. Yeah, I hated that one, I kept waiting for them to mention Perrin (my fav as well) so I started skiming ahead to see when he was gonna appear. I was heart broken that Mr. Jordon left him out of a whole book. Now he’s just a pansy ass with that wife of his.
    I liked the wolf in him.

    Mihow – please don’t start! save yourself. Run for the hills.

    PS. did Juan ever get intouch with you? He said he was going to.

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  21. Diedre, Juan did not. But if you know of one, that would rule. :]

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