I crave immediate gratification.
I never wait for the movie to start to eat my popcorn. I rub the squares on my daily Lotto ticket before the store owner hands me my change. I take my ice cream straight from the grocery bag and eat out of the container. I finish my cereal before it turns soggy. I open my mail as soon as I pull it from my mailbox, wear new shoes home from the store, finish other people’s sentences . . . You get it, right?!
There’s something waiting for me in the lobby of my building. Something that makes me want to hurry to pick it up, to find out what’s inside. I think I know. But I’m going against character; I’m not going to rush. I’m going to savor the anticipation.
If it were Christmas, I’d think it was one of the gifts I ordered on line. But, I’ve received (and returned) a lot of that stuff.
If it were Valentine’s Day (from what friend?), or Mother’s Day, or my birthday, I’d think it was a bouquet of flowers.
Or a special delivery letter.
Or a thick invitation to a swanky party.
I got this great email from my friend, Felicia, today. Her emails are like poetry, and I wish that she would hurry up and finish her own, beautifully written novel. This is what she wrote:
“Is the book in bookstores yet?
Have you seen one on a bookshelf?
I wish I could be with you when you do.
Will you take someone, or go alone?
What a sacred moment.
We all know that life is full of “sacred moments,” but I never thought by writing a novel, getting it published and having it in the hands of hundreds of thousands (set that intention!) that there would be “sacred moments.”
The first time I see my novel on a bookstore’s shelf I’ll probably be alone, but I’m going to be dressed up. I’m going to stand right there in front of that book and cry. I’m going to sob so hard that the clerks will come over to comfort me (or maybe to escort me out; that Jackie will do anything to sell her books!). I’m going to take the book and turn its cover to face the aisle (feel free to do the same when you see it). When I leave, I’m going to giggle so hard that passersby will stare.
I’m going to do a little dance and pat myself on the back, because, I DID IT!
Then I’m going to call my mother. I’m so blessed that, at eighty-seven, she’s still alert and full of vitality. She called me yesterday and told me that she’d been crying all morning long. “Is everything okay?” I asked, concerned that her arthritis had given her trouble during the night. “Everything’s fine,” she said, “I’m crying because your book is so beautiful.”
Of course, I acknowledged her extreme bias, but still a sacred moment.
Okay, I’m out the door, into the elevator and down to the lobby. Three heavy boxes stacked on the red gurney behind me. I stab the tape with my key, and right there in the lobby I open the boxes. Books! My books!
A sacred moment.