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Viggo Mortensen Book Signing Page 2
Monthly Column
March 2006

Standing In Line

I go check out my coat and bag and go outside to stand in line.  Had I skipped the soup and bread I would have been at the front (I find out later that Randee was at the front!).  I find my place at the back of the still, short line, to my relief. 

Here are some pictures of the view from where I stand in line.  

NYC  NYC

NYC   NYC

Two other ladies take their place behind me.  One of them reads Linger which she had just bought and is leafing through it.  I notice she is reading the section on Brigit.

I’m thinking either take out the novel I brought, Purity of Blood, read it and shut everything else out, or start a conversation.  So I ask the ladies where they’re from and they say they’re from Pennsylvania.  We introduce ourselves.  This starts an exchange I’m enjoying.  After viewing the Center, I’m more in the mood for light conversation.  Eventually we get to the topic of what is in the Center, besides Viggo later, of course, and I give them a summary.  The chatting keeps us warm, entertained and occupied for the two and a half hours of waiting.

One of the ladies asks if I’ve heard of the poem that has the phrase, “saucer by your bed.”  She says she saw the poem online and really likes it.

I answer, “Yes,” and add that I remember it’s either in Recent Forgeries or Coincidence of Memory.

I offer her the four other books I brought that she doesn’t have, Miyelo, The Horse Is Good, Coincidence Of Memory, and Recent Forgeries.

So she looks through the books and when she’s done, she says she couldn’t find the poem.  I tell her I’m very sure it’s in one of the books and I look through them again. I’m happy to find it on page 28 of Recent Forgeries.  The poem’s title is “Cuttings.”  She takes the book again to read the poem.

She shows me a page on Linger and says, "This is for all of us."  I quickly recognize the page and the poem and agree, "Yes, it is."  The page is of an elderly man with a hat, sunglasses, and a walking stick.  The picture on the opposite page applies and relates.

More fans join in on the conversation and introduce themselves.  One lady is looking through Lindsay Brice’s book, Supernatural.  We gather around to also look at the pictures, and at the page where there are two dolls entitled, “gossip,” we all have a consensus that that is a good photo.

Because I wish for a break from standing, I take out from my bag a small towel I brought, place it on the sidewalk, sit down and lean back on the Center’s outside wall.  One of the ladies follows suit and sits down also.  The ladies kindly keep me in the conversation even though I’ve sat down.

The woman in front of me is reading a magazine and informs everyone that Viggo is in the cover of Esquire’s March 2006 edition.  I make a mental note to buy one at the airport.  

This same lady who is currently wearing tennis shoes shows us the high-heeled shoes she will change to for Viggo’s appearance.  We all get a kick of that one.  I share a similar experience in college where a girl and I walked together to our class where there was this really cute guy.  She would change to her high heels before the class and then take them off and change back to her tennis shoes afterwards, for a more comfortable walk back to the dorm.  So she had on a beautiful dress with tennis shoes.

Passersby ask us what the line is for.  The ladies answer that it is for a Viggo Mortensen book signing.  The husband of one of the women says we should answer, “It’s a soup line."  Brief laughter from everyone.  In retrospect, we should have answered, “It’s a soup line for art.”  (pictures).

One fan who lives in the city talks about the buildings and as I look, to me I see the old architecture becoming taken over by the modern, sleek buildings.

I become conscious of the fact that the construction workers have already left because the workday of building is over.

One of the ladies goes down to the Center café to get some warm coffee.  She returns with the news that Viggo is down there talking with companions, a male and female.  She adds, “He’s a beautiful man” and repeats this.  The way she says this keeps us entertained for a while longer.  She adds that the lady with the dog that helps children is down there talking with Viggo.  So everyone talks about the power of having a dog to start conversations. 

So the joke is that we should all rush down there.  But if this happens, for sure Viggo will go hide.  So one of the ladies asks another to get her a cup of coffee.  The other lady says she’ll go.  We encourage her because we want to hear another report.

On her return, she says Viggo is still chatting with his companions.  Such is real-life.

It is now dark and we appreciate the “Time Square” type lights.

The same fan who knows about the city’s buildings is looking at her book, “For Wellington.”  I recognize the pictures from the Track 16 samples shown online.  Even though it’s night, there is enough light from the buildings and street lamps to see the pictures.  We take turns looking and ask her how we can obtain a copy.  The book is available at Perceval Press.

As we approach the front door, we realize we will be going our separate ways so we exchange emails.  The line moves and we are encouraged.  But not before my feet get frozen.  By now, I know how icicles feel when they’re being formed.

Fortunately we are allowed in and we all grab a glass of complimentary wine.

Go to Page 3.

Go to page 1.


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