On Sherman Alexie and Testicles

Sherman Alexie's balls

Yes, if you Google “Sherman Alexie’s balls” my blog is the first hit; so what?

In between Sherman Alexie’s reading at Books & Books and his reading at Palmer Trinity the next day, he won the National Book Award for Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  I worked both events just to be close to him.

I couldn’t speak a word to the man.

Then I attended a trade show where Alexie was speaking on censorship and drumming up interest for the upcoming Blasphemy.

I couldn’t speak a word to the man.

But my wife was also in the book business at that time.  She is a powerful Cuban woman who would not sit idly by while I shared a room with one of my heroes.  At a Meet the Author mixer, Becky approached Sherman Alexie and told him I was there and loved his work – especially as a Mohawk guy – but I was too shy to talk to him.

Alexie said, “There’s another Indian in the room?!?”.  He pulled one of the post-its that was being used for personalizations of the ARCs he was signing and drew the awesomeness you see above.  Becky brought that post-it to where I sat, slapped it on the table in front of me, and said, “Sherman Alexie says ‘get some balls.'”

So I finally met my literary hero.  I was intelligent, articulate, and witty, and we’ve been besties ever since.

Hahaha, no.  I said “ME YOU TALK I LOVE YOU MY FAMILY LOVES YOU ALL THE LOVE FOR ALL THE BOOKS YOU DO YOU DO AWESOME BOOKS YOU ARE AWESOME AWESOME SO AWESOME.  Now give me your personal email address and some writing advice.”

We agreed I should frame that post-it note – with the biggest frame I could find – and hang it above my desk.  Any time I faltered in my writing life, I could look up and draw on his wisdom.

“Get some balls, Aaron.”

I’m trying Sherman, I’m trying.

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