To the awkward self-loathing boy that later delivered genius satire in bare-assed memoir, David Sedaris, and to the girl with wavering confidence, bad hair, and skinny legs who became the quirky dynamo writer of everything, Nora Ephron: I declare my undying love and devotion.
To the man who reveals spiritual awe in arrangements of the most ordinary of words: Richard Wilbur, I will be your reading slave. Toss your stanzas at me, in any form, pile them high, tie them around my neck… I will read them and recite them proudly.
I will read whatever you publish, whatever is published on your behalf posthumously, whatever I have not yet discovered on the meager shelves of my local library. I will dig through archives and sniff out first publications that were shamefully overlooked by bestseller lists! I will copy out your strange and beautiful phrase inventions and save them up like gold bullion. I will appreciate you, always.
Chelsea Cain, I want to meet Kick. Beth Kephart, I want to meet Kenzie. Cheryl Strayed… I would leave the comfort of my couch to climb any mountain if only you would lend me your courage. Margaret Atwood, I want to carry all your books through the wilds of North America and read them to those poor less fortunates who’ve yet to know the pleasure of your dark, magical insights.
My bookshelves have taken on the glow of holy temples. Someone should paint them, frame them in hand-crafted precious woods.