Dan recently got in touch with his roommate from Boston
University, who is now a professor at Bucknell.
Can you believe that? A
professor. How in the hell does someone
become a freakin’ professor? I remember
him doing his homework , but I never dreamed. . .anyway, if it’s not eerie enough that Dan and I
discovered we’re related to a smart person, listen to this:
In my new book, my main male character is a celebrity child
Although he is not religious himself, one of the underlying themes in
the book is the role of religion in our children’s lives (remember my babysitter,
Helen Todd?) as well as the way teenagers see themselves, particularly their
bodies, in relation to that of their peers.
Of course I didn’t actually spell any of this out in the book per se. God and my insatiable appetite were just some
of the bees that were buzzing around in my bonnet as I was typing away. I’ve never actually deliberately included a
theme in any of my books.
Anyway, here’s the thing: Dr. Chris (the roommate) is a child
psychologist/celebrity author -it’s true whether he admits it or not– who has
written and spoken all over the country about the role of religion and self
image (particularly body image) in the lives of teenagers. You see what I’m saying? I created a character who actually exists,
and we know him!
If that’s not enough of an ass kicker, last night I ordered
in deli, and since I have something of a little eating disorder myself, I’m
forced to go without carbs when things get out of control, so I ate about a
pound of corned beef.
When I went to sleep, I dreamed that I was back in college,
except instead of Dan, Chris, Howie, Lynn and Harv walking around the dorm, it
was all Kim’s friends. I was looking
everywhere for her because someone was organizing a big ski trip and I wanted
her to sign up. So I’m wandering around
the halls of Myles Standish, searching and panicking because I can’t find her,
when all of a sudden I run into a friend of Kim’s from high school.
“Where’s Kim?” I ask her.
“She’s in her room, but oh my God!”
“Oh my God, what?” I ask.
“You have something on your nose.”
I touch my nose, but I can’t feel anything so I run to the
bathroom. I look in the mirror and, sure
enough, there’s a tiny black spot. I touch it, and it feels sort of funny, so I
keep rubbing it, and the next thing I know I’m pulling a huge piece of corned
beef out of my nose. It was
Just then some other kid I don’t know comes running into
the bathroom and asks me why I’m screaming. (I’m assuming this kid was Dr.
Chris in disguise).
“I just pulled a piece of corned beef out of my nose,” I
don’t need to do that,” he says.
then I woke up.
going to embellish the dialogue to prove my point about coincidences, but I
really feel as though meeting a character I thought I’d made up, who has
devoted his entire life to understanding God and body image, and pulling a
piece of corned beef out of my nose, the very same night, speaks for itself.