In 54 hours my husband and I will be on our way to what is known as St. Louis’ Intersection of Art and Life, the Grand Center. I will be signing books (September 4th, from 11 am. to 2 pm) in Nadoz Euro Bakery and Cafe’ – which is housed in the Grand Lobby of the former Coronado Hotel.
Grand Center… Grand Lobby… two ‘grands’. I, however, will certainly not make a third. Randy and I will be getting up at four in the morning this coming Friday and hitting the road – going straight to my book signing. It will still be dark when we leave, and breakfast will be something shaped like a hockey puck and wrapped in a wax McWrapper.
As we travel north, hurtling through the dark, my grooming will slowly alter like one of those time-lapse Disney films of a bud opening into a flower. Except that I will be going from flower to dry stalk. I will fetch up to my book signing looking like one of those old CK-One perfume ads… the one where the people look like ill mannequins made of Paraffin.
Once there, I will meet up with my cousin, Samudra Haddad, and give her the shock of her life. I don’t think she is expecting to see a travel-decomposed 47-year-old woman. The last time I had seen my cousin, I was four years old. She doesn’t remember me, but I remember her. It was the 60’s and she was at the pinnacle of groovy fashion.
I still remember my mother calling us in from playing outside and telling us that our cousin had written a song for us. My brothers and I lined up in the kitchen and listened to her sing about… something. I was only four, so I was more fascinated by her swaying hair and by the guitar. I do, however, remember her singing something about burning tires, so I can only assume it was a gentle protest song. She was so cool, she could have had her own tv show.
And now, after 43 years, we are to see each other again. She will be at the book signing.
I am so looking forward to it…