March 21, 2023
The M.P.L. began exactly one year ago today. Whether you have been here from the beginning or are just joining us now, you are appreciated. Thank you.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about unearned love.
I did an event last month in Winston-Salem, NC with the wonderful booksellers at Bookmarks.
On the drive across the Tar Heel State, I stopped at a gas station. The restroom was occupied, so I waited. When the person inside finally came out, he stormed by me without making eye contact. Just as I was about to enter, the man turned around and said, "I was going to let it slide, but I can't."
I braced myself, expecting the worst. I scanned my memory, searching for any possible reason why I might be having this interaction. Had I inadvertently offended this man as he passed me? Had I accidentally cut him off on the road miles ago? Had we somehow met before?
"I used up the last of the bathroom tissue," he admitted. "I can't leave you hanging. I'll go ask the manager for some more. Hold up."
When I told him I wouldn't actually be needing any toilet paper, he said, "Well then, for the next guy. We can't leave anyone hanging."