The title really has nothing to do with anything, I just liked it.
There have been requests for a blog post having nothing to do with sports- actually, just one, but rest assured, loyal reader, I concur with that assessment. Doing writing for school sucks the brain dry, and some of the creative juices needed to pool before congealing into… um… I don’t know.
I’m not off to a good start. Let’s try again- Hi, I’m Dave.
Anyway, here’s something a little different. A first person retrospective, of a recent event I took part in.
I sat on the front pew, and stared ahead. I don’t know how long I sat there. It could have been five minutes, it could have been twenty. The cue cards were stowed in my suit pocket. I would take them out occasionally, review the order of the program, as if I hadn’t done that a thousand times already, and knew it off by heart. It provided comfort, activity, something to think about, something to do.
The activity was in front of me, watching Dennis run around the stage setting up, or the conversation of people who started to file in. I wasn’t nervous. At least, I didn’t think so. Anxious, yes, but not the stomach churning kind of nerves I used to get when doing public speaking. Just a low, omnipresent ache that said, “Heads up, hombre. You’re about to do this thing.” I rubbed my hands together occasionally, funneling the anxiety into an activity.
I’d prepared as much as I could. Asked Mike and Linda about the names I
didn’t know, the people I didn’t know, and the acts they weren’t
certain were going to show up. My outfit was impeccable. My mind working a hundred miles a minute, distracting from insecurity and uncertainty, allowing no room for failure. The microphone sat on the front table. I remember not recognizing it- but then, I didn’t often use it.
I thought it ironic that I wasn’t nervous. I was about to stand up in front of a hundred, maybe two hundred people, and MC an event for only the second time in my life. I got nervous making phone calls, saying “Hello” to someone I haven’t seen in a while, in romantic situations, admitting failure and weakness to friends and family. Yeah, I thought with a hint of bitter humour, definitely an irony in THAT. I can crack wise and speak in front of a hundred, but put me in front of one, the temperature rises, and I suddenly lose my tongue.
At some point, Dennis stopped running around, and sat down beside me. “Nervous?” he asked.
“No,” I replied, shaking my head, though the anxiety (or was it nerves?) reasserted itself. “I don’t get nervous anymore.” Not here, anyway. The irony again.
Dennis motioned towards the clock. “Time to get this started.”
“Yeah,” I said, rubbing the hands together again as I looked at my watch. He was right. The anxiety pushed for attention again, as I stood up, and took a breath, watching more people file in. The audience was here, and the performers ready.