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>Book Dreams: A Guy Walks Into A Bookstore

>In this particular dream, it was 1980 or 1981 and I was living in Denver, Colorado. My job was at a cool comic book store that was sort of like Mile High Comics. The atmosphere was relaxed and genial, and I had lots of time to write and illustrate (in this dream, I could draw like Alison Bechdel!) my own fanzines. Strangely but happily, modern desktop publishing was at my disposal, so I was able to “pub my ish” and have it available for sale within hours.

One day, a rangy, good-looking black guy about my age came into the store and stayed for hours and hours, looking mostly at comics and fanzines. Friendly guy — really different from the geeks and nerds that made up our usual clientele — great conversation skills. He settled himself on the floor with a comic book box full of past issues of my zine, which was called In Today’s Room. I tried not to watch him as he read my stuff, but occasionally sneaked a peek from behind a Rolling Stone magazine with Jackson Browne on the cover.

Finally, he came up to the register with several copies of In Today’s Room. I charged him a dollar apiece. As he gave me the money, he said, “Hey, are you that Susan?” and gestured towards the pile of zines. I nodded.

He smiled. “Would you do me a favor? Could you autograph all of these for me?”

“Really????!!!!!” (Be cool, girl.) “I mean, sure, of course, but only on one condition: When you write a book, you’ll autograph a copy for me.”

“No problem.”

I felt like I could talk to this guy all day. Damn, he had to be the quintessential example of the word charisma! “What’s your name?”

“Barack. Barack Obama.”


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