What Happens Next

I am famous. Well, within a 12,000-radius readership of a Florida newspaper, anyway. I participated in a reading this week (not, as one of my coworkers asked, a "tarot card reading") at a local college and my picture wound up splashed all over the features section of the paper. I look fairly stupid. I'm waving one hand in the air as if I'm taking oath of office, which I frankly don't remember doing, and I'm not completely sure but I think my ass looks enormous. The calves look fantastic, though. That's the important thing. Also the photographer was hot. It was an interesting night, and thrilling to return to my proper place (my proper place is center stage. You know it, I know it, and last night, Fey Goateed Art Guy and Tori Amos Beret Girl knew it.)

I had to leave early because it was a long drive back to the Blonde Bachelorette Pad, and outside were a couple of students grabbing a smoke, and as I went by they were all, "Look, look, there she is!" and they ran after me and told me that I was the best, funniest person there. So I threw my arms around them and complimented their excellent taste. I did not stay for autographs. I sent my mom the picture and she said, "You've come a long way since your fourth grade Living Book Report."

This was my glorious debut as a public speaker. I'd done a lot of readings before at class Masses, but Living Book Reports were the big time. We had our own assembly in the auditorium, on the stage: You dressed up as a character from the book and told the story and all of this ended with "And if you want to know what happens next, read...." My book was The Little Gymnast, that modern classic, and I pranced around in this replica Mary Lou Retton uniform and generally did not want to get off the stage. I was money. Much as I was looking forward to the reading, it also left me pacing. It served as another confirmation that this is what I need to be doing, writing and doing readings and lectures, which is a good thing seeing as I'm completely inept in anything else I have ever attempted. Such as... all the things having to do with all the engineers.

October 5, 2003

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