I long ago got past being star-struck--quite an accomplishment for someone from the Midwest--and especially when it comes to authors. I mean, my relationship with authors is typically with the books they've written, and I thus, at a place like AWP, don't necessarily seek writers out. I will, however, share this little star-sighting:

I spent a lot of time going to the bathroom at AWP. Well, not a lot of time going, but I made a lot of trips to the restroom. I smoke, and after each cigarette, I'd go to the bathroom to wash my hands and face, so I didn't stink so much. There was a coin-operated shoe-shining machine in the foyer outside the bathroom, and on each trip I made there, I was surprised--maybe because I was wearing tennis shoes the whole time--by how many guys made use of this machine.

On Friday, after a cigarette, I headed toward the bathroom and saw at the shoe-shining machine Walter Mosley. He was wearing a suit and a fancy hat and he was buffing the shine on his fancy shoes. I wasn't necessarily star-struck--though Mosley is, in my opinion, pretty great--but I did think it was cool to see him all slicked-up, shining his shoes. It seemed fitting somehow.

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