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.


Osutein said...

I think it's like most things. The first time out it's terrifying, but after a while, you get the hang of it and it's as easy as breathing. Okay, not that easy, but as easy a Bedouin listening to the sands...

oline said...

ah, so what you're saying is i need the dane to show me how it's done. maybe if she were my assistant and read excerpts from shabanu before everything i ever do, i would fare better at the outset.

and did you read "hatchet"? this book loomed so large in life but i don't know if was legitimately good and enjoyed by other people or if i was just that macabre.

Osutein said...

Oh, I read it. I thought about it a lot when we were up in Alaska. And the scene where he swims down to the plane and sees what's left of the pilot still gives me nightmares.

The Whiffer said...

Judging by the podcast you can fly than two person plane and whatever else is thrown at you. The writing in this post is powerful.