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That Which Does Not Kill Us

Alright then. I have made my London debut.

I'm not so thrilled with my execution, but I'm very delighted to have been a part of the evening. Thanks again to Rebekah and Paul for putting it together.

Let's focus on the good ...

  • My story, "Baggage Claim", was one of six in a very estimable collection. All of the stories were great, especially if you fancy tales of dysfunctional parenting.

  • Some of my friends were unexpected audience members, and I'm very grateful for their support. Thanks you guys.

  • I got a few laughs (more than I expected) and at least two people who I didn't know made a point of coming up to me after to say they liked the piece.

  • I took my time, didn't rush and read fairly clearly (I think).

  • The audience was very attentive and receptive and gave me a very lovely round of applause.

  • I met several very charming new people, and I have a new event to go to on the last Friday of every month.

  • The show took place in Foyle's Gallery. There was a painting of a drag queen named Buttercup just over my shoulder and she looked quite a bit like my ex, who's now known in New Orleans as Blanche DeBris. Blanche was also performing last night, at Harrah's Casino, and my sister happens to be in New Orleans and went to his (her?) show. So I felt like there was a big family connection going on.

  • Readers got free red wine, which was quite tasty ... especially after I read.

And, since it's neurotic little me, let's focus on what wasn't perfect ...

  • I was way more nervous than I thought I'd be, to the point where it seemed to really surprise one of my friends ... "I've never seen you like that," he said. Granted, he usually sees me at Life Clubs sitting on a comfy chair in my living room, or hanging out on Old Compton Street with a pint in my hand, so I supposed it's all about context.

  • I couldn't stand still to save my life. All that presentation/acting training I've had went right out the window.

  • The podium wasn't all that secure and I was holding on to it like it was the safety bar on the world's scariest roller coaster. I'm pretty sure I almost pushed it over a couple times.

  • I was afraid I'd lose my place, so I don't think I looked up once from the page (which kept getting blurry because the podium's height put the text out of the "reading zone" of my progressive lenses). I'm certain that people will now only recognize me by the top of my head or the resulting triple chin.

  • After the reading, the organizer's mother asked me what inspired the story (which is about a little girl waiting for her father to pick her up at the airport). I told her that I was at Gatwick a year or so ago and saw a little girl in that same situation and thought, "What kind of asshole parent wouldn't be there to pick up their kid from an international flight?"

    The lovely woman said, "Oh, that would have been me. I did that once." Great. So now I've just called the host's mother an asshole. I'm surely never getting asked back to that.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. And congratulations to all of the other readers. You each did a stellar job.

The story will be up at Tales of the Decongested sometime in the next few days.