Like a Hollywood producer watching the heroin mix with his smoky blood, I often wonder what the future holds.

Will there be rocket socks?

Will there be sock rockets?

Will there be someone around financially irresponsible enough to help me get some of my patented sock-related inventions off the ground?

Pun.

Intended.

*This is a transcript of the conversation we had with Caroline Leavitt, author of The TNB Book Club‘s January selection, Pictures of You.  It happened on Sunday, January 30, 2011.

 

 

BRAD LISTI (BL): Alright, everybody. We’re back. Welcome. Really pleased to have Caroline Leavitt here with us this month. Her latest novel, Pictures of You, is receiving all kinds of praise and good ink. Its story focuses on the aftermath of a car crash that leaves one woman dead — a survivor’s tale that hits on a variety of compelling themes, including grief, guilt, secrets, and the limits of human forgiveness. Please feel free to offer up questions for Caroline throughout. As always, I’ll be moderating as we go.

Welcome, Caroline!

CAROLINE LEAVITT (CL): Thanks for coming everyone, and thank you, Brad.  Remember: no question is too embarrassing to ask me.

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I started to jumble my words on the freeways heading into Chicago. Not truly badly, or to the point where I was nonsensical or in any way reminiscent of Steve Miller Band lyrics, but just enough that alarm bells started to ring.

So, while we were at McDonald’s, getting coffee, on the outskirts of town, Zara gently quizzed me.

‘Hey, what state is Hobart in?’

My mind was a foggy, cotton-wool blank.

‘Um… I know it’s not Western Australia, so maybe it’s… uh… fuck. I have no idea. Where is it?’

‘Tasmania,’ Zara said.

‘Oh! Yeah! Tasmania. That’s right. It’s the capital city of Tasmania. Well, I knew it wasn’t Western Australia.’

Even though there were only ten minutes to go to Gina Frangello’s house, it was unanimously decided at this point that Zara should take over the driving.

“Have it say, ‘To a fellow writer.'”

That’s what I said to Harvey Pekar as his black Sharpie hovered over a shiny American Splendor poster in 2003.

He sat in an unbalanced plastic folding chair, his plaid belly smashed against the card table, his hair a dry mess of brown grass, the bags under his eyes so heavy they would have required an extra $25 each to be loaded onto a United Airlines plane.

The 24-year-old actress sported a colorful manicure in court Tuesday that included obscene messages on each of her middle fingers. Close-up photos taken by a courtroom photographer revealed the tiny letters, which made worldwide news Wednesday on entertainment websites. – By SANDY COHEN, Associated Press

“Fuck U,” each middle finger read.

Mr. Proffitt, I’m going to stop you right there. When I thank you for your time, I believe I speak for all of us here tonight sitting around this very long picnic-like table in this drafty back room. I never thought I would set foot in a restaurant named Crabs ‘R’ Us, a place with sawdust on the floor and no mirror in the Men’s room, but here we are. I also never thought that my partner, Mr. Robinson down there at the end, would stretch the truth to get me to leave my family up in Portland this morning for a pestilent hell-hole like Elk Cove, but again, here we are. There are firsts for everything, I suppose. And Mr. Robinson, you sir, are in for quite the car ride home.

Soldier One: What did he say about honor?

Soldier Two: I’m not sure. His horse twisted him around a couple times.