APRIL 10, 2006
Back in January, my friend Michelle and I were browsing in Barnes & Noble. She was having a tough week. Let's just say the situation was giving her some pretty heavy boots. To get her mind off of things, we went in search of feel good chicklit, old standbys and her personal favorite, true crime. At one point she smiled, picked up a book and put it in my pile.
"It changed my life, Sport. You have to read this book." (She has called me Sport since we were 7 years old.) Knowing me, you might think that this sort of proclamation might easily flow from any of my closest women friends. Not Michelle. If it changed her life...it changed her life.
One week later, Michelle's boots were lighter and my bag heavier. I bought the bulky hardcover and read it in 2 days. It's the kind of book you drag on the subway, even if you only have two stops. It's the kind of book where you hope your lover is too tired so you can read it late into the night. It's the kind of book that makes you want to drop everything and hug the stranger next to you, because even though they don't know you, you suddenly realize they get you more than you think. I guess it's the kind of book that changes your life.
Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting the man responsible for this life-altering creation. Jonathan Safran Foer. He was reading from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (now in paperback!) at ironically, the same location where my copy was purchased. At the podium, he looked smaller than I imagined, more normal...or I guess just more human. After reading a book of this magnitude, I almost expected him to be bigger than life. Or at LEAST extremely loud. He wasn't. I liked him immediately.
As I approached the desk where he was signing his book, I knew he had to be my April 10th picture. I informed him of my wacky plan to take a picture every day, asked if he would be willing to pose for one and gave him my shadow picture. It was his idea to gaze upon my photograph as you see above. Thanks for the creativity, Jonathan.
Thanks for your humor and your vulnerability. Thanks for taking a risk and reading one of my favorite sections despite the fact that it's not side-splittingly funny. Thanks for Oskar and for loving New York. Thanks for reminding us of that horrible day by encouraging us to count our blessings. Thanks for knowing that in order to live together on this earth, we have to see the humanity in each other every day. Thanks for helping make Michelle and my boots a little lighter.