Going to Ireland seems to have had an unexpected side benefit: the shifting of time zones seems to have reset my biological clock so that I am now on a more normal schedule. I got up this morning at 6:30am to see my wife off to work, then I had my coffee and started on my day.
First I popped down to my local Burger King and had a breakfast croissant and an orange juice. Then, on my way over to Staples to get office supplies, I saw an 18-wheeler that had gotten jammed under the elevated subway tracks at the Astoria Boulevard stop; the top of its trailer had been peeled back like the lid of a sardines can. On the other side of the road was a car that had apparently had its front end removed by force. An impressive tableau of destruction that had traffic stalled all the way across the JFK Bridge (fka the Triborough Bridge).
Packed up some comp copies of The Calling that I was contractually obligated to send out — one the licensing agent for the Rush lyrics (from “Workin’ Them Angels”) I quoted in the book’s epigraph, and another to Dave Cross, the photographer who took my headshot for the back cover. I also sent copies to Peter Dougherty of nycsubway.org and Father Damian Halligan of St. Ignatius Retreat, who provided me with advice during the development of the story.
I also sent a box containing six inscribed and autographed books — my Star Trek Destiny trilogy, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Warpath, and two copies of The Calling — to a fan in France who had purchased them long distance using PayPal. I guess I’ll need to consider adding a store feature to my web site pretty soon…
I went into Manhattan to return to my editor Margaret Clark the marked-up first-pass page proofs for Star Trek Vanguard: Precipice, receive her notes on my next project, More Beautiful Than Death, and pick up a foam-core-backed blowup of the cover of The Calling.
Funny thing about foam-core blowups: they disintegrate in the rain. As a thunderstorm rolled into New York City, I was grateful that Margaret had wrapped my cover blowup in a plastic bag and loaned me an umbrella. It was almost enough to get me home damp but not soaked…
…then as I was waiting inside a bus at a light, 90 seconds from my stop, a massive downpour struck. I had to get off the bus, and there was no cover because of the angle at which the wind was driving the rain. I tried to use the umbrella but it was of no use. Within seconds of leaving the bus I was drenched from head to toe. When I got home I had to pour water out of my sneakers. I had to wring out my socks. I looked as if I’d been submerged in a pool.
As I wrung the last bit of excess water from my socks, what did I see outside the bathroom window? Bright sunlight.
Ah, summer in New York City. This is just one of the many inspirations for the phrase, “Things can change in a New York minute.”