That One Post In Which I Totally Lost My Shit and Fanboyed All Over The Place

on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
I tend not to live by mottos but if there's one to which I do subscribe it's this: Never meet your heroes because, more often than not, you will be crushingly disappointed. It's something that has, in my experience, been proven right time and time again. Back when I was schlepping around the world screaming into a rubber chicken (strapped to a microphone, I swear), I had the fantastically good fortune to meet and play with many people I had worshipped from afar. I wish I hadn't. The vast majority of them were arseholes. So it was with great trepidation that I went to see Jesse Ball, two time winner of Bait For Bookworms Book of the Year, speak tonight at The School of Life in my hometown of Melbourne.

Regular readers of this blog are well familiar with my almost religious fanaticism when it comes to Ball. Since his first novel, Samedi The Deafness, I have been entirely entranced by his ability to create believable otherworlds that mimic our own but cause us to reconsider reality as we experience it. Naturally, I was overjoyed to discover recently that he would be Australia and, as something of a bonus, was going to be speaking five minutes from where I live. I bought a ticket. In a Ballian (is that even a term?) world I would have bought several, so I could attend on multiple competing planes.

As it turned out, one proved sufficient to experience an entertaining and intellectually challenging discussion on social conformity. Myke Bartlett did a great job of teasing out some complex ideas without ever letting it disappear into an ether of pretentiousness. The discussion flew by, I got to ask a wanky question in garbled form and then came the moment of truth. I went up to introduce myself, knowing the bubble might well burst and... Jesse was absolutely lovely. Yes, I found myself chatting to a long time hero without being disillusioned in the slightest. What an absolute honour and delight it was. Jesse made his way to the signing desk where I unloaded my tote bag of books. All ten of them. I didn't want to push my luck. I said I'd pick only three. He laughed and signed them all. Then we chatted about Kobo Abe. Bliss.

Ok, so I realise I've just been totally fanboying here but I couldn't let it go by without mention. Perhaps, I'd have been better off simply posting this:

Lucid dreams, y'all.