They are the people of the cute, and I visit their land. A surprise, a not like me. He is out in the garden. She is making a grocery list. The house is in the country but a city is so close. I favor the front porch with a yard which reaches to some stables. White horses and fences and a little dirt road.
The temperature has dropped. A steady wind pushes and she meets me at the door. She is the queen of the cute and the princess of the adorable. A big fat cat lays on it's back on the floor. His legs sprawled, the cat looks up. I tell the cat, Hey, and turn to her, You know I'd take a picture of her and show her to the world if it wouldn't get the humane society out here on your ass. That is one obese cat (says the mama of Billy Sue). I think it's funny to pretend my blog has world moving effects as if a wave from me provides some kind of ripple. One sentence typed from my magic fingertips and I can wield the power of the humane society. Now that's funny.
She laughs, Oh shut up. Sit down, I have something for you.
Me first, I say and hand her a magazine.
This is it, she sits and begins leafing through it. Where are the pictures?
Just look. You'll see them, I watch and then she does.
It's the Como article, she recognizes a few of the photos. She starts studying it and I start apologizing. They're darker than I thought. I would have lightened them up. It's digital to print, something I have to consider.
They are good, she says. This being a duty placed on her shoulders when we were eleven years old. She has to tell me at all times I am good or laugh at me hysterically and she must read the blog. Oh, these little rules. It's funny to think about how in thirty one years she has yet to figure out how to change her number and leave me without access especially considering otherwise she's pretty damn smart.
She starts pointing at the pictures and turning the pages, There's the Steakhouse, the Courtyard, my favorite little grocery store. She likes to cook and thus adores the Como Green Grocer.
Do you think she'll love it? I point to the ad on the next page.
She pauses, presses her hand against the page and says seemingly to the magazine, She is going to love it. Her Mom and Dad are going to video her seeing it for the first time.
It is over half a page and in the world of a five year old it might as well be the cover of Toys R Us. Peyton and me, we have been published. She is the photo in the very first ad of Shea Goff Photography. We should wear dresses and have a publishing tea party with cute little plastic cups and saucers and cupcakes with not too much frosting.
She hands me my gift, a large paper sack which signifies whiskey, a purchase I am no longer willing to make. Then she hands me two pieces of paper, one from a coloring book, the other torn from a steno pad. A butterfly, a flower, Peyton has drawn a picture of a camera and written a note in some impressive handwriting. She is a small child of Thank you and I love you. You know, she is a human who makes you happy just to be human.
I got something free in this world, didn't have to pay a dime other than my labor. The publisher sent me fifteen free copies of eat.drink.Mississippi and they are being distributed as follows.
4. Mrs. Sue, Peyton's Grandma (among many other titles of wonderfulness)
5. Josh (he designed the ad which is a story in itself)
6. Slater and me (we'll share our copy)
7. Charlie of Woodstomp
8-15. You or a random human at the convenience store.
There are eight magazines I will give away freely, even pay postage. A seven dollar and ninety-five cent value delivered to your door, even more if I need to ship internationally which I will. All you have to do is leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and say, Dude. I want a magazine. That's all.
It's some great reading (Karen wrote the Como article). There are recipes from this neck of the woods and photos galore. Just let me know. Nothing random about it, early bird catches the free magazine worm.
It's the least I can do and the best I got, like I need to send you some kind of prize for coming here, for reading and looking at the photos and sometimes commenting and always patient and encouraging and beautiful and now I am gushing and you're blushing and it's gotten ridiculous.
I am seriously grateful for you.