Losing my trousers on stage. Stupid, elastic waistband trousers. During a crying scene in an Agatha Christie murder. Kneeling to “sob” into hands, hem of stupid polyester pants catching on my heel. Feeling elastic waistband zip to below hips, straight to dangerous plumber’s crack vicinity. Hearing ancient man in front row shout: SHE’S LOSING HER PANTS!
Fighting with a woman in an extremely trite writing workshop. Fighting with a woman who told me she doesn’t read Tolkien because of the ‘made-up’ languages. Fighting because she said I should watch out for made-up language bits in my own children’s novel. Fighting because there are laws against drinking and driving, but anything goes in workshops. Fighting in my head, only, and with burning looks as a top agent moderated the workshop and I couldn’t scream and rage in front of her, THE HER WHO DID NOTHING TO MODERATE COMMENTS FROM TOLKIEN SHUNNING FREAK……Need to work on forgiveness techniques. Yeah. Whatever!!!
Singing like a parrot in an audition, followed by pretending to be a 2-legged lamb bleating. For same. Audition. Then lamb with others bleating in quickly improvised fold.
Confessing I like Margaret Atwood’s poetry in my extremely intense and attended by all who are MFA’s (except me) Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference workshop. Worse, confessing one of my earliest influences as being not Frost, Millay, Lady Gregory or Plath, but: Erica Jong. It’s true!!! I luf(fed) her (well, I loved “Fruits & Vegetables”). My cheeks ignite like a paper towel in a campfire whenever I recall the confession. Yes, that’s right: A PT in a CF. In mid-Summer (when Smokey The Bear goes shirtless). In brittle mountains. In a heatwave. The kind that kills poets.
Reading a tribute in front of uber-many gathered to honor a revered college professor. Finishing my piece to applause. Tripping as I left the podium. Tripping. With a gaily uttered Whoops! that came out of nowhere. A Whoops! NO ONE MISSED.
Tripping on my first date with my future husband, as I approached the cafe table at which he sat dunking his teabag, his green eyes widening through his Jeff Goldblum glasses as he watched me fly towards him, the hot coffee in the mug that I held sloshing all over my silk date-shirt and fashionably ripped jeans. Watching me sail through the air—and knowing right then he was in for it (but he married me anyway).
Pratfalls in our living room because they make my son laugh so hard he must clutch his stomach and wave at me to stop, please stop, which I do, because (damn it!): I know mercy and I know love.
This is fabulous. I totally love Margaret Atwood! Down with the snooty MFA people (just the snooty ones – I know plenty who aren’t snooty).
It sounds like you know mercy, love, and grace, too. Because it takes grace to do so much tripping and live to write about it.
Wonderful post, your writing is full of humor at yourself and often that is the funniest kind. It’s as though it is okay to laugh at that because you did too. Love it! I really enjoyed this, your writing flows very smoothly.
Thanks, Neeks! I really appreciate your comments!
Wow- that was so well written. Makes my writing seem like cotton candy by comparison. SO I will not compare, just appreciate, which I do.
Nicely done PB.
Thanks, Susan–but your writing is sublime.