he will never believe it , but dave eggers first book was a heartfelt work of staggering genius
while in a deposition for my magazine lawsuit – i heard a woman i respect say she thought my book was untrue. untrue was such an interesting choice of words - i wanted to ask her why - but you are not allowed to ask questions – when you are the one being sued –– you have to just sit and watch them ask questions about you while you are there - as if you weren't. it is quite odd.
and i was there only because my lawyer thought this one woman – would be swayed by my presence. this woman – a gay shy ivy league book worm - was our star editor. it took her three weeks before she would look in my eyes when i said hello in the office– back when my magazine was just that.
so i go. and my stomach hurts – and it is surreal. like a bad movie of the week. i see her - dressed in a suit. i say hi and she looks down – defeated by everything and softly says my name. i did not get her eyes. i made small talk with the lawyers on their side – why not? it doesn’t feel like sides to me. g &j had a 60 yr old female in house lawyer – a woman who obviously went to law school back when few women did – a woman I think I would like –if I met her at a poker table in vegas. the guy lawyer is wholly uninteresting to me emotionally. i make him laugh – cause i am funny – and he does – in spite of himself.
the gay woman is sworn in and her voice is meek – as always – and she wipes her glasses over and over and listens fully to each question – trying her best, working very hard. i feel sorry for her struggling – each question taking so long for her to answer. my lawyer asks her what she likes about rosie o’donnells managing style – her stregnths and faults. the woman goes pale -
and i am so sorry i am there
for her not for me
i want to say – “hey– it’s ok – just tell your truth as you remember it. just say it – no matter what” i am not allowed to speak but i want to. I want to make it stop for everyone, but cannot. the woman asks for a break – my lawyer and i go in the bathroom and confer. we giggle like teenagers. she tells me not to care about this woman – she is on their team.
and i think of joni mitchell " church or nation - team or tribe - every notion we subscribe to - is just a borderline"
so we are back from break and the woman sworn in again – is asked to give her opinion of a book i wrote FIND ME. she must have loathed it but she lacks the viciousness to say it in front of me. she was tactful – calm and steady – took her time before choosing one word - “untrue”
and then it was lunch and when the deposition camera was off and the mike unhooked i said loudly – “ well listen i am going to leave after lunch and..” I called her name and waited until– finally - she looked at me -
“this is all corporate bullshit – it isn’t personal – they are gonna do what they do - and no matter what happens - it is going to be ok. – don’t take it to heart – i’ll see you at the liberty games” . she nodded - almost confused. i said goodbye to their lawyers– they both grinned and smiled while shaking my hand.
fame is funny.