So, in two days I’m going to stand up at the Egg in front of 1,000 people and tell an extremely personal story, and NO, MY FRIENDS, I AM NOT NERVOUS AT ALL. Nope. Not me. I tell personal stories all the time, right? And people read them, right? It’s all just bidness as usual for me. Ho-hum. La-de-dah. And, you know, it’s not like I’ll be unwinding some unfamiliar and overly convoluted and abstruse story that I’ll be trying desperately to remember, and why the hell am I using the word “abstruse”? Does anyone use it? Isn’t it an ugly thing? And you can just forget trying to say it aloud.
But, no. NO NO NO NO NO. I’m not nervous. I’m NOT! No cause for flop-sweats. I’m not in denial, either. And no, I’m not a liar liar pants on fire. Did I mention that I’m not nervous? I’m. Not. Nervous. Public speaking doesn’t scare me. I’ve public-spoken before. The first time I ever blabbed in front of a large-ish group was my first week in college, back when Hamilton required every poor quaking incoming freshperson to deliver a speech before a group of his or her freshpeers plus one terrifying-beyond-description public speaking professor, a ferociously bearded presence named Professor Wright who thundered his critique in stentorian tones and called everyone MR. THIS and MS. THAT.
Or did I hallucinate the beard? He wore one. I’m sure of it. If he didn’t, he should have.
I don’t remember what I said in my sad and feeble efforts at oration, but I do remember that I had bangs, which I almost always had, and that I spent much of my time studying the floor and declaiming to my feet, which I almost always did, and that Professor Wright scared the proverbial penne pasta out of me telling me not to. “Young woman! Young woman! You must LOOK UP and get that HAIR out of your EYES!”
Here’s what I’m going to do Saturday night at the Egg. I’m going to tell my extremely personal story in front of 1,000 people. I’m not going to crack up with fear, because I AM NOT NERVOUS AT ALL. And in memory of Professor Wright’s all-powerful voice and beard, which together spent 34 years terrifying undergraduates out of their worst rhetorical habits, I’m not going to stare at the floor.
And, hey. At least I don’t have bangs.