I was amazed that there was nearly no one there. This woman won a Pulitzer, and I didn't have anyone sitting on either side of me. Was Smiley amazed by this? She didn't reveal it if she was. I don't know why I keep thinking of writers as rock stars, when no one else my age seems to. Sad fact: at all of these events, I'm the youngest person in the room, by sometimes up to twenty years younger. What will happen to the culture in the years to come? I feel old and yet like a kid when I go to these things. I'm caught between two ages--go to an event that costs hundreds of dollars like an Adele concert or Stephen Colbert's political march in Washington DC, or go to see the authors who write the words I relate to? I wish I could be cool, but I can't.
In a minor shift, however, there is a cartoonist with the Bay Citizen who always seems to end up at these events with me, although I never meet him. He looks to be my age in his pictures, or maybe even younger. Suddenly, despite being surrounded by retirees, I feel youth in my choices, and it keeps me going back.