Do get tripped out, in a good way, by Matthew Simmons’s forearm tattoo.
Don’t be a weirdo when you meet Matt Bell for the first time outside the Mercury Lounge. Yes, it’s strange when meeting internet friends i.r.l. for the first time. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a sociable human being.
Do enjoy the shit out of everyone reading at Vermin on the Mount, especially Amelia Gray. Favorite line of the night: “Speak softly and marry a big dick.”
Don’t be scared of this man even though he’s scowling at you from a hundred feet up.
Don’t tell everyone that you caught the early flight out so you could be there for the reading. It makes you sound like an obsessive nerd.
Do feel okay about this and realize that you are an obsessive nerd in a sea of obsessive nerds
Don’t feel bad when Aaron gets his whiskey taken away. He’d been warned.
Do form a band called The Crucible of Science and have this as album cover artwork.
Don’t be scared of Zach Dodson’s mustache. It’s a perfectly natural thing.
Do meet up with old friends.
Don’t try to understand this. There is nothing to understand.
Do learn that Peter Cole, Matt Bell, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Roxane Gay, Ken Bauman, Adam Robinson, Erin Fitzgerald, Jim Ruland, Lauren Becker, Alex Coates and everyone else you’ve met for the first time in real life turn out to be super rad people.
Don’t be depressed about the smallness of this world within which you dwell. If you wanted to make money you’d be at a real estate convention. If you wanted to be famous you’d be in LA.
Do realize that you do not want to be famous.
Don’t question yourself as to whether or not it was worth it.
Do realize that it was worth it just to meet people whom you respect and admire for the words that come out of their heads. It was worth it to feel the buzz of kinship that is diluted over fiber optic cable.