A Problem Child

‘My life is utter misery.’ Peirene is shuffling around the office with uncombed hair, slippers on her feet and shoulders hunched forward. ‘I don’t know if I can go on living.’5165181_773ce5bdd8_z

‘Hm,’ I respond, without taking my eyes off the screen. I don’t really want to be drawn into a doom & gloom chat with the Nymph. She will snap out of it eventually. And as far as I can see her life is going just fine. Two weeks ago we’ve been awarded a major EU grant for our 2015 ‘Chance Encounter’ series and last week our Polish masterpiece, Chasing the King of Hearts, received the Found in Translation Award 2014.

‘I’m going to sell my shoes – the one with the sparkles. I’m going to put them on e-bay.’ She says decisively. She is now standing right next to me, her voice is shaky, a big tear drops onto my desk.

I sigh. I better pay her some attention before she dissolves totally. I make us a tea. We sit down on the sofa.

‘No one loves me,’ she stumbles, her hair hanging in her face.

‘You have lots of fans,‘ I reply matter-of-factly. ‘And the first reactions to Under The Tripoli Sky are fantastic.’

‘Yes,’ she shakes her head impatiently. ‘Our books are doing fine. But I am not.’

‘If you want me to help you, you need to be more precise.’

She flings her hair back, looking at me angrily. ‘If you truly loved me, you’d know what I am talking about it.’ For a moment we both stare at each other in silence. Finally she rolls her eyes:

‘OK. I clearly have to spill it out for you. It’s our Experience event this coming Wednesday. Supper Club is sold out, Salon is sold out. And the experience event? Four people so far have signed up. It’s my favourite event. But each time we struggle to get the crowd. The author will be there – all the way from Libya, musicians and a beautiful actress. It’s innovative. Unique. And in addition I am starring too. Does no one want to see an ancient Greek Nymph in flesh and blood?!’

What can I say? Peirene has a point. Our Experience Event is our problem child. Each time we hardly sell any tickets in advance. But on the day so far always enough people have turned up. It’s nerve racking. But it’s never been a flop.

‘So fingers crossed that it will be the same this time.  However, you better improve your mood. Otherwise…’ I stop as I search for an effective threat. ‘Otherwise, you won’t be allowed to show off your sparkling shoes.’

… and if you want to make Peirene happy, you can book for our Experience event here.

Image by Dave Morris.

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