The one time I met a famous author, I got my arm stuck in a vending machine.
I was in 7th grade. Let’s also remember that I was fantastically awkward, had braces, and probably a horrible haircut. I also LOVED books. That part hasn’t changed, though I like to think the awkwardness and bad haircut parts have.
I hadn’t even read this guy’s book, and really, I barely remember him because before I wrote this post I had to ask a friend what his name was, but I was really excited because he was coming to our school to speak about writing, the environment (it pertained to his latest novel) and books etc. The first time I heard about Fyodor Dostoevsky was when this author held up a copy of Crime and Punishment in my little middle school gym. I feel like that’s kinda significant.
The librarian asked me to go buy Mr. Author a bottle of water from the vending machine so I could give it to him when he arrived. I was, in the words of Rebecca Black, so excited. I inserted the money, as one is supposed to do when buying water from a vending machine, and stood back to watch the machine do its work. Okay, I probably totally didn’t pay attention, because really, who would, but I’m trying to do a nice job of describing the scene for you… Anyway, point is, the bottle of water ended up getting stuck behind the little flap it was supposed to come out from.
I knelt on the ground, put my arm into the machine, and tried to pry the bottle loose. I didn’t. Instead, I managed to get my arm completely stuck inside the vending machine right as Mr. Author walked up.
He looked at me with distain and said, “Who the hell are you and where the hell is my water, you stupid cow?” I began to cry as he told me I was obviously incompetent and would never become an author if I couldn’t even pull a bottle from a vending machine. Oh, and he also kicked me.
Just kidding! He was probably really nice about it and laughed goodnaturedly or something as I finally pried myself and the water out of the machine. I honestly barely remember meeting him, just that I handed the water over and blushed a whole bunch. It’s funny, because you’d think I’d be excited to meet someone pretty famous, given that he was an author and I was obsessed with books. But it’s so much easier to remember the bad parts of situations sometimes. It’s sad how much bad stuff we remember. There probably ends up not being room for the good stuff in our memories, since all we do is remember when our arms got stuck in vending machines.
Maybe I’ll count that as a good memory instead.