A few days ago on the train, a man was completely lost in a book.
He was twenty or twenty-five. He wore a Yankees cap and a track suit. He was eating potato chips from a greasy bag, utterly absorbed, eyes wide as planets. He was reading a romance novel. The novelist stared dreamily at me from her jacket photo, hair fluffy as a cake.
That’s not the kind of book I write or want. I am something else. But I want to make you happy. I want to make you feel less alone. I am hoping you are a fourteen year-old girl, or a young gay man in a small town, or my mom. But really, whoever you are, I want you to forget the noise of the train, your losing team, your job. I am ready to speak to you.
Last year gave me everything I want.
I married the love of my life. I met my husband, and reader, I married him.
It’s difficult to ask for more. So I’m not. It’s my turn to give, to step up and offer what I have and what I can do. I will follow through.
I have liked being the one no one sees coming. But this has made me shy; the surprise in the room; the quiet one with the big voice; the one with the burning, the hidden spark.
The woman slouched against the wall in back is secretly the tallest.
I’m ready to stand up.
Look for my books this year.