tees for me

My friends in Miami don't write stories. They don't sit at the computer and dream with their eyes open. They paint t-shirts and sculpt infinite rainbows out of construction paper, take slow-motion pictures from rooftops, play "intelligent dance music" on laptops, and record frog songs in canals. At parties they talk about font sizes and MP3 mixes. My boyfriend used to spin records on college radio. I'd sit in the booth, watching him mumble into the microphone. I carried a paperback in my purse and I'd turn pages for hours, the beats swirling around me like gauze. For some reason, I am surrounded by souls who experience the world through their eyes and ears...not so much with words. That's cool with me. They look at things in a different way...and teach me to do the same.

Alvaro Ilizarbe designs t-shirts under the name (a funny nonsense word that brings dentists to mind). In his studio, deep downtown, where the Metrorail rattles past windows as round as portholes, he slaps paint on handmade silkscreens, Andy Warhol-style. His intricate doodles take hours to sketch: from tongue-wagging snakes to painstaking letters that morph into abstract patterns. His perfectionism is something I can relate to...

Alvaro took my book's title, Total Constant Order, and transformed it into an ode to obsession. Skateboards soar through a flurry of letters and numbers. Stars glimmer around a pair of dangling sneakers. His drawings tell my story in pictures, a visual translation on paper.

I printed it on tees, buttons, and stickers to carry with me at signings. Of course, every author needs a ginormous tote bag to lug around their books. Even my dad wants a t-shirt. Luckily, I can print them in different colors here.

Check it out:

This fitted tee from American Apparel is soft and comfy.

Okay. I admit it. I have an obsession with pinback buttons.

My tote bag is big enough to carry loads of books...and still room for more. Of course, there's always room for more.