Friday Night Workin’ Blues
It was one of those Fridays. One where I had been working all day at the office, only to have to work the evening managing the restaurant. After a quick trip home to chow down on some spaghetti. I fixed my make-up, put on a black short sleeve managerial looking shirt and headed down to the Star Bar with a smile.
Am I Dreaming? Is That Really Sherman Alexie?
It was an easy night. No glitches with Micros, no problem with staff or customers. As I bounced between the lounge and the restaurant I noticed a table that had a very familiar face. Slowing down my pace it dawned on me that the person was Sherman Alexie. I went to grad school for Indigenous Studies and in my Native American Literature classes his works were always a topic of study. His style of writing with a mixture of reality, humor, confrontation, complex relationships and Native life really imbue the reader.
His young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was so personal as a lot of it reflected his own teenage angst and growing pains. It made you want to laugh and cry. I could not put it down. I finished it within a few days. At grad school I had the opportunity to see him talk at a neighboring school in Buffalo, NY. Not only can he write humorous and beautiful words, but he can speak them as well. He doesn’t hold back anything. He wants to connect and he wants to confront. A must see if you have the chance.
Happy Memories of a Real Life Story
So needless to say, my long day had turned into a happy surprise. Here was Sherman Alexie sitting in my restaurant, eating our food and looking happy. For an hour I contemplated if I should introduce myself or not. I’m not one of those types that goes ga-ga over stars, but here was one of my favorite authors sitting only a few feet away. Sure we live in the same state, but what are the odds I would see him again in such an intimate setting? What to do…What to do… My love for his work won over. After his meal I introduced myself. Thanked him for coming to our restaurant and that it was an honor as I loved his work. He then introduced me to his wife and two of his professors from UW who inspired and prodded him to become a serious writer.
Unfortunately, I was the only one in the restaurant who knew who he was so I was not able to fully share my excitement with anyone untill I came home. Just goes to show you in the regular grind of life unexpected happy events that you never imagined would happen just might sometimes get thrown your way.