I drove to the printer’s to pick up my poster. It was absolutely beautiful. I’m not talking about myself, but the high quality of the finished product.
“Is there anything I should know about the care of this poster?” I asked the printer’s rep.
“Just don’t leave it in a car in the heat,” he said. Did he realize that was exactly what I had to do? Where else do you store a rigid two-by-three poster on a road trip? By then I knew I was taking it to my school reunion, but not because I wanted to trot it out for my former classmates. I didn’t even know if I’d take it out of the car; but the trip would be the perfect test of how it would be to tote around a large poster and an easel, and then to set them up in a public place.
The poster came wrapped in heavy paper. I put it on the floor of the back seat and slung my suitcase into the trunk with the assorted items that were already there. I picked up my brother at his apartment, and we were off. Our hotel was still an hour away from the old high school. I didn’t want the poster banging against the items in the trunk, so I moved them to the floor of the back seat and put the poster in the trunk by itself, where it would lie flat.
The reunion was fine and the poster did make an appearance. When we packed the car to go home, Joe and I had to move the emergency tire pump, jumper cables, folding chair, and boxes back to the trunk with our suitcases and put the poster in its original spot on the floor of the back seat. Would my next purchase have to be a van?
“This thing is a lot of trouble,” I grumbled, speaking of my alter ego. “It’s like a diva.” And in that moment, my poster no longer represented me. It was no longer even an “it”; it was a “she.” She: The Diva.
“Maybe she’ll start demanding her favorite brand of bottled water,” Joe said as we got on the road, “or insisting on certain colors of M&Ms!”
“She’ll send back her food,” I added; then: “She’ll have her own fan club! They’ll be lined up around the block, and when they get to the signing table, The Diva will be propped up in the chair.”
“You could send her to ‘The Ellen Show’ in your place,” Joe said. “You know how dangerously chatty you get with too much caffeine.”
“She wouldn’t say a word!” I howled. We were having a good laugh at The Diva's expense.
“She’ll make personal appearances,” Joe said. “The curtains will part before a packed house, and there in the center of the stage will be The Diva on her easel. You won’t have to do anything!”
By then I'd cried my makeup off, laughing.
“Come to think of it,” Joe said, “maybe you could put her on the seat of that roller coaster you’re afraid to ride.” He was referring to an upcoming visit from my granddaughter, the coaster fiend.
My brother and I had a picnic on that trip, inventing scenarios for The Diva, and I have a feeling that isn’t over yet. A poster is a practical investment for an author and, in my opinion, best if you don’t take it too seriously.