Oh, BEA! There are some things in particular Rejectionists dislike enormously: 1. large groups of people 2. artificial lighting 3. "networking". So BEA, it is very stressful for us! It makes us want to cut class and smoke cigarettes behind the gym! put gum in the water fountain! mouth off to teachers! Like those humorous posters of wet angry cats in bathtubs? That is the face our heart is making, on the way to the Javits Center!
Last year at BEA we didn't talk to a single person and wandered around feeling more and more with each passing hour that we had entered some alternate dimension, where we would never be able to leave the cavernous expanse of the Javits Center, and would continue to trudge for all eternity through this nightmarish parallel universe, beneath the panoply of oversized banners trumpeting the publication of The Lost Symbol, clutching our sweaty galley of The Unnamed to our bosom and subsisting entirely on pilfered buffet bagels.
BEA also has the unfortunate effect of engendering a massive sartorial crisis in our person, since our traditional preparation for stressful situations is to attire ourself in our soothing comfort outfit (in hot weather a six-sizes-too-large sleeveless Slayer shirt over bike shorts and the top half of a bikini), which if it were just us on our own recognizance we would probably in all honesty wear quite happily to BEA (and would have the added pleasing effect of ensuring that no one would try to talk to us). But our behavior at BEA is, like, a REFLECTION ON "STEVE", whom we adore with all our heart, and it would be deeply upsetting to us if someone was all like, "Man, we thought that 'Steve' chap was a brilliant and able agent, but anyone who would hire a person this visibly deranged clearly has lost his marbles, let's never work with him again!" SO WE GET A LITTLE ANXIOUS ABOUT OUR OUTFIT. It doesn't help that there is literally not a single item of clothing in our wardrobe that a normal person of any gender might wear to a business event, except for a very nice little wool suit our mom bought us when we moved to New York; but even our love for "Steve" is not enough to get us in a wool suit on a day that's supposed to break 85.
So this year! we unearthed a vaguely tasteful, never-worn black shirt from the bowels of our closet and found a frippy floral skirt our Support Team's father had used as packing material for something, whilst feeling very much that putting pointe shoes on a hippopotamus does not transform said animal into a motherfucking ballerina; camouflaged our Gay Fashion Hair with a Jaunty Scarf; and embarked upon a long and sulky journey to the Javits Center, located at a point in West Chelsea so far from our apartment it may as well be in the middle of the Hudson and require us swimming there. And when we arrived, already sweaty and cross, what did we discover? That the organizers of BEA had neglected to successfully transmit to a great many BEA attendees that this year the exhibition hall was not open on the first day of BEA, a fact we did not learn until AFTER getting into a fight with a security guard (picking fights with armed people telling us not to do things is, like, a recessive gene! inherited from our grandmother, who got into brawls with Nazi soldiers in occupied France! true story!). We were left milling about with an increasingly irate crowd of persons, including a forlorn gentleman who had traveled three hours on the train from New Jersey and tried to invite us out to lunch at ten in the AM, which became extremely awkward quite rapidly and necessitated our pretending that we were abruptly receiving a Very Important Call on our very obviously not ringing cellphone. Probably this whole debacle is a really amazing metaphor for the current state of the publishing industry, if we felt like going there, but instead of utilizing our analytical faculties we returned to the office, where we realized in the fluorescent glare of the office bathroom that our sorry attempt at a ladylike outfit was, under direct lighting, pretty much entirely transparent. AND THAT SAINTED ANGEL "STEVE" SAID NARY A WORD OF REPROACH.