Nomenclature


This side of the site, the stories and stuff, has an odd name. After all, you know that I'm not Douglas Coupland (high-five!) already, so why draw attention to it?
This is my story.
Maybe you'll find it humorous, maybe you'll find it sad.
Click Read More to read more.

FADE IN:
The early Spring of 1999. I was at an emotional low point, everything sucked and I was very miserable. SR was living in Seattle and he was feeling pretty bored, so he coerced ND and I to go to Seattle for a visit. I was terribly broke, but SR was so eager to get visitors that he bought me a ticket, how could I not go?

VANCOUVER, BC
... is pretty close to Seattle. I've never been to Canada and this side trip was offered up as an extra enticement. Little could SR imagine how much of a clincher that was. My favorite living author (I have one in each category) was and still is...

DOUGLAS COUPLAND
I had just finished reading Girlfriend in a Coma, I had just taken a trip to Vancouver through the eyes of a native. Coupland had written fondly of his city several times before. I had to know, just as I had read Studs Terkel paint the city of Chicago in colors I could never discover, Steinbeck 's California was blacktopped over by the time I got there, but Vancouver... Coupland was still writing about Vancouver, it was still, well it was still whatever it was.

VANCOUVER VIA SEATTLE, OK!
So I agreed to go. I had my agenda to be sure, but it wasn't like I wouldn't be excellent company anyway (smiles for dramatic effect).

AND NOW MY FILTHY SECRET
I had read an online chat/interview with Douglas Coupland on AOL a few years before this all happened. He seemed very down-to-Earth and approachable.. We could meet and have a nice chat over coffee at whatever they have in Vancouver instead of Starbucks (turns out they have Starbucks). I figured that Doug would be the kind of guy who would take time to show a perfect stranger the sights of his City of Glass, in fact I didn't think he'd find the suggestion odd in the slightest. So I sent him an e-mail.

YOU DID WHAT?
I know, just typing it now makes me frown. I had gotten his e-mail address from that AOL chat/interview (I told you he was down-to-Earth), but I had never sent him anything because...

a. I didn't want to gush like a fanboy.
2. I didn't have anything to say.

That is until now. Now I was another writer, a contemporary even, coming to town. Now I had a reason to drop him a line. So I plugged away on the old PowerMac 7200/90 (RIP) and composed an informal, off the cuff little missive suggesting that we should get together for a coffee sometime while I'm in the Greater Van area (note use of cool, familiar terminology for Vancouver). I remember thinking at the time that this note was right up there with Ralphie's theme about what he wanted for Christmas, sadly the hard-drive failures of time have swallowed up this fine bit of literature or I would post it here, to greater cement my shame.

DID YOU CLICK SEND?
I sure did. Time passed. I imagined Doug reading the e-mail. Smirking at my sheer gaul. Unable to resist the absurdity of the situation. I was without doubt that he was going to take me up on my invitation.

COUPLAND REPLIES
A reply in the old hotmail inbox! I was too excited to read the e-mail at first. My bravado was a sham, the fanboy in me was drooling, how cool was this? Douglas Coupland had received my e-mail, read it and considered my invitation. Could I dare to think that he would agree to meet me, and in his city no less? I mention again that hard drive crashes rob us of the actual document, but no matter, I committed every word to memory.

I'M NOT DOUGLAS COUPLAND

So I know what you're thinking. How did I get his e-mail address anyway? Why did I think I had Douglas Coupland's personal e-mail address? I can't remember how, but I was sure. Now I felt foolish. I felt like I'd been been hiding a $10 bill in my wallet in case of an emergency, and then discovered that I'd spent it ages ago and forgotten. Some stranger had read my e-mail, realized that I was insane, but had replied anyway...

I'M NOT DOUGLAS COUPLAND

That was all it said.

I'M NOT DOUGLAS COUPLAND

In the fall of 2001, I finally met Douglas Coupland at a book reading in Los Angeles put on by Book Soup... It was also quite embarrassing but shall remain a story for another day.


Posted: Tue - February 24, 2004 at 08:56 PM      


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