Having a book signing party at the Shakespeare & Co store is quite prestigious and Calvin was enjoying the attention. The usual wine and cheese and subdued conversation all around the shop, browsers here and there, and a line of autograph seekers making their way to the table.
Maybe it was just the French he thought—or maybe some wishful thinking on his part—but it seemed to him that a couple of the attractive women, as well as men, were making some rather inviting eye contact. This being his last day in Paris a playful sweaty rendezvous back at the hotel would certainly make for a lovely finish to the European tour.
His editor, Ray, had arrived from the U.S. yesterday to meet with some writers who were beginning a French translation of the novel. He sat nearby, throwing out small talk, while Calvin chatted with customers and signed book after book.
It’s great to see this much of a reaction to the book even in the English edition, Ray said. I heard Berlin was a spectacular turnout also.
Fantastic, said Calvin. And yesterday the publisher called—they wanted me to know it was moving up from number nine to number six on the Times best seller list starting tomorrow.
Great news, replied Ray.
Calvin was chatting with a couple.
We have one copy, we’ve already read it. We wanted to get an autographed one. We love it. And truthfully we wanted to meet the author on the bookjacket—not only an amazing talent who showed us a new way to see the world. . .through the movements of a thumb!—but also quite attractive. They smiled.
The book jacket.
“The Anatomy Of Time Series” continues with —“The Thumb: The Opposability of Time”
“Move over J. K. Rowling—your magic wand enchantments are nothing compared to the anatomical abracadabra this author conjures.” — Variety
“Who would have expected body parts to take on lives of their own and boldly morph into real life characters in fictional novels. Perhaps Thomas Pynchon, but certainly not Charles Dickens. The author’s imagination seems to have no bounds as he travels around the human torso.” — New Yorker
Previous volumes in the Anatomy Of Time series.
“The Nose: Smelling Time’s Memory”.
“The Achilles Tendon: A Rupture In Time”.
“The Ears: Time’s Jukebox”.
“The Eyes: Art and Melting Time”.
“The Intestines: Twenty-five Feet of Time”.
The couple take their book and slip Calvin a piece of paper.
We’ll see you later on then.
Only a handful of readers now remain to have their books signed.
When the last customer leaves Calvin turns to Ray.
I know it’s quite early in the game, but I’ve got the beginnings of the next one.
You know the publisher is going to want to time things out—build anticipation and all that. The marketing game. You haven’t told anyone about it yet, have you?
Not at all. I’m not saying a word to anyone but you. Anyway, it’s just a draft. It’s got a long ways to go. You know me, writing and re-writing and driving you crazy by taking stuff out and adding new stuff. Knowing me it’ll take a year. I just wanted to run it past you so you can be prepared.
Look, I know you’re here in Paris for the next few days. Forget I even mentioned it. Erase it from your mind. Go and enjoy the city.
When you get back sometime I’ll run it past you.
When Ray retuned to his office the following week there was a brown envelope in the middle of his desk.
A small note on top.
Hope all the Paris stuff worked out and that you made time to have fun. I certainly did. Here’s the manuscript for when you get a chance. No hurry.
The title handwritten on the envelope: “The Genital: Le Petite Mort of Time”.
© AleXander Hirka 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Read RemingtonWrite’s version here:
In August 2020, I set myself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image was that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to my Mom and the concept was Time.
In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.