You may have noticed I’ve been off the grid…I was in Europe and I shall tell you all about it. But first, we must pick up where we left off: Columbus, Ohio.
We arrived in Delaware, Ohio at Mireille and Dorian’s house where we planned to stay overnight. It was pouring rain! I met Mireille at a conference in May; she is a professor at UC Santa Barbara, and we hit it off right away. This was the first time we got to meet each other’s partners. Then Colten and I were off to Columbus. We had dinner with Michael and Robbie who showed us the Pride Issue of Outlook Weekly, hot off the press! Outlook Weekly co-sponsored my Columbus reading and really helped get the word out.
Michael, Robbie, and I with the Pride issue of Outlook Weekly
After dinner, we headed to a Chinese restaurant where a group of about twenty-five people from a local poly group were eating. They had made my reading their monthly outing! We visited for a while with Barak and Brat Sheba of Adventures in Sexuality (who have presented at Dark Odyssey and are wonderful), and I was surprised to learn that Julia, who we know from DO too, has moved to Columbus to be with her sweetheart.
We all went over to Borders where I was greeted by a nice woman who showed me where I’d be reading. This was my first Opening Up reading at a big chain store (rather than an independent one), and I realized that I had to edit my talk slightly since there would be customers (especially kids) roaming the store. Lorna drove from Yellow Springs, Mireille and Dorian were there, and so was Luster, who we haven’t seen in a million years. Luster is an amazing performer and drag king from Columbus who also organizes the International Drag King Extravaganza (IDKE), which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall.
I read for a while then took questions. We raffled off the Astroglide basket, and a well-know guy from the local poly community, along with several of his partners, were thrilled to win. It was once again standing room only at the store (with over 50 people there, and one clerk told me they expected 10-15), and they sold out of books! The Midwest just showed me so much love—I cannot get over it!
One of my interviewees in Columbus came to the reading and introduced herself and her partner. She was such a sweetheart and she brought me the most amazing gift: a cupcake made of old sweaters created by her mom. How fantastic is that?
Afterwards, we went to a local ice cream place called Graeters, where I ordered the specialty: a buckeye sundae with peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream and hot fudge. It was yummy, but I couldn’t finish it, so Dorian gladly helped me out! We drove back to Delaware in one of the worst rain storms I have ever driven in. There was golf-ball sized rain drops coming down, and it was insane. We all made it home in one piece and the four of us hung out. Mireille and Dorian showed us pictures from their trip to Europe which got me very excited for ours! Then we fell asleep in one of the most comfortable beds we’ve been in on our trip. We woke up the next morning, drove to the airport, and got on a plane to New Orleans!