a first bloodletting

27 Sep

i woke up yesterday morning at six in the stupid a.m. like i was someone else entirely.

i called my ex step mother for some parental support, even though she hasn’t been my mother or in my life very much for about 20 years or so. i cried in her ear and she gave me the most incredible advice, reminding me of how confident and driven i have been since i was a little girl, and how impressed she has always been with my grit.

i was reminded during our brief conversation about the time i read The Changeling by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. i was probably around 6, already an avid reader, and already pretty banged up emotionally from a rough entry into the world. this book is so special, a really incredible read and i happen to be lucky enough to own a first edition. this book convinced me that i was also a changeling, also of some other world, and it created the space for me to be confident, driven and also tender. i decided as i watched the sun finger it’s way over the tops of the heads of the olympia buildings this morning, that i would have to revert back into my changeling self so that i could handle this reading.

i drank about a gallon of coffee, choked down some smashed banana on toast (made with nary any flour!) and dressed myself in my strapless tropical dress. it’s almost fall in olympia, but just sunny enough to get away with wearing next to nothing and really, i prefer to wear as little as possible. somehow my feet found their way out of my building making a staccato beat past the quaint park where UCAN was hosting their AIDS walk. i saw a friend and her baby that i had never met sunning themselves adorably and was able to conjure up some baby smiles before regretfully saying goodbye. as i was near the library a very cute old dude in a wheel chair stopped me with a “hey girl, are you the visiting author coming to the library?”. i actually had to fight the urge to look behind me, i mean who the hell did this cat think he was talking to? oh yeah, me. so i nodded and shook his hand and asked his name and then gary said “i might wheel myself over there” and that was pretty cool, except gary was smoking and the end of his cigarette was so wet, i mean fairly dripping with moisture. that was decidedly uncool.

i walked into the library and the first thing i saw was a big display with my photo plastered all over it and then two plasticky blond kids looked at me and pointed. maybe i should have nodded regally at them and tried out a mysterious intelligent look but i think that i went for a deer in headlights after smoking some crackrock with some woodland pals look and ducked behind a row of books, taking the long way to the event room.

thank god for sara peté with her perfect dress and eyeliner. she was able to set me at ease immediately with a cold glass of water and her usual calm and ridiculously cool self. people started milling in, people i knew, and people i have never set eyes on in my life, such as sara’s handsome grampa (hal if you’re out there, CALL ME). my mouth was a desert and my knees were doing this strange trembling thing that i had not remembered encountering. i felt a little bit like laughing hysterically but i guessed maybe i should save that for mid-reading, or something.

i was introduced, i read five poems, people clapped, and then people asked questions. really cool questions. questions like: “do you have a blog where we can follow you?” (thanks connie, this is for you), and “did you struggle with your identity as a writer?” and “do you tell people when a poem is about them?”. the crowd was more than i could have hoped for, a beautiful mix of people who didn’t mind when i talked about dirty erotica, my nervousness or the fact that my voice at times did indeed sound like a girl goat. i feel pretty humbled and most importantly, standing in that room reading from my forgotten heart, i feel like i am doing exactly what i am supposed to be doing.

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3 Responses to “a first bloodletting”

  1. I'd rather be a bridesmaid September 28, 2009 at 5:01 am #

    you're a total stud

  2. andy September 30, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    O My gosh, your a star!

  3. the world fix my house October 13, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    You are doing what you are supposed to do. Thanks for sharing, that's all we need.

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