Thirty-One (07 of 31)

The arm and shoulder continue to get better each day, but that whole ordeal has distracted me from the task at hand, which is the huge endeavor I’ve undertaken on this website this month. I’ve been unsatisfied with some of the entries I’ve put up, feeling as if they could have been better if even just a smidge more time had been devoted to them. And I’m behind on Thursday’s über-entry, as well. But, such is life, I guess. When it’s hard to type without pain for a few days, you kind-of fall behind, don’t you?

In any event, here’s an entry that brought a smile to my face as I perused page after page of archives. I often get depressed when looking through the archives, when realizing how pathetic most of the writing I’ve put on display here is. Every once in a while, an entry rises above the level of bilge, at least for a paragraph or two, and here’s one that did that for me (at least today).

Who Will Save Your Soul?

Evenings like this can save a man’s soul. This evening has indeed saved mine. Those of you who have been here through these last few rough days will note how dangerously close I was to losing hope altogether. I know that reading my terrible thoughts about myself and my life is not easy and I thank those of you who have stuck around. And because you’ve stuck around you now get to experience the eventual upswing right along with me. Evenings like this can save a man’s soul and tonight the soul that was saved was my own.

The Crescent Dragon Cafe is a little restaurant on Washington Street in Haverhill, MA. I don’t know how long it’s been there but I don’t recall it’s presence when I went to school at Bradford just down the street. I came across the cozy Mediterranean-themed space when looking for places to do readings. I wasn’t sure what it would be like when I took down the information about tonight’s storytelling open-mic, but I’m glad I went. So very glad.

There were no more than ten people there but it was a great reintroduction to a sense of literary community I’d long since lost and had virtually no hope of finding again. We sat around the darkened side-room where the stage sits and it was like a college writing workshop all over again. The people that read before me were all amazingly talented and their tales didn’t intimidate me as you might think they would. Instead, the inspired me and I felt even more ready to share when it came my turn.

I read the title story from my book, Those Little Bastads. I knew it would run a little longer than some others but not many people were there, I was the last one to go, and there was plenty of time left. I did pause once to ask if I should finish the story and they seemed so entranced that it took a moment for someone to tell me to go on.

When I was done I was peppered with compliments about my “great narrative voice” and my solid ability to tell a story with a female narrator. It felt amazing to be complimented by people who’s stories I’d just spent so much time enjoying. It felt amazing to be reassured in that particular way, that I am not wasting my time with the pursuit of this dream.

My story was followed by an informal conversation to round out the evening and I discovered even more about this group of people I hope to see again at the next open-mic night. And talk about a small world, one guy even knew Simone and we had a quick chat about how we each knew her.

JonMartin doesn’t know it yet, but I’m taking him to this place one night this summer when he’s back from Oxford. I want to share this amazing discovery with everyone I can.

So, to sum up, I had a great time and things couldn’t be better in the fucked up inner workings of my head. It is now time for bed.