So Torre DeRoche calls me up. Asks me to lunch. The day of our rendezvous, I’m frantically wiping counters and reapplying lip balm before we meet. We sit on a lovely terrasse because that’s what one does when one is in Paris.
I don’t even know what we talked about.
Likely we talked about book business: Advances, publicity departments, agents, next projects. I’m sitting there but also sitting beside myself gawking at Torre DeRoche who just asked me to lunch.
If you don’t know her, let me illustrate just how cool she is. She recently asked if I wanted to give a little quote for her book. Since I LOVE her new book, The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World, I gave her two very sensible options that I poured over. They were filled with the kind of verbose language that came straight out of a thesaurus (You can’t just say beautiful. You need to say something like devastatingly handsome.) Speaking of…
Thank goodness the drought is over.
I provided her some devastatingly beautiful quotes about her book, which TRULY IS devastatingly beautiful. But then I wrote an extra testimonial that was true, but likely inappropriate, but it was funny so I sent it along to amuse my friend Torre:
“A moving account of conquering fears while walking a pilgrim’s path. Also funny as f@#k.”
And that’s the one she chose.
My mum is displeased. Not very ladylike. *shoulder shrug*
Torre’s book is about two pilgrimages, one through picturesque pleasant Italy, the other through dusty difficult India. It is a memoir but it also serves as a kind of guidebook through your own psyche whenever you get pilgrim fever. Do I really want to do this walk? Do I need it? What will I get out of it? How can I avoid blisters… and snakes… and rapists. Will I meet cool people? Will I have to shower and sleep alongside strangers? Can I do a 5-star pilgrimage? Is that a thing? Does it count if it is 5-star?
My pilgrim fever comes and goes. When it arrives, I watch The Way again.
I read Walking Home again.
Then I walk to the grocery store instead of taking the car and think Ahhh forget it. I’ll just walk to the grocery store. Can’t that be enough? Why do I put so much pressure on myself. I have an infant! Just getting through the day should be enough. Why can’t I ever be satisfied with just getting through the day? Maybe I should go on a pilgrimage and solve this snag in my psyche.
Then I read The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World again and start looking for the perfect hiking boot. When I read it the first time, I immediately started reading it again. You will, too, but I warn you… you might also get a serious case of pilgrim fever.