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#09

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I am not a fangirl. Really.

This I have discovered: when in doubt, stumped by Blogger's Block and not to lazy, inspiration is only a click and five minute attention span away from another person's (in this case, Tym's) blog post.

The morning after last monday's Neil Gaiman QnA session (boy, was that 8 bucks worth it) that had the author signing past midnight when the event started at eight that evening, I feel misty, drained and star-struck.

I am not the only soul affected.

Via sms, a friend informs me that the whole night her brain screamed "Do me!", evidently finding leather-jacket-wearing beer-bellyed British man attractively normal, in her book. Adding that this was a terrible development considering she is not swooning over his works, which she has only read one of.

Two days after, the same few of us are at Borders. I arrive at about 5:20pm. The signing begins at six and as you have already heard, the line of people already stretches from the Borders entrance, around the circular glass doored area and outside towards the back.

Despite arriving 20 minutes earlier, my friends were already seated beyond the grasp of air-conditioned comfort. I discover that a friend of a friend had already started queuing past 2 o'clock. There was a buzz of anticipation, of mania in the air. Among which lurked the typical large overweight security types in blue uniforms.

One of which was hassling a troupe of cosplayers dressed up as some of the Endless: Dream (with really badly gel-spiked hair), Desire, Destiny (elevated on wooden clogs) and Death. Why, in this country, even the Endless have to queue.

I observe that the display for Harry Potter in the front windows of Borders is even further pushed into oblivion, more overlooked than usual, should that be possible. All the hanging colour drapes in the world and mountains of unsold Goblet of Fire books going at single digit prices each could not compete.

From teenagers in school uniforms (familiar hues of several junior colleges) to many adults in black sporting many ankhs (groan), each with their own story, each holding their own statement. Collectively a diverse selection of works, spiralling around the queue, testament to varied interests: plenty of Sandman comics (decade old single issues faded and yellow, or the more recent collections), American Gods, Neverwhere, Good Omens, Coraline, Wolves in the Walls and so forth.

Each a different version of fascination.

Neil Gaiman arrives, bearing shades and clad in Armani leather. After answering a few questions, he announces a set of book signing rules that he repeatedly emphasizes are not fair but there so he can retire before midnight. A maximum of 3 works. Only one to be personalised. And no posing for pictures, because past experienced threw up thousands of accumulated seconds of wasted shuffling, positioning, re-positioning and reshooting missed attempts.


We weren't one of them. Exercising efficiency and consideration, squeezing three people together in one single shot.

en at 7:30 pm

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