Monday, March 19, 2012

Story Slam: The Unspeakable Revisited

The view from my front porch today

This past week marked an anniversary of sorts. One that reminds me how much in my life and my family's lives has changed in the past three years. It's astonishing, really. So much so that some people who know me now, probably wouldn't recognize me then. But I'm not writing about those changes tonight. I promised a friend and reader, AutoD, that I'd write about the story slam I competed in tonight.

The topic was March [Fucking] Madness: True Stories of Anger. Anybody who's read here knows I have some stories about anger, just like any card-carrying ginger does. So I'd like to brag that I won this one, but I didn't. A guy who told a funny story about buying outdated coffee won.

I have excuses. 1) I've been sick since that bike ride I wrote about last Tuesday, and I've been half-assing my way through all of my social engagements for almost a week now. I've done close to everything I normally do -- another bike ride Wednesday (on the river path this time), a couple of nights of karaoke (didn't sing), a couple of great parties, and a few late-night hours of hot sexting (don't try to fucking tell me you've never done it) -- but all of it happened at quarter speed -- at least for me. Today I finally ran out of fuel and didn't even make it to church to sing. I didn't have much to give to my 10 minutes at the story slam either.

2) It was a different audience tonight. The audience last month would have loved some teary pathos. This crowd was younger and wanted to laugh. My story made several people cry, but I didn't have comedy in me, even if the story could have supported it. And it couldn't.

And 3) I probably won't win every time. Damn it.

In spite of my lackluster delivery and misjudgment of the audience, it's a worthwhile story about going to the funeral of one of Elvira's friends who had committed suicide. But I won't repeat it, because I already told it here three years ago. You can read the first part, "Musings on the Unspeakable," and the followup, "And Now a Rant After the Unspeakable," by clicking the hot links. I hope you'll read them in memory of a girl who made a permanent decision about a temporary problem.

Even though I didn't win, I was glad Elvira and Coraline were there in the audience. They reminded me that in spite of the many changes we've celebrated and endured over the past three years, we're still sharing our lives together and that's what counts. Hug your kids today.


  1. Your version of an average social week is my wildest fantasy: I haven't been invited to two parties in six months, and the last time I got to do karaoke was Christmas 2010. Now there's a sad story for you: my non-existent social life!

  2. I am grateful for friends who like to party. And for a city that offers lots to do. Now if only the drug dealer three houses down would stop fighting with his girlfriend at 1:00am in the middle of the street with the car stereo blasting what sounds like the same fucking song for three hours, life would be fine.

  3. Reading those posts made me cry. There are a couple lines in them that ring so, so, true, and really touched my heart. (Particularly this: "just for tonight, she was safe and nothing was OK, and yet everything was just fine" and "Sometimes you’re thrown in the deep end and you survive the drowning." Both so true.

    As for last night...I disagree with you. You may not have "won" in the sense that you got voted "Best Story" or whatever, but anytime you share words and a story that touches people, anytime you get up and share a piece of your heart, you have most definitely won. Congratulations. <3

    1. Thanks for crying, AutoD. It was hard to retell that story without crying myself. And yes, just the telling for a story is a win. :-)