Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know

How is it I’m always the last to know?

Douglas Coupland—aka Dreamy McDreamerstein—is gay. I’m swooning over here.

Douglas was the first author I read and loved and then met in person on a rainy night when I had to take two buses and dash two blocks under oak trees and awnings to get to his reading at the then-Hungry Mind bookstore in Saint Paul.

He signed Generation X, Shampoo Planet, and Girlfriend in a Coma for me that night, the last of which I had finished reading that day. I said, I just finished reading it and I loved it so much. He looked genuinely flattered. He said, Thank you. with genuine surprise. It was then I realized my literary heroes were just people—normal, beautiful, wonderful people with sexy beards and social anxiety.

This is a much more successful celebrity-encounter story than the time I met Chris Isaak.

It was after his concert and he was wearing these suit pants that had little mirrors attached all over them. He was also wearing enormous, delicious biceps. I handed him something to sign and told him my name. He started drawing a firecracker on my t-shirt—I thought, Yes! A phallic symbol! He associates me with the concept of explosives!

I said, I really dig your pants.
He said, You wouldn’t want them. They’re too heavy.

But I did. I wanted them. And what was in them.

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