Lately, I’ve been having a recurring dream where I’m getting ready to promote Glass Boys. I’m wearing polyester plaid pants, a brightly coloured striped turtleneck, navy tights, and burgundy Mary Janes. In addition to the youthful outfit, my hair is short. Not cute pixie style, but sticking up, huge cowlick, fan of splayed hair on the back, crop of low-lying snarls. Comb and water do nothing. This may seem odd, but the plaid/stripes combination was my signature look when I was four or five years old. (What can I say? I had a mind of my own.) And I also had that haircut when I was around that same age. More than once it led store clerks to ask my sister, “What’s your little brother’s name?”
So, here I am in my dream, adult-sized, but looking exactly like I’m heading to kindergarten. When I’m finally ready, I’m impossibly late for the event. It’s dark outside, and I have no idea of the directions. The computer won’t start, and there’s no map book in the house. I begin to panic as I can’t find a copy of the book, and then I realize I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to read. Of course I haven’t practiced reading, and when I finally do locate the book, the contents are in a language I don’t understand. This is followed by that feet-in-sludge sensation where I can only move in slow motion as the clock ticks. And ticks. And ticks. Until it’s too late, and the event is over, and I slump down in a chair, completely deflated. And then, thankfully, I wake up.
I’ve had this dream a handful of times, and at first I thought it was bad nerves. But I’ve realized it’s not just anxiety over an event or a reading. In part, it has to do with saying good-bye. I wrote this book during a difficult time, a loss of several family members including my father and my brother. Flicking through the pages, I can start to read a scene, and then remember the exact events occurring at that time. Though the plot and characters reflect nothing of my own life, I know that some of my grief is tangled in around the words. So many moments are hidden away in there, and even though no one can actually read them, it leaves me feeling curiously vulnerable.
The official release is in a few days. And still, I haven’t quite figured out how to do it. How to let go. How to lift my hand off the cover, and say, I can’t keep you for myself. You’re no longer mine.