risax brought me to the Malaysia Kopitiam. It was, as she says, exactly like a local food court. Towards the end of our meal there, they played Di Da Di. Oh, the blasphemy of that against the rest of this entry. Even the music was mood-perfect.
Had a most interesting conversation with risax. All I can put words to is this, risax, I wish I had half your courage, and I am very, very happy for you, and I am not alone. Furthermore, I will heed your advice and buy a great many mechanical pencils when I am back home, because over here, they cost $4.50 for even the simplest instrument.
After which we went to a bookstore where I bought “The Wake” from the Sandman series, for probably twice what it costs back home. risax told me to console myself by thinking of inelastic demand, but I told her all it did was remind me of my own desperation. Out of all the Sandman books, the storyline of “Fables and Reflections” I love the most, but the art of “The Wake”, I adore. Ratal, I will inflict it on all of you when I get back.
There was an absolutely massive queue when we got there, and we’d arrived ten minutes before the doors opened, forty minutes before the event was scheduled to begin. The Goth percentage was perhaps 1%, if that, which surprised me. Saw many people wearing Gryffindor scarves, which I discovered, on enquiry, can be purchased from Marks and Spencer. This calls for an investigation. ; ) The Queuing Ones spoke of, variously, Gaiman’s books (of course), Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, so I knew I was in the right place.
We had a most intriguing MC/interviewer. One of his closing remarks in his introductory speech to the audience was, “I want to say how physically attractive I find all of you, except some of you, who are f**king ugly, and you know who you are! I am not going to point you out!” to much hilarity.
And then he introduced us to “the man responsible for the words”.
Gaiman, of course.
The Reading Proper
The Wolves in the Walls
Here’s an excerpt, if you’re interested. This is short Gaiman bio, with a better picture of him than most others I’ve seen. Here’s one for Dave McKean.
So here goes the story! Or rather, the lines in it I loved so much I wrote them down.
Lucy hears the wolves in the walls, and tells her father. So her father tells her:
“You have an overactive imagination.”
“It’s wolves,” said Lucy.
“Bats”, said Lucy’s brother.
“Do you think it’s bats.”
“No, I think you are.”
And he proceeded to laugh for a long time at his own joke, which wasn’t really very good.
“He (a teacher at school) teaches us about wolves and things.”
On considering the possibility that there may be vampire bats in the house:
“I shall be sure to sleep with my neck exposed!” said Lucy’s brother. “I’ll be able to fly, and sleep in a coffin, and never have to go to school in the daylight again!”
Lucy shook her head at this sad display of ignorance.
Naturally, no one believes Lucy. So of course, the wolves take over the house, and the family goes to live at the bottom of the garden. Where they ate “little apple pies with extraordinarily hot middles”.
And the wolves in their house were:
“dancing wolfish dances up the stairs and down again”.
“wolves coming down the stairs. They had been eating jam and toast in front of the TV, and were coming back for more.”
“There was a huge wolf asleep on her bed, and he was wearing her socks.”
“One of the wolves was playing her brother’s video game, and beating all the high scores.”
Gaiman has the most gorgeous deadpan voice when he chooses to. In a sense, like anyasy. ; )
The story has a delightfully dry sense of humor about it.
The queue was massive, and soon an official had to announce that we were only allowed to sign two books, due to time constraints. risax was having books signed for herself and homura, and I had a book for myself, and, unfortunately, A4 paper. Which I with much trepidation wanted signed for anyasy.
Queue, of course, took ages, and soon the staff were handing out water. A man asked me if I wanted to stand with risax so that he could stand with his girlfriend, which was all good.
I asked risax, if I fainted, could she get the items signed for me?
And we had our books signed. And then I handed over the blank paper, and asked the lady there, “Can I have the paper signed?”
“Sure!” she said, and passed the paper on to Dave McKean.
“Blank paper!” he said. (Or something to that effect. Forgive me if I cannot remember precisely what. I was not quite in a state of mind to think properly.) “I put my signature on it, and someone else does the art, and it goes for auction on e-bay!”
Me at moment: *intense Dobby-esque self-abuse*
And then he picks up his pen, and he begins to draw. More than simply signing the paper, he’s drawing something.
So he passes the paper over to Neil Gaiman, who says, with some surprise, “He drew something! He never draws anything!” Gaiman looks up. “You must have smiled at him really nicely,” he says.
And then he takes up his pen, and he begins to draw, too.
And he drew what I believe was Dream.
It’s more than a signature. It’s something they did, especially for the occasion.
Mind was quite blank, so it was quite a good thing that risax suggested calling anyasy at the moment. I believe I got lazydreamweaver on the phone, who, quite rightly, told anyasy, “You have a psychotic woman on the line for you!”
Following conversation cut for much incoherence on my part, but eventually the combined efforts of risax and I managed to get the message across.
anyasy, I cannot wait to get these to you.
Strangely, I can’t feel anything right now, probably because I feel too much. I sit at the computer and I want to write about it all, but absolutely nothing comes to mind because I’m too far gone. I can’t find the words to describe what this is like; it’s not like finding that Shakespeare wrote a sonnet for someone just like you, because it’s not that at all; what I think is, it is like when someone you have the wildest crush on kisses you back, and that’s how I feel.
I am deeply glad that I was with risax, because she understands what this all means to me. Because she was there, and because she knows what this means to me. In other words, she knows what this kiss means.
Am completely messed up now, and not making any sense at all. I want to do homework, for some strange reason, because it would give me something to do with these hands that do not seem to know what to do with themselves, and with this mind that has probably done the lightbulb equivalent of blowing a fuse, so excuse the dramatics, I shall try to control myself.
No, happy now. IceAngel called me. Handphone burnt my cheek, but it was worth every one of the 34 minutes.
12.05 AM: DID YOU HEAR THAT, COMMONWEALTH HALL?!?! THAT’S THE NEW HARRY POTTER: PRISONER OF AZKABAN TRAILER!!! AND I HOPE THOSE MORONS WITH THAT SAXOPHONE HEARD IT TOOOOO!
On an equally important note, la_muerta, THANK YOU. You have made my morning. *HUGS* Also, Draco breathing life into that paper crane is the gayest thing I’ve ever seen.
Quicktime froze on Snape the Boggart. Idly, I wonder how many sleeping students my shrieks of wild amusement awoke.
I wanted to write about the interview conducted during the Gaiman session, but was waylaid at 12 midnight by giaan and Sam knocking on my door. They’d gone out to Leicester Square at 11pm at night for Haagen Dasz, and got back to the Hall at 12, then popped by my room. They made me guess where they’d been, and I DID. ^_^ After which I showed the Azkaban trailer to Sam with much glee, and we watched all the Moulin Rouge trailers I have in my computer. And talked. And talked.
And – it’s 1.30am! They’ve just left, and I am feeling strangely tired, but perhaps that’s because I went to Leicester Square and Oxford Street with Farzanah Bloom and Gian Reeves. (They call me Depp. Merry’s Greenleaf.) Will LJ about interview and the wonderful audience asking questions about Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Like the guy who asked, “We’ve heard all about you being the old married couple – we want to hear about the young, courting couple!”
So, yeah. ; )