Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What I Wanted and What Really Happened

What I wanted was to go to an open mike night on my own. I wanted to enter a bar where a crowd of people were engrossed in what was going on on stage, where artists shared their talents in the dimly lit room, and everyone drank good beer out of pint glasses. I imagined drinking a couple of pints and then standing up to read my short piece. The crowd of people would be curious about this woman. They would be mildly disappointed that she wasn't here to sing. They would be worried when she began to read. Aren't we always worried by sincere people who try to share their writing on stage? What if it sucks? Then, I would start reading, and my reading would be good, and the silence would grow as would this imaginary crowd's interest me. How could so fascinating a character be here on her own and not surrounded by admiring friends? (Hey. It's my fantasy. Get your own if you want to be admired.) Maybe one of them would buy me a beer.

I couldn't do it.

I parked blocks away from the bar, hoping that the walk would give me courage. I walked up to the bar, feeling the crinkling paper in my back pocket. I opened the door, and through the dark screen of sad, lonely people drinking at the counter I saw a musician with lots of tattoos setting up his equipment in front of the microphone, and I saw no admiring crowd. And I realized that sitting at the bar drinking with the sad, lonely people was the last thing I wanted to do on a Monday, and the thing I was going to read would have been the last thing they would have wanted to hear, and it would have been terrible and dark and depressing. I pretended that I was checking my cell phone, turned on my heel and left before I even sat down.

So, I went home, and tried to watch "Six Feet Under", but it was terrible and dark and depressing, so I stopped the episode and went to bed.