Friday, September 23, 2005

Obsession with Kira

As the subtitle of this blog indicates, I'm very obsessive compulsive. My latest obsession is with the writer Kira Salak. I absolutely love her work. I'm currently reading her second book, "Four Corners," and I can't put it down (I've had to put two other books that I'm simultaneously reading on hold). I've searched for everything I can find about her online--articles she's written, biographies about her, photos. While searching I stumbled upon something called the Key West Literary Seminar. Apparently it's held in early January of every year and features authors such as Amy Tan, Sebastian Junger, etc. I've never even heard of this. Well, this year, Kira will be there. I tried to get tickets but was informed it sells out a year in advance!

I told my co-worker, John, about this. And we ended up having a rather enlightening conversation:

"What would you ask her at the seminar?" John asked.

Realizing my trepidation of speaking in front of an audience (even just to ask a simple question), I answered, "nothing."

"So then why do you want to go?"


"I was kind of hoping I can run into her at a local bar and we could get to talking," I reply.

"Oh, okay," Mike says while laughing, "you want to meet her in a bar."

The truth is, I'm a great conversationalist when I talk one on one with someone. I can usually get people, especially women, to open up like they never thought they could. I've had countless women say, "I can't believe we're actually talking about this." People feel very comfortable speaking with me on an individual basis. But in a group setting I just tense up. My heart races and I fear embarrassment, and usually keep all my thoughts to myself. It's a real struggle for me. So in this case I thought it would be fun to meet up with Kira in a bar and talk about travel, writing and anything else. Get her to open up and really get to know her. But I hadn't thought about how ridiculous this sounded until the conversation with Mike.

"Yes," I reply, feeling a bit foolish. "I thought we could just hang out somewhere."

"You don't think she'll be hanging out with the other writers and speakers? When would you even get a chance to meet up with her?

"Key West is small. I'm bound to see her," I said.

"Yes, you and all the other hundreds of people attending this seminar. Do you think you'll just run into her on the beach or at a bar, while she's alone, and the two of you will just hit it off?"

Sadly, I realize Mike is right. The seminar doesn't mean much to me. It's hanging out with Kira that I really want. Sometimes there are books that you enjoy so much and relate to you on such a level that you feel as if the writer was personally telling the story to you. And so you feel like you and the author are now good friends because they've opened up to you in such a way. And of course they wouldn't mind if you called them sometime just to chat or maybe meet up at a local bar--because you now have this connection. I think the book that most exemplifies this is "Catcher In The Rye." And if I'm not mistaken, I believe that Holden Caulfield even mentions this in the book.

So in the end I realize it's all just a fantasy. But eventually this obsession will wear thin and I'll move on to something else. I always do. Kind of sad, isn't it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting ideas. Especially about relating to the author. I think we've all had that experience at some time.

12:15 AM  

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