Saturday, July 9, 2011
SHE'S NOT THERE
Yesterday I visited an apple orchard for the first time in fifteen years because my publishing house hired a company to make a book video for The Orchard. On the way there, I thought I was going to black out, and every time I imagined getting that first glimpse of the orchard, my heart slammed in my chest. I had to stop at a café for a drink. Not a booze drink, although that might have been better, but just a glass of green tea so I could collect and fortify myself.
But once I got to the orchard, I was okay. Partially because it was very small and the trees were scattered, not in rows, not symmetrical. Not the kind of orchard I was used to seeing, if not for real anymore, at least in my mind. But it was still odd, because it felt like I was pretending to be someone I haven’t been in years. The girl in book, the girl in The Orchard. I’m not that person anymore. I haven’t been that person for a long time. The person I am now hadn’t stepped foot in an orchard for fifteen years until yesterday. And the person I am now started eating apples again not long ago. Until recently, I couldn’t even look at an apple, and don’t get me started about cider. The word alone gives me a little hitch in my throat not unlike a gag. So yesterday was very odd and surreal. Most of The Orchard (the book, not the place) is about my twenty-something self, and I think the idea was to capture the mood and setting of the book, except that now I’m a curmudgeon who recoils and lifts my black cape to the sun.
I wonder if readers will expect me to be that person in the book, or will they understand that she's gone?