Stephen Elliott, lover of the electoral process
Y.P.R.1. How’s it going?
It’s going well. We did a fundraiser last night for MoveOn.org. I organized the reading with Peter Orner and we co-hosted. It was our third event; we’ve been doing them monthly on the second Monday and we’re going to keep going through the election. Michael Chabon, Ann Cummins, Hannah Tinti, Jan Richman, Matthew Iribarne, and Tom Kealey all read.
dk (featuring Dan Kennedy and his brother and someone else) also jammed during the intermission, which was awesome. I’m a big fan of his music. Unfortunately, there was an argument between the band and the bar ownership. The guys in the band were pissed off because Marty, the bar owner, hadn’t given them enough microphones or access to the soundboard. Also, nobody was really listening to the band, which was my fault. I introduced them as a group that was going to “play during the intermission” which people took as license to talk and mill about and ignore the musicians. Then the bar owner said something negative about the sound quality and the musicians said something negative back. It looked like it might get heavy for a moment. I was like, “Take it easy guys. We’re all here for a good cause.” Which I think was true. But I think Dan Kennedy’s brother told Marty to “Go fuck yourself.”
After they left I asked Marty “Who do I have to blow to get a Sierra Nevada?” He pointed two thumbs at his chest and poured me a beer.
Other than the band I think everybody had a great time. The audience, which was over 200, paid close attention to the authors. Michael Chabon is funny as hell and I’m not sure anybody writes stories as well as Ann Cummins. Also Tobias Wolff was there, just to hang out and show support. So was Andrew Sean Greer, whose book I’ve decided not to read. I like Andrew too much, I figure if I don’t like his novel it won’t be good for our friendship. Anyway, he hasn’t read my book either and every time I see him he apologizes for that but I tell him it’s too late for apologies. Tobias is reading at the next event, in August, and Greer read at our first one. This was our third reading and each one is better than the last. We raised $2,500.
After the reading I stuck around and drank for a while, even though I knew I had to be up at 6 a.m. to pack and catch a flight to Washington, D.C. I went home with someone I shouldn’t have. She lived in the opposite direction from me. I had $2,500 in cash zippered in my pocket. I was wearing cargo pants, a white shirt, and a tie. She said we should go out and have a good time with the money, but she was only joking. I went to her place for an hour and hung out then caught a cab. At home I hid the wad of bills in my sock crate.
So yeah, things are fine. I’m a little tired today. I also have a new book coming out in late September, but that’s another story.