Thursday, August 11, 2016

How I Win

I'm going to tell you a story.
It's going to be true.
It's gonna suck you guys, because it's a true story about the suck that this week has been.

Have you ever felt like life/the universe/everything is just conspiring to kick you, grind your face into the sand, pour tar over you, feather you, stand you up and send you into the expressway at 5:30?
Cuz yeah.

But this story, though it is seeming to END with me under the blankets eating Milanos and crying, isn't just suck and give up and curl up and die.

Because in the midst of this crappy, crappy, soulcrushing week, I did something to make myself better. I did something brave, and for myself, and to combat my own complacency.

Tonight, at 7 pm, I read at a live lit event for Third Coast, at ComedySportz Theater. Read. Out loud. All me and no instrument. With my words in front of me.

See, I've always written. Back to 5th grade, I've had journals. I filled an entire book full of poetry in high school, some of which I actually don't cringe to read nowadays. But it was always under wraps, or lock and key, in the case of some Lisa Frank diaries past...

It took a long time and a weird path to get me to show those words to anyone. Even weirder paths to get me to Chicagoist, and more recently, Third Coast. Even still, my most frequent quote about speaking is that "I don't word good out loud. That's why I write."

Speaking makes me nervous. Speaking makes me unclear and uncovered. Speaking makes me the only one speaking, in this case, and my words are supposed to ...mean something? Make someone laugh?

But there I was. Late, flustered, sad to see no familiar faces in the crowd, though it is a weeknight and most people left in the area had kids or work to tend to tomorrow...but there I was.

One hand gripping the bottom of the music stand (perhaps something of a safety blanket since music stands and I go way, way back, performance wise)....another trying to make decent eye contact while I told a story. A love story. A story about how love (and food, since it was the night's theme) are messy and sometimes suck and it's arduous and long, but hopefully, you can make things, grow, and learn.

And then I got in my car, tried to back out of my space, and smacked my passenger's side mirror on the cement wall of the garage. And then I tried to make a quick stop on the way home and ended up at Addison and Clark just as the Cubs game ended. And then I was home in 2 hours, not one.

And then, at home, I thought I'd be able to relax and unwind and tell stories and maybe put some happiness out there. And that solidly didn't happen. So I thought I'd go to bed. Well, it's 3:14 so you can see how well that's gone.

So yeah. Yeah life, you screwed me up this week. Yeah, I didn't help myself.
But at least I read.

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