Friday, October 14, 2005

The Fifth Day of the Book Tour

We took the train from Montreal to Ottawa, and Lisa was unwell with her cold. I don’t mean to suggest she was complaining about her cold. She was very brave about it, and seemed to fret, mostly, that I would catch it from her. I ate a lot of oranges, and took my multivitamins.
At the hotel, our rooms were not ready, but there were messages. Lisa pushed a message across the counter to me and pointed to it. I saw her name at the top of the message and explained, “That’s for you,” and pushed it back. But she pushed it over again, and I said, more sternly, “No, that’s for you.” I thought she was being a bit simple.
It turned out she was pointing out the content of the message, which was the word ‘congratulations’. All the messages said the same word. This meant that Lisa’s book had been nominated for the Giller prize. And here we were in the hotel lobby.
In the hotel lobby, there was nowhere for Lisa to put her happiness. She was extremely happy, and so was I, but the people behind the counter were unmoved. She had to go use a pay phone to telephone her family. Extraordinary news is nothing but a bubble until you fill it by talking to your family and friends.


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