Neil Gaiman is selflessly dragging himself through one last American Book Tour for his new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. He’s actually coming to Denver (where I work) and I was super excited, but my friend David finally saved up to visit me from Louisiana at the same time. He isn’t a Neil Gaiman fan yet and he’s also Deaf and there wouldn’t be an interpreter and making him spend his long-awaited trip standing in line for a stranger for 4 hours seemed like not the most loving thing to do.
Fortunately I have friends who are equally loving and two of them called to say they were seeing Neil in New York and would I like to mail anything to get signed. Fuck yes.
So I overnighted my “me copy” of American Gods (as opposed to my lending copy and the one or two I usually have on hand to give away) with a post-it bearing my name marking the title page and crossed my fingers that there would be no “acts of war or insurgency” which the USPS form says may delay delivery.
Francis texted me from the event to say that an official announcement was being made that Neil would sign, but not personalize anything brought from outside, if that’s what I was hoping for. I was, of course, but the hope that Neil would see my name was my tiny, ineffective way of standing up to be counted as someone who had been affected by his work and is very grateful for all the jet lag and hand cramps he’s suffering for us.
Neil Gaiman personalized it anyway. He also looked my friends in the eyes and smiled at them. He talked to Ana about Puerto Rico. He was a person. He was a kind person who was generous with his time, his attention, and his affection.
Thank you, Neil Gaiman.
P.S. It costs $36 to overnight the older Author’s Preferred Text, and it actually takes them two days, even without an insurgency.