OK. My obsession with Joyce Carol Oates has not ended with the missed opportunity to see her in person. I actually called the book store and tried to get through to an employee who might have managed the event. And why? Because I thought I might live vicariously through their experience at her book reading and signing, I guess. I sounded like an absolute nut case, stuttering and trying to explain myself to the operator transferring my call to the right person.
I actually did leave a message with "Emily." She did not return my call. Perhaps she had been warned off by the operator I spoke to.
What if "Emily" told me the event had been poorly attended? Would I feel guilty? The main reason I did not go was exhaustion and the thought of being in an extremely crowded room with hundreds of other fans. Plus the trial of finding a parking place.
However, I wanted "Emily" to tell me what a wonderful evening everyone had and how Oates' wit just sparkled up the room. I wanted her to make me feel really bad, because now I remember why I do crazy things: A missed opportunity is regretted forever.