Dear friends and fellow bloggers I have met The Sandman himself! I have listened to his masterful storytelling and enjoyed every bit of his colorful personality.
Yes, I met Neil Gaiman.
And on top of it all at his last book signing tour (or is it? as he himself playfully questioned) ! I still can’t believe my luck.
I’d like to thank the people who allowed me to witness this epic event by granting me an extra ticket when I didn’t have one for the Chicago event at The Music Box Theatre. They were amazing and such huge fans. Thank you.
Now to Neil Himself.
It’s a bit difficult to put down in words his words. Neil Gaiman kept talking and talking, and all I could do was listen and try to memorize everything he said, for sweet memory’s sake afterwards. But it’s impossible and that impossibility resonates with him being an impossible person. Impossibly talented and humble and just brilliant. It’s a show for the eyes as well for the ears, but my fingers seem to miss a way to tell that. Funny how he works on people eh?
His approach towards the audience was great, as his presence on the stage. It was enhancing! Also I haven’t had this much laugh in a long time. From the most mundane scenario to a simply bad day – both were told in a hilarious way. I wish I had an extra hour, a reputation and a few pints to hear more. Someday maybe.
The way he read, not once, but twice was brilliant. He is a dozen characters at once, performing the most vivid interpretation of the story. His voice changes volume, changes accent. I honestly felt like I was hearing a fairytale for the first time again. I’d have his narrative voice over mine anytime. It’s wonderful to listen to him tell a story.
This is the thing – there is no point in my telling you how amazing a talent he is and how skillful in the craft. Somewhere, somehow, someone, anyone has read a Neil Gaiman story, and I’ve come to realize that sometimes all stories are Neil Gaiman stories. And you can’t miss that.
But the most priceless moment, that which may haunt my nights and inspire me more and more was the moment in which I stood before him, book in hand, heart pounding in my ears (pointless to say all grammar washed away down the throat and transforming into butterflies once reaching the stomach). I had this odd wanting to look in his eyes and possible see a glimpse of that brilliance. Suffice to say, the glimmer in his eyes as he looked at me was all I have imagined to see – Neil Gaiman is truly an Endless, The Sandman with the universe and the stars glimmering in onyx orbits. And his handshake was so firm! I gave me a quick smirk and said he loves my Doctor Who t-shirt. Wobbly knees and Cheshire smile upon my face I walked away, a signed copy in my hand, an imprinted glimmer in my mind.
I had indeed just met one of the most amazing writers today. I had met The Sandman. I met Neil Gaiman. And he was wonderful.
Read Neil Gaiman. Read “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” – it has honesty and magic and feelings in it. It’s amazing.