Thursday, April 20, 2006

The triumph.

(This is the glass elevator that Lupo and I rode up after I finished my reading. It wasn't until we were on the elevator, traveling all the way up, that I remembered I was scared of heights.)

So, yes, my reading was a success. It was a success because I was able to get through the whole thing in front of a group of people without collapsing. It was a success because the stage was set up the way that I wanted it to be. It was a success because Lupo gave me one of those good, lingering hugs that he - and only he - can give me, a hug from someone who you feel like you haven't seen in ages who you can't wait to reach out and touch. It was a success because my father sent me an e-mail after it, saying he was proud of me and impressed at how I behaved through the whole thing. It was a success because profs there encouraged me to submit my work to The Oxford American. It was a success because I got to look at Vic right at the moment that I read a sentence in it that only she knows is all about her, which is a moment that I'd played out in my head. It was a success because it's just really, really fun for me to read that story to people, and I think my fun shows when I read it.

When I read my story, I read it better than anybody else ever could, and the rush I get while doing it is comparable to the first time I found out I could jump rope. When I read it, my heart beats fast, and I'm doing something that I doubted I could do better than I thought I could do it. It's not Hemingway, but it's mine. And, with it, I can make people laugh. I can put the picture of a Waffle House, of all places, in their heads and make them think of their own stories of such places. When I read it, I feel like I'm good at something, that I'm where I'm supposed to be, and that feeling matters to me.

I've been bragging a little (OK, a lot) since Friday because I made strangers laugh, because I received a lot of comments at the panel Q&A and handled the questions well.

Friday was a really great day.

(This is me and Syd.)

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