Public speaking is tricky for me.
The woman at the library looked sort of familiar, peering around the corner of the bookshelves at me, her bright little eyes locking on mine every once in awhile as we crossed paths.
I've never claimed to be good on names. Faces I can usually remember, but names - well, the adjective that springs to mind is shameful. (This is actually why Cass thinks I know everyone - because I wave to everyone we pass in the car. Most times I have no clue who they are. But I'm a friendly ignoramus.)
We finally met face-to-face in the back aisle, near the mystery paperbacks - me paging through 'Lassie Come Home' (not sure Cass would read it, altho' he loves dogs) she with an armload of hardbacks.
'I loved Meg too.'
Hmm? 'Um, absolutely.' I peeked over her head for the librarian, hoping she would magically appear and introduce me to this person. No such luck.
She beamed. 'She was my favorite character in the series. Did you read them all?'
I passed Lassie from hand to hand, my mind blipping from one face to another in my memory. Was she from the hospital? The pre-school? One of Bear's coworkers? And what was she talking about?
I hesitated. 'All?'
'Madeleine L'Engle was great, wasn't she? She wrote so many books!'
I must have still looked pole-axed. Kindly, she touched my arm. Speaking slowly, she said 'I read your blog. About Meg. It was great.'
People don't bounce up to me to talk about a few lines I jotted down a week ago. It just doesn't happen. It was amazing and terrifying all at once. I could feel my cheeks heat up while my palms grew damp, leaving great splotches on Lassie's face, wrinkling the cover. Plus I tend to talk like ee cummings when I get excited, all hand-wavy and with the emphases in the wrong places. And I like to talk about books.
i like Meg
she is so good and kind. And uses her brains (a great role-model for girls)
and never gives up. She dreams
great purple dreams, and can accept six crazy things
i think she's amazing.
and she gets the dishy guy at the end. (That counts, too.)
She stepped back, (probably to get out of the way of my flailing hands) her grin still steady but possibly dimming a bit.
Well, anyway. Never one to shut up while the getting was good, I delved into my praise of the secondary characters and threw in the black dog for good measure. By the time I was finished, she had a decidedly hunted look and was casting glances at the circulation desk, where the librarian (who knows my lunatic tendency to foam on and on) was openly laughing.
Ever have one of those moments where the conversation is going really well and then suddenly you can only hear yourself talking about things people couldn't possibly care about and you can't shut up?
I blurted something thanking her and scampered off to go hide my red face in the non-fiction section.
If I ever write a book? I am so screwed.