In my dream, I was meeting Harry Potter cast members who didn’t actually exist, popping Skittle after Skittle into my intangible throat and quenching my nonexistent thirst with Sprite.
I turned over in my bed, opened my eyes and said: “I should probably tweet about that dream.”
As a restless person does, I kept rolling around and found that, without the context, a 140-character summation of my dream and linking it to the importance of today would not be beneficial for any involved parties.
So I treated life like a normal Thursday.
That is until I hopped in my car earlier than I normally would on a Thursday, given the schedule I’ve kept since the semester started in late August.
I clicked on some music and told myself: “It really hasn’t hit me, yet.”
Then I’m in sort-of traffic, and The Caradoc Dearborns is crooning through my car’s speakers.
Tom has these brilliant songs on the recently released “A Caradoc Dearborns Christmas” album, and I particularly am in love with “Fairytale of Hogwarts.”
It’s, of course, probably too early to listen to Christmas songs, even of the wizard rock variety, but, to me, that gives me even more reason to sing and celebrate.
Anyway, by the time I’m in traffic, I realize it’s all too much, and the tears well up in my eyes.
To further torture myself, I flipped to a song that I first heard when he played it for Laura, Jake and me, when I visited them in Nashville in early August.
And then I started thinking of all the friends I’ve made and experiences I’ve enjoyed because a woman once ended the first sentence of her first novel with “thank you very much.”
By this point, I’ve resolved to singing some of the wizard rock classics without the accompanying music.
Nearing the bookstore, I know exactly what I’m going to tweet.
I look at my face in the rear-view mirror and witness salt deposits trailing down my cheek from the corner of my left eye.
Now outside of the bookstore, I resolve to reading tweets — and sending some out, too.
I imagine what the display will look like. Will there be a huge sign? Will there even be a display? What will my reaction be?
As I push through the first set of doors, I see the red cover and, as theatrically as you could expect from someone like me, gasp in excitement.
I snag a copy and race to the check-out line. With whom was I competing?
I wasn’t competing with anyone, of course.
I was living an experience that I knew I’d remember and that I wanted to be decidedly memorable.
No, no one reached for the same copy as I did. No, there was no line of Rowling fans waiting to celebrate the release with me.
I was alone, with just enough cash to afford the book at a discounted price, and no one was making mark of who I was or what I was doing or that we had a common interest.
And I thought I could control myself with the reading.
I thought I would prioritize my life and use the novel as a treat. After all, I won’t obtain any true reading time until Saturday afternoon. So there truly wasn’t any hurry — especially if I planned on avoiding social media until the book’s completion.
But I did it. I read. And I’m loving it.
I also love the connection that even seeing a book cover can evoke in people. I had four great reactions today, and I hope for things like that, whenever I purchase a book one minute after it goes on sale.
I won’t detail how far I’ve gotten in the novel, but I assure you, it’s not too far.
I’d just like to avoid any wow-you-read-incredibly-slowly or how-could-you-ever-put-it-down comments.
But now that I’ve made it through a busy day and indulged in a little Internet, I think it’s time to return to Pagford.
I just wanted you all to know that, in coming days and weeks, I hope to return here and other Internet spaces more often, as well.
Especially once I’ve finished reading J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy.”