After a visit to the gym, we stopped at the Barnes & Noble bookstore. My kids played in the youth services, near the Thomas the Train area, and I just sat there drinking my non-fat strawberry crème, dazing off into space. I was tired, after having walked on the treadmill and done yoga. Soon afterwards, I got up and took a little stroll. My eyes fell on a book, my book, The Feminine Art, which was published nearly ten years ago in 2004.
I became alert again, went and picked up the book. There were three copies on the shelves. I scanned its surroundings. Books by authors like Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita) and Anais Nin were alongside The Feminine Art, my first novel. I’d finished writing this story when I was twenty-six years old. For years prior to that, I’d walked alongside these same shelves imagining that one day I’d see my book on these shelves. It’d happened, not half as easily as I had imagined, but it did happen.
I walked away from the shelves, wondering if people generally have the tendency to forget their accomplishments and focus on their setbacks. Or if it’s just me.