Later today we're throwing a raging fiesta for Jay...our San Luis Obispo Children's Writers group has been fantasizing for years about having a rager for the first one of us to get a book contract. And the winner is...JAY ASHER!!
The coolest part is that we're having it at Linnea's...the little coffee/pastry/garden/lunch joint that Jay, Robin and I claimed as our official writing spot when we met four years ago. It's our second home; if ever I can't locate Jay or Robin on the phone or e-mail, I check Linnea's...and that's where I find them! Like the other night...I hadn't talked to Jay in about 3 hours (usually I panic if we don't speak every hour). I ran all over downtown yelling his name, asking people if they'd seen him, and was about to call the police and check the hospital when I spotted the little "Linnea's Cafe" sign in the distance. Of course! How could I be so silly? I spotted the back of his head and the blue and green plaid button-down shirt that Robin and I had given him last summer. Were those sweat marks running down his back?
He was in front of his laptop, at his usual little table against the wall, behind resident little schizophrenic-guy who creates squiggles in a notebook 12 hours a day while talking to himself and guarding a jar of sea worms that adorns his table.
"Dude, I gotta edit," is all Jay said. He turned away from me and put his hands back on the sides of his head, resting his elbows on the table.
As I stood there with nothing to do or say, I looked around at our little writing joint. I realized how lucky we are to have our little "Sex And The City-esque" place where we always meet to write, talk, laugh, eat, read, and get away from the responsibilities of home and work. There is a strange cast of local wackos who hang out there, the freaky music always skips, the internet never works, and it's always freezing. But, we love that the coffee is great, there's ever-changing funky art on the wall, and it's not a Starbucks-like pick up joint...so nobody bugs us. We love it!
So, today, Linnea's will be closed just for us, so we can toast Jay and his mega-success, see old friends, eat cake and be merry. Then, after we clean up, Jay, Robin and I will no doubt bust out our laptops, rest our heads in our hands...and WRITE!
PARTY ON, DUDES!!! CHEERS TO JAY!!!