Monday, August 30, 2010


So there I was at Lit Crawl 2, alone and afraid, on a Saturday-night-date with myself, Number 6 on my Bucket List.

Lit Crawl 2 is a read-off put on by PEN Center USA, a literary organization dedicated to stimulating interest in the written word. So they came up with the Lit Crawl, the antithetical sister to the Pub Crawl, where one mixes books with one's beer, and crawls from pub to pub. Not literally, of course.

I had picked myself up earlier in the evening, not the least bit surprised that I was a punctual date. I'd eaten a snack before I left so I wouldn't have to buy me dinner. I'm all about the cheap date, especially if I'm paying.

Arriving at The Echo, I discovered that admission was free. This night was going to be alright, I thought. And then I remembered that I was alone, and didn't know a soul there. I berated myself: whose idea was it to go on a private date in the most public of places? Poised in the middle of the standing room only crowd (because there were no tables or chairs) I was reminded of the first poem I ever loved:

I had a little tea party this afternoon at three
Twas very small, three guests in all, just I, myself, and me
Myself ate up the sandwiches, while I drank up the tea
Twas also I who ate the pie, and passed the cake to me
Author unknown.* Probably for a reason.

So there I was at my own little tea party sipping scotch. I quickly made friends with a lovely couple from South Africa by way of San Diego: she, a writer; he, a reader; me, a drinker. A match made in heaven. When she found out that I was a published author, she asked if she could kiss my feet, but before I could answer, the readings began and the night turned magical.

Eleven(!) authors read from their works, and it was nothing short of amazing. I was in my element. Sarge (the regimented spousal unit) would call it a geekfest, but so be it. I was in heaven. I discovered a new author to watch, Katie Arnoldi. She was the best.

Sated by the end of the night, I didn't feel the need to crawl to the next pub, and then the next one after that. Besides, Sarge had grilled salmon and chilled champagne waiting for me. When I arrived home, I asked myself in for a nightcap, then struck another item off of my Bucket List. I think my date enjoyed herself, and that makes me happy.

*Jessica Nelson North


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good for you, Arlene, you brave woman! :)

Rita Marie said...

You sound like the the perfect date but you did not say if you got a kiss good nite

Kim said...

I remember talking to you in the admission line and the couple from San Diego before the event started. Small world. Loved the event.

Kay said...

Great post. It had me LMAO. It sounds like lots of fun, as do you!

MsALWalker said...

Thanks Madeline, it was empowering!

Rita, You were my inspiration for the entire night. And the pupil becomes the teacher, Grasshopper.

Kim, it was nice to meet you, and I loved the event as well. Can't wait for next year. Maybe I'll take some friends next time. Thanks for stopping by.

Kay, it is always a pleasure when you visit! If you LYAO, then my work here is done. :-)

Stefanie said...

You are a brave woman! I am still trying to go to the movies by myself. Congrats!

MsALWalker said...

LOL, Stefanie. I felt like a big girl.