On Seeing Heroes in Elevators and Not Saying a Damn Thing

I rode in an elevator with Jandy Nelson today. The Jandy Nelson. The Jandy Nelson whose work I've gushed about on this web log on at least six separate occasions and whose writing I once described as a combination of rainbows, stomach butterflies and really good champagne. I was headed to the fourth floor of the Mechanics' Institute Library to hear a group of authors speak about the current state of young adult fiction and we, The Jandy Nelson and I, walked into the lobby at the same time, got into the same elevator and spent approximately thirty seconds standing two feet away from one another without speaking. I've become a little bit shy in my old age and if ever there were a time that I wish I hadn't it was this morning at twelve minutes after eleven because when my mom died Jandy Nelson knew exactly what I was going through and I should have told her how much her words meant to me when I needed them most, but I choked.

To my astonishment, time didn't stop
with her heart.
People went to school, to work, to restaurants;
they crushed crackers into their clam chowder,
fretted over exams,
sang in their cars with the windows up.
For days and days, the rain beat its fists
on the roof of our house—
evidence of the terrible mistake
God had made.
Each morning, when I woke
I listened for the tireless pounding,
looked at the drear through the window
and was relieved
that at least the sun had the decency
to stay the hell away from us.