Theme: fictionalize your first encounter with another GMGM author.
I decided to meet Laura Gene without meeting her. It’s true. We’ve never met. Brought together via virtuality as co-writers on this blog. Our eyes have never scanned each other. That kiss on the cheek so many of us now do to people we greet for the first time, not happened.
Without ever meeting Laura, I can tell she’s a hugger. I’d imagine we’d hug and I’d feel her earthy warmness. That warmth you get from some folk. You know, those who are open, giving and honest out here in the world. Laura’s Good Morning Good Morning posts are written as if she were with us, speaking to us in conversation. There is a flow and energy that would make it difficult to ever think she was being uppity or rude. I like that in a person. (I’d also love to read a sternly written word from her.)
I know she has faced cancer. In her heart-warming post about not feeling as if she survived the big C in face of what others have had to battle.
A survivor braves countless needles and blood tests, so many that her veins collapse. I went into surgery, shed a thyroid, became temporarily radioactive, and quarantined with HBO
I know that Laura has severely ached her bum cheeks, riding 104 miles on a bicycle in a single day! No, let me write this: one hundred and four miles in eight hours. I ride a thirty-minute journey to work and my fanny bones feel fractured for the rest of the night.
That thing nestles right up into your business, and not in a good way. You get used to it though, that and the pins-and-needles numbness in your naughty bits.
And I know that Laura lives in Shanghai. I know she cannot speak the language and finds it difficult to be misunderstood. I guess from Laura’s playful language that she is an extrovert, a friend-finder, a conversation-starter. She is that person who will speak to anyone at a party. Who you can invite to a posh dinner or a downtown grimy art scene and she’ll flourish.
That is, until someone asks, ‘What do you do?’ That Who Are You? question that grates the best of us, especially those trying to be artists and give something to the world. We hope it’s a gift worth giving and sometimes self-doubt can make us feel deluded, our art seem unworthy.
Every day I still don’t have an answer. Every day the question gets harder – more emotional and more disappointing. It feels like failure when the ambitious enthusiastic overachiever no longer has a clue.
So if, now, when I meet Laura Gene, I’ll tell her that she’s an inspiration. That she was brave to give it all up and move across the world. I’ll ask to go on a bicycle ride with her through Shanghai and enjoy the smells and street scenes that might someday come to be normalised for her, and thank her for her honest writing. That she is exactly who I want to be reading next Tuesday morning.