By the time this posts, I'll be on the road, driving toward a remote corner of Northwest Alabama, to the small town where I was born and grew up. Where my parents were born. Where my grandparents were born. Where, yes, my great-grandparents were born. (My great-greats came from a couple of counties over.) The roots go deep.
I haven't been back in several years but my mom, 86, wants to revisit the place, check in on her 84-year-old baby brother, that kind of thing. Put flowers on my dad's grave.
So off we go.
Did I mention this is a small town? My graduating class of 74 was largest in school history--the class before mine had 45, the one behind had 39.
And tonight, I'll be speaking about urban fantasy and undead pirates at the tiny city library. I spent many, many hours there reading books I had no business looking at when I was younger and, later, scouring the shelves trying to find something I hadn't already read.
I don't know who'll come. Maybe classmates I haven't seen in 30 years, with whom I'll have to play the embarrassing "no, I don't recognize you, sorry" game. Maybe folks who knew my parents (which will involve playing the same game).
I'm thinking I won't read the first paragraph of Royal Street, where the words "fruit-flavored condoms" appears.
Can you go home again? I'll let you know.