10 November 2011
4 twenty minutes
if it weren't for the twenty minutes just preceding everything i ever do, i think i could be quite successful.
but those twenty minutes, they are a bitch.
it would be better if i had an assistant. someone whose sole responsibility it was to know what i was going to do so i wouldn't have to know and then everything would be a surprise and the twenty minutes leading up to that surprise would be spent in a blissful haze of unknowingness rather than a maelstrom of knowledge and fear.
for instance, my assistant person would meet me after work, take me to my home, turn on my computer, hand me a coffee and say, and now you are going to facilitate a conversation with a leading author of biography that we're going to record for this here podcast.
and i would be all, ooooooh, what a lovely opportunity. how grand. oh, hello there, leading author of biography. let's chat!
you see how easy that went down? it's so much simpler than knowing, a month out, that a podcast is coming. and that it involves three pieces of technology that i do not know to use. (my assistant would also, i imagine, be a technological whiz.)
but without my assistant and with that knowledge, instead i manufacture dramas. like, amazingly stupid, ridiculously impossible albeit epic dramas. for instance, as of late, the feature presentation playing in my head has been: what is a podcaster to do if the leading author of biography has a heart attack on air?
come now. let's be real.
never mind that it's not even a live show, that is freaking NEVER going to happen.
add to that, the fact that it's not even a creative scenario as i know i'm drawing heavily from the plot of gary paulson's children's classic hatchet, wherein the pilot of a two-person plane has a heart attack and the plane crashes in the canadian wilderness and our hero brian robeson- who was on his way to visit his divorced father- is left to fend for himself in the wilds.
(seriously. forget my familiarity with the jfk jr. death narrative. how in the hell did i ever fly that deathtrap of a two-person plane last spring given my love of this book as a child?)
we're talking about a podcast. it is in no way comparable to flying a two-person plane over the canadian wilds and yet, somehow, in the mess that is my brain trying to come to terms with the things that i find difficult to do, the experiences are nearly identical. and so i worry about the impending, possibly deadly podcast for a solid month.
i tell myself i perform well under pressure and, in this formula, the manufactured drama is key. i tell myself that knowing full well that it is not true.
this is why i need an assistant. someone who would tell me the things i need to do only as i need to do them. someone who would call me on my bullshit and take hold of those twenty minutes just preceding everything i ever do.
because when you add those up over a lifetime, that's so many minutes i've wasted. so much time i've squandered preparing for plot twists derived from children's books.
i want to get to a point where i do not do this. a point where the twenty minutes just preceding everything i ever do are as euphoric as the twenty minutes coming just after. those moments where i feel as though i can fly that fucking two-person plane over the canadian wilds, for myself, by myself, entirely on my own.