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Thisbe Nissen: Tour Diary

Preliminaries - Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Day 4 - Day 5 - Day 6 -
Day 7 - Day 8 - Day 9 - Day 10 - Day 11 -Day 12 - Day 13 - Day 14 - Day 15 -
Day 16 - Day 17 - Day 18 - Day 19 - Day 20 - Day 21 - Day 22 -
Day 23 - Day 24 - Day 25 - Day 26 - Day 27 - Day 28 - Day 29 - Home Diary - July 25 - July 26

Day 27: San Francisco and Berkeley

Up early to BART into SF for a radio interview ("Conversations on the Coast" with Jim Foster) and that goes really well. I really like his interviewing style, so much more about the book than about me, and I really enjoy that. I like what he's pulled out to talk about. He's smart. I really enjoy this one, puts me in a good state of mind. And then Chris and I just wander around SF for a few hours, climb hills, take a trolley ride, see Fishermans' wharf, go up to Coit Tower, try unsuccessfully to find the curly part of Lombard Street... Chris gets his hair cut downtown, and I talk from a payphone on Market Street for an eon to a woman from Citibank Mastercard trying to convince her to up my credit limit for a couple more days since all these rental cars have maxed out my credit card. She is incredibly sweet, and takes care of me. She asks for a signed copy of the book but I don't get her name or address before we hang up. If she's out there, tell her to contact me through Knopf and I'll send her one, I promise. All I know is she's in Jacksonville, Florida.

I can't even begin to talk about all the people who come to the Berkeley reading tonight. It's incredible. First of all, Christopher (Lisa's Christopher, not mine) begins by performing a set of Replacements covers, in a suit and cowboy hat, claiming he's from Lubbock, Texas, "born and raised." It's fabulous. I think all literary events in the future should be paired with musical events. It makes me very happy. Jules and everyone at Pegasus Downtown have put together an amazing spread of wine and snacks and the whole thing is delightful. I actually read a new chapter (21: Enter Certain Nymphs) which goes over really well. It's a longish one, so only good for solo readings, still, glad to have another option to read. There are so many friends, and long ago friends and people I once knew who happen to show up. A lot of people found out I was reading because they put such a huge picture of me in the window of the store that friends who happened to be driving down the street stopped and said, "Oh my god, is that Thisbe?" Pat is there, with a slew of friends, and it's so good to see her. And Ruth Silverman (who published my very first piece, in a calendar she edited years ago called Dog Days. She lived upstairs from us in NY and I used to walk her dogs after school. One day I went to get them and they had opened the fridge and gotten into the vegetable bin. I left Ruth a note explaining what had happened and she saved the note and later published it as a "found poem," which, incidentally, my mother insisted on reading aloud to the straggling guests at my New York reading a few weeks ago, the way that only a mother, and perhaps only a mother as dramatically inclined as mine, will do) Anyway, a ton of friends: Anne Madsen from high school (who just happens to be in Berkeley finishing Midwifery school), Genevieve (one of the Oberlin Banana House girls, who just happens to be here doing a summer math thing), and Noah (Wilderness Ventures, summer after 11th grade, Noah who just happens to have gotten home from Mexico yesterday) and his girlfriend Emily who I've been waiting years to meet, and then, the craziest thing of all: Sam Shalen, who was a camper at Whippoorwill when I was a counselor, who I have not seen for what must be 9 or10 years, Sam Shalen is there, just HAPPENS to be in Berkeley for the summer, and it turns out she's been trying to track me down for years, and that whole story is incredible! So there's so much camp stuff to talk about, but there's a line, and we promise to email, and then there's more people, someone who went to Hunter many years before I was there even, who knew about a teacher at Hunter who HAD had an affair with a student years and years ago and then married her, and we both said his name at the exact same time, and THAT was hysterical. The whole evening went like that, just one person after another, and everyone I just wanted to sit down with and talk for hours, and I didn't have any time at all. I made a thousand promises to come back to the Bay Area soon, not on book tour, just to visit and hang out, because I need time to just sit and drink coffee or beer or wine with Pat and Jules and Noah and Lisa and everyone and there's never enough time for anything in the world...

Carrying flowers from Anne, and an inscribed copy of Lisa's book (again, "Young Wives Tales," just out from SEAL Press -- go buy it!!!) Chris and I leave in a daze, and it's so hard to pull away, especially from Jules who I've gotten to see for all of ten minutes which just isn't enough! We drive in a daze to the SF airport just to be over the bridge so we don't have to battle commuter traffic to get there in the morning. We crash out at The Airport Inn and sleep a short but blessed 6 hours before the alarm goes off

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