I got an e-mail today, from John Crowley, asking if I would mind his reprinting my review of 'Little Big' as an afterword to the silver anniversary edition. I mean, what do you say to that? I would crawl on broken glass up a mountain to have that happen, actually, and he is asking me like I am doing him the most colossal favour.
What a nice man. What a genius. What impeccable taste in critics.
I mean, this is a man whose work Harold Bloom admires, and he asks me for an old review.
( I reread it today and it reminded me of how smart I used to be when my brain worked properly. Alas, the fleeting years...)
And then this evening, I made a complete mess of getting to a friend's gig by leaving the map at home when I went on other errands. Even more frustratingly, I got within a few yards of the place and then made the huge mistake of asking directions from a minicab office who told me that I was miles from where I needed to be, presumably hoping to sell me a ride round and round back streets. But instead I walked back, and wandered around hopelessly lost. It did not help that directory enquiries were at their crappest - I was asking for St Paul's Art Centre in E3 and they failed to suggest St. Paul's Gallery in E3 until I went to Yellow Pages.
I got there just as it ended, but that was sort of OK, because I made apologies and went for dinner with my new friend Errollyn Wallen, who just got a prize for being a brilliant young composer. She writes contemporary classical music, especially songs, that draw on minimalism and ambient jazz and pop, and are really personal and moving.
It is always scary when you meet someone and realize they may be a genius - the people that other people say 'yes, but what are they like?' about. I may not be especially talented, but I am quite good at being a reliable friend to smart folks.
Which is a consolation of a sort.
Also, I ate the most delicious confit of goose leg in the restaurant, with cassoulet and spinach. Life could be better, but not much. And I get to see King Kong in the next few days.