David Mitchell says he was never a socialite. When he decided to be a writer the little social life he had went out the door. Late nights at home, is how he described them.
Waiting in line to get my copy of The Bone Clocks signed I get a lot of strange ideas. I’ve been told I have an overactive imagination. I suppose this is the truth. Actually, I’m sure of it.
There’s this really nice bar down the street from Town Hall Seattle called The Pine Box. I don’t quite recall how many brews they have on tap, but it’s an impressive list. The building itself is an old beige and brown with white pillars outside it’s double doors. Small sapling grow in goblet-shaped pots on either side of the stairs, probably a good 10 or 15. The building is–oddly enough–shared with a firm of lawyers.
Inside is a dimly lit aisle, on the right a bar, on the left a couple booths, directly ahead all the liquor anyone could possible want.
Back at Town Hall Seattle the line snails along. I’m shocked that David is willing to personalize every book he signs and take pictures with whoever wants. It feels as though it will take all night.
When I’m faced with meeting someone I greatly admire I get a lot of silly ideas. At the time the seem great. I take another step forward in line, rounding the bend. I mean, you can’t win if you don’t play, as they say in Vegas, so why not just ask a ridiculous question? Because you don’t want to make a bad impression. . . chances are David Mitchell will never see me ever again.
The people before me have about 1,000 books of his to sign. I just have my one copy. They aren’t saying anything, not even speaking to him.
David glances up and sees me. “Thank you for your question,” he says, in his soft spoken south England accent.
“Yeah,” I respond. “David, this really weird thing happens to me when I meet someone I greatly admire.”
“I get all these ridiculous ideas about asking them out for a drink and for some reason they say yes and then one beer becomes four and four lasts until closing and we have all the amazing conversations and it’s all set to music and takes a minute and a half. It’s like a movie montage.” People around me begin to laugh.
David blows air through his cheeks and shakes his head, as if to say you have an overactive imagination, which is totally true.
He smiles then and we take a picture together. Then, as I’m walking away, he says, “Good luck with your writing.”
“You’re very friendly nutter.”
Everyone still in line, all around his table laugh. I’m pretty sure I didn’t give the impression I would have wanted, but I gave AN impression, so I guess that’s all I can hope for when he sees thousands of people on these book tours. But, hmmm, a friendly nutter. I guess it makes a good story.