After having just finished finals only a few days before, landing at LaGuardia Airport had never felt so refreshing.
With Annie, one of my closest friends by my side, I lugged my red and white polka dotted luggage through a never-ending line of tourists waiting for a taxi so we could take a black cab instead. I knew I wasn’t supposed to ride in those black cabs for safety reasons and because they charged too much, but today I had good reason to break the rules.
Today was the day that I would meet my literary soul mate and idol, Augusten Burroughs.
Taking a shortcut through some shady parts of Manhattan, I sat in the front seat next to the cabbie who was speaking in Spanish to a friend over his blue tooth. I looked in the backseat at Annie who was seated next to an awkward British couple and had a horrified look on her face. Having just finished her criminal justice degree, I could only imagine what awful scenarios were going through her head. Practically fluent in Spanish, I shot her an assuring smile to let her know that no drug deals or murder talk was going down.
Finally, we were safely dropped off at our destination on the corner of East 55th Street and 2nd to see Alex’s messy dark hair in a poof popping out in front of a small outdoor flower shop.
There were a few hours before we had to be in Union Square for the “Wolf at the Table” debut, so Alex and I took Annie to the best place to eat in New York, if not the best in the world. Sylvia’s in Harlem.
After forcing Annie to order chicken and waffles, a tradition at Sylvia’s, we hurriedly went down to the underground to catch a train to Union Square. One of my dreams would soon be coming true and I had two of my favorite friends to share the dream with me.
Taking in my surroundings as I headed above ground, Union Square was immediately reminiscent of Boston to me, yet slightly busier.
While walking up to the historical building that houses Barnes & Noble, I was reminded again of my love for New York. Upon entering, I felt more at home there than I did at my own bookstore I was employed by back home. There was a comforting smell of old as well as new and the lighting screamed anything but suburbia. Oh, love.
We traveled on an escalator up 4 floors to place ourselves at the end of what would end up being an almost 5 hour long line.
We thumbed through books, played waiting games that children play in the car on the way to Disneyworld and made friends with snobby gay students from NYU. I couldn’t have asked for a better 3 hour plus wait.
The line was becoming shorter and Augusten’s assistant asked me what my name was, wrote it on a sticky note and placed it in one of the books I brought for him to sign. I thought that I was fine and played it cool straight up until I was standing directly in front of him.
Suddenly, my palms began sweating and my knees were wobbling. I thought I would faint.
He signed 2 copies of his books for me and after taking a quick glance through my journal, which practically made my heart stop, doodled Bentley, his dog child, on the last page. I said to him in the most sincere manner possible, “I love you,” and was on my way.
It was the first time I have ever said those 3 words to a man and meant it.
Augusten Burroughs, Union Square, April 29th, 2008. Making my dreams happen one at a time!
 New dream #2348209835098: To work at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. 4 years ago