dropped the birthday cake. i was in a circle of older gay me, some of affluence, with a homemade cake on a platter, and with the candles lit and all eyes on me. it slid to the floor. a medievalist, whom i had met earlier in the evening, i used his hands to shade my eyes from the horror-stricken faces of my hosts, the birthday dude, and the guests. we ate the cake anyway. but when does this happen in real life?
offended an art historian (specializes in Caravaggio) by explaining that my fiction reading last week was presented as a mock lecture about a video artist. he was mock-offended, i think. when he talked—and he was voluble—he spit little pieces of cheese and crackers or nuts on me, on my shirt, on my hands. i ended up conversing with him at an odd angle to avoid being peppered with these wet little bits.
broke a wine glass (this happens all the time, though). i am as a bull in a china shop, etc. the Harvard-boy I’m intermittently friends with (this impresses me no end; why do i suck after the ivy league imprimatur?), he dryly noted my consecutive party fouls.
went to bed and knocked my phone into a cup of water, where it waited for me all night, and was, you know, fucking shot by the time i fished its dear drowned cellphone-corpse out this morning, absently aware that my alarm had yet to sound.
the word i would use to characterize my nervous energy and thus nervous-self at events i’m uncomfortable attending, is: obnoxious.
There are so many lessons to be learned from tonight! The major one: turn around to see if your projection is actually playing, because your audience, meek, guarded, profoundly uneasy fellow MFArs, they will kindly look on, through you, past you, while you read aloud in the dark on a darkened stage, with the single image of your father digging a hole behind you for 15 minutes. (Some people said this was actually just as effective as having the full-blown media piece play behind me, the one I spent 8 hours on.)
It’s for people who can’t get published on the fucking PANK blog. And also those who can! (Not that I have. Failure!)