This is kind of a footnote to my previous post: An Angry Black Writer Speaks Out!
I just wanted to give you all an example of one of my days. I hope that other authors will share some of there's. I think our readers need to hear/read about the reality of our - as Kola Boof put it: Un-glamorous lives.
So a last week, I rose at 7AM, showered, put on my regular run-of-the-mill bra, non-matching panty, Rainbow shop brand denim jeans, non-descript blouse and shoes. I threw on some make-up, had a light breakfast, watched a little CNN and headed out into the world at around 11AM.
I arrived at NY Penn Station around 11:45AM..Picked up a Blueberry Jamba Juice, Smoothie and treated myself to a copy of that expensive ass New Yorker magazine that I love so much and climbed aboard the 12:30PM Amtrak Commuter Train to Boston.
Beautiful ride. There was heavy fog resting over the Connecticut shoreline. I read some, slept some and wondered if I was truly fulfilling my purpose on this earth.
Two hours in my bladder began to scream. I hate using public rest rooms - and I always try to hold my pee-pee until I can get to one that is a little less... "Public" - sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. This time I couldn't.
Thoroughly disgusted with myself...I trotted back to my seat and slathered my just washed hands with hand sanitizer. All I want to do now is take a shower.
I arrived in Boston at 4:30PM. A friend of mine met me at the station. We took two trains to Cambridge. Halfway through the trip on the first train I realized that I was feeling sick. I thought I might fall over. I suspect it was because all I consumed since 8AM that morning was a light breakfast and a medium sized Jamba Juice Smoothie.
My blood sugar had dropped to a dangerous low. I dug in my purse and found a piece of gum, which I popped into my mouth. I smiled assuredly at my friend. The dizziness retreated. I thought: I've cheated death once again!
My friend and I had dinner at a small Indian restaurant. We ordered a bottle of wine. We drank all of it, left the restaurant and arrived at the bookstore at 10 minutes to seven.
I went to the checkout counter to announce my arrival. I was so tired. More than tired. Dead on my feet. I'd already had a full day - and hadn't even done my "job" yet.
At the checkout counter there were bookmarks. 3-D bookmarks. But I didn't know that they were 3-D - all I knew was that there were moons, stars and snarling animals floating around me. My head snapped back in horror. My friend laughed and said: Cool huh? 3-D book marks!
Yeah, cool, I said in a shaky voice 'cause I thought that I was losing my mind....getting ready to do a Martin Lawrence up in that joint.
I was sooo tired.
I read with four other Akashic authors. One brought a bottle of Wild Turkey ..just looking at the molten brown liquid made me want to go to sleep. Thanks but no thanks I said.
We five read enthusiastically for the audience of ten.
I sold two books and signed five for the store.
At 8:45PM my friend's friend drove me back to the train station. We all kissed good-bye. I promised to stay over next time I was in town. Next time I have money to do so.
I climbed aboard the 9:30PM train. I wished I could have slept. But I couldn't. I only nodded here and there. It was the longest train ride of my life.
I arrived at NY Penn Station at 2AM in the morning. I had $40 bucks in my pocket. $40 bucks, which should have lasted me the entire week, cause I'm on a budget like I've never been on before. But it was too damn late and I was too damn tired to take the A train home and besides I'd promised my sister that I wouldn't take the A train home, so I kept my promise and I hailed a cab.
A nice Nigerian cab driver, dressed in a hounds tooth suit jacket smiled at me from beyond the plexi-glass shield that separated us. He talked and talked. I pretended to listen as I discreetly wiped at the tears in my eyes.
I turn into an infant when I'm feeling over-tired, over-whelmed and underappreciated. He talked and talked and all I could think of was: I'm tired....tired...tired
I was tired and I wished I owned one of those 18 hour bras - 'cause the run of the mill one I was wearing was slicing into my skin and my nipples were cussing me out like I had voted for McCain in the last election.
I arrived at my front door at 3AM. With tip the cab fair was $30. I had ten dollars left for the week. I waved good-bye to the taxi man who was such a gentleman that he waited until I was safely inside of the house that Bank of America is trying to take away from me.
Inside, I released my breasts, stepped out of my clothes and hopped into the shower.
Under the spray of water I chanted: I am getting too old for this particular type of bull-shit.....
After the shower I was wide-awake. I was so tired. So very, very tired but sleep would not take me. So I surfed the Internet and watched television.
My eyes began to grow heavy at around 7AM. 24 Hours after my journey began sleep finally took me and the last thought that washed over me before I fell into slumber was: Is it really all worth it????
Causes Bernice McFadden Supports
Hurston Wright Foundation
Girls Write Now
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)