(Picture with the Mastermind himself: Chuck Palahniuk, writer of Fight Club)

   Inexplicably, my whole morning began uncommonly serene. As a cool and collected pedestrian, I walked to the bus stop where the Bolt Bus was prepared to take my anxiety-ridden corpse to Bibliophile heaven. In my dreams, I envisaged a resplendent light around the Javits Center where heavenly treasures were stored all for my picking. Venerable heroes filled those halls. They were the writers who have earned their reputation as published writers. Now, the aspiring writers, eccentric librarians, and all the residents of book world must fill the Javits Center and become brutal when getting copies of their newest works.

    Luckily, Lexi allowed me to pass in the front of the line with her army of spunky book warriors. They were all equipped with their reusable grocery bags and book bags with extra padding. All of us were prepared to brave the swarm of caffeinated Book Expo America attendees who were teeming with excitement to procure ARCs.

  Once 9:00 am came, I rushed into the main convention area and madly grabbed ARCs of any interesting books at an unprecedented rate of time. Before I knew it, my back was already cramping due to the stress put on it with all the books which were being carried on my back. For the remainder of the time, I met many authors and received complimentary signed copies of their. Among them, I met Rob Bell and received his provocative book about hell. Earlier in the year, this book was met with ire from orthodox believers.

Other than that, I randomly encountered Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon, and convinced him persuasively to read George R.R. Martin’s epic Song of Ice and Fire series. Besides that, the highlight of my day came when meeting Chuck Palanhuik, author Fight Club, who was convincingly zany. Then again, he is the writer of “Guts,” which was sickeningly delightful and sadistically humorous. This was a smaller story set in an even crazier ingenious book called “Haunted” which truly was an unorthodox novel. Strangely, my library once had this very adult book shelved inappropriately in the Juvenile section. Without divulging any of the gruesome details, I insinuated that the book was definitely for mature readers only. Therefore, the librarian at my local librarian finally realized that perhaps the book should be shelved somewhere with the apt name “Adults,” or people who might be better prepared for the awe-inspiring madness within the book.

Anyways, Chuck Palahniuk and I definitely exchanged some very interesting words.  When I meet writers that greatly inspire me, I tend to senselessly ramble. Of all the things I could have said, I  described how  his short story “Guts,” made my childhood fear of bath tub and pool drains more pronounced. Luckily, I reassured him that the fear was safely contained in my subconscious. But, I also have this strange paranoia about spontaneous desires. If I have a certain need to assuage those spontaneously created desires, the pool drain most definitely would become a very dangerous weapon. If you’ve read the story, you know the procedure to which the pool drain would become highly dangerous. I take no responsibility for any of my readers who feel I should be held responsible if someone responsibly emulates the dangerous act described in gratuitous terms within “Guts.” Also, I don’t want my delicate readers to  reprimand me for reading books they themselves are disgusted by.

Without digressing any further, he wrote the words “Justin who now Fears Pool Drains,” which helped make my nonsensical conversation with him immortalized. Now, I’ll always see this and recall my weirdest conversation within any author that I had met. At least, it wasn’t the James Marsters encounter that resulted in James Marsters and I essentially sharing a special bonding moment over being impoverished. This only happened because I had to mention to him that I could not afford his autograph.

On the way home, I was still stunned by my surreal moment with Chuck Palahniuk. Due to being overtired by the strenuous exercise of toting around hefty books all day, I decided to spend 15 dollars on traveling home via NJ transit versus waiting five hours for my Bolt Bus. My heroic parents luckily salvaged me but I was essentially trapped at the Trenton Transit Center because karma decided to intervene. Vengefully, it produced wire issues on the railways between Trenton and Philadelphia which left me stranded. Again, I’m fortunate to have parents who actually rescued me. Imagine my day if I were stuck at the Trenton Transit Center with some of the midnight zombie crew? Believe me, there were definitely some deprecated people already invading the station at around 8 or 9pm. No station in Philadelphia, Camden, and Trenton is left unaffected by these invasive zombies.

Anyways, my quiet, secluded life needed this event. Before this, I was starting to collect dust while trying to write and research all day ever since my college term ended. Hopefully next year, I’ll devise a better travel plan which doesn’t leave me wandering around New York with a massive sack of books.

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