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.
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.