When I kicked off my Freedom City event around seven o’clock on Saturday, February 10th, I knew exactly five people among the thirty or so attendees. As I stood up to introduce myself, I had no idea what to expect.
Were these people actually there to hear my reading, or had they just stumbled into Little King for a drink on a rainy night? Was that guy with the American flag on his hat a Trump supporter? Was I going to be heckled or booed?
I took a deep breath and read the prologue’s first line:
Despite the odium and widespread condemnation of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America, he passed with all the fanfare of a fart in a mesh sack.
The crowd cheered. I knew immediately I was in good company. I finished the prologue to another ovation and then read brief passages for each of the book’s four main characters. At the end, strangers asked a ton of great questions and then lined up to buy books. I was awestruck by their enthusiasm and felt foolish for ever doubting my reception in Williamsburg.
Two adorable French exchange students bought copies of Freedom City—they said to practice their English. One couple asked me to sign their copy with a quote from the Disney film Mulan, a jab at a ridiculous op-ed Mike Pence wrote about the movie being evidence as to why women shouldn’t be allowed in the military. The quote had something to with dishonor. It was brilliant.
Even the man in the American flag hat turned out to be a progressive visiting from Seattle, where he said that satirical “anti-Trump erotica” is currently all the rage there these days. It mostly includes jokes about “small penises,” he explained. Who knew?
Anyway, my point is that I fucking love New York. I had a great time, and the event exceeded even my most optimistic expectations. Thank you so much to Little King for hosting and to Zero Gravity Brewery for helping out the cause. Thank you also to the people who made my Brooklyn launch so memorable. It was a night I’ll never forget.
I have more fun events in the works through the spring and summer, so stay tuned!