This is me:
I am 5’2” and female, aged 26. On windy days I am unhappy because I hover between 102 and 105lbs with bird bones, and I can fly away over Main Street on a bad updraft. I also don't like having my hair blown in my face. I cuss about wind. My hair is black. But not really. One side is longer than the other. It’s like a wolf’s mane: the dark and waterproof bristles over the baby-down underneath. It’s extremely warm in there, and I know because I like to spread my fingers through the downy parts at the base of my neck. Only with my left hand. My left hand is smaller than my right. My dark wolf’s hair is short. I have very long bangs because I have a very long forehead. In medieval times this was considered regal. I am not regal, so I have bangs. My eyes are green. But green like moss or pond water or pickled jalapenos – not like green apples or the underside of mature leaves or precious stones or anything. They are big eyes: “bugged” if I feel ugly, “deep” if I feel a-ok, “intense” if I feel smug. My mouth is lopsided. The top lip is naturally down-turned. Both lips are the kind of pink called “Rose”, but I hate all pink – including “Rose”. In elementary school they were naturally a shade of red people say is “Apple”, and it looked like I wore lipstick in 2nd grade, and I got in trouble every time we had substitute teachers because we were not allowed make-up in Catholic school. I went to Catholic school. “Rose” and “Apple” both sound really ridiculous: my mouth at 26-years-old is the same color as fiber glass insulation. At age 6 it looked exactly like the skin on a purple onion. I have 7 tattoos and 23 piercings. I only wear dresses. I walk really fast. I like to walk. I can’t wink with my left eye, and neither can my Papa. I am a native.
Now you know who I am.
And wherever I go this is exactly who I will be. My lips seem to change color, but that doesn’t matter. I am not lopsided onion or fiber glass lips. I just have some.
I don’t know how much Himself author and Indiana native Brian Kimberling put into his novel when he wrote it. It’s probably better not to know the exact placement of that line. Smudgy is good. But both Place and Self have made clear muses as the writer debuts his first novel set in the backwater, bird-watching eccentricities of Southern Indiana, this month’s release: Snapper. Join him this Sunday, April 21st, at Carmichael’s Bookstore for a special reading and signing from this new native son.
A story following the strange and humorous doings of an easy-going bird-researcher, Snapper spins a tale of both whimsy and poignancy as it explores the love affair between one man and his place in the world. Dipping into Kimberling’s own background as both a professional birdwatcher and a former resident of Evansville, Indiana, Snapper is an amalgamation of personality – paying homage to the character of Home and odd turns we take as human beings. Kimberling, now a current resident of England, will bring Snapper to the Frankfurt Avenue store for a reading and signing starting at 4pm. Copies are available at both stores in hardcover for $24.95.
Bring whomever you happen to be out into the world and shake the man’s hand this Sunday. Then look down at your own hands afterwards – which one is bigger? Let me know when you know.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfurt Avenue. For more information, visit the event page  or call the Frankfurt Avenue store at (502) 896-6950.
Image: Courtesy of Carmichael’s Bookstore website www.carmichaelsbookstore.com