Monday, March 14, 2016

Memorably Bad?

I have more requests for interviews on the book, and the one on Friday with two women interviewers on Moody Radio in Chicago went well. But who am I to judge? Many years ago I was the featured Friday night California conference speaker. The next day on the way home I had scheduled a layover in Salt Lake City to visit my friend Chris. She asked how my presentation went. I told her I wasn't really satisfied, but that it wasn't memorably bad. But then after I arrived home I was contacted by the woman who invited me. She let me know in uncertain terms that I was indeed memorably bad. (For one thing, I hadn't given an altar call, but that wasn't the worst of it.) I'd never before had such a blunt rendering of my speaking. She hammered me. I was mortified---and miserable the rest of the day. That evening I called Chris and apologized for having misspoke. I told her that I indeed was memorably bad. She laughed so hard I could feel the vibrations all the way to Grand Rapids.

So, back to the Friday interview. It's hard to assess myself so I was delighted when Anita emailed: "Thanks Ruth! You were a dynamite guest on an important topic."

While waiting for that interview I began a poem. Here's the good---or maybe memorably bad---lines I have written:

Waiting for phone call,
scheduled radio interview,
4 pm Central Standard Time,
Standing by, 3 pm Eastern time,
Minutes passing, maybe host forgetting.
Or maybe ditsy mom, as son says,
airhead, scatterbrained, zoned out.
Time-zone math miscalculated,
two dyslexic hours to kill.

Recalling dyssy days of yore,
airline penalties, tickets re-written.
Yet again wrong gate, wrong flight,
destination Detroit, no tarmac turn-around.
Still again, college dean astonished,
long scheduled class, teacher one week early.
Round-trip, Grand Rapids—Kitchener,
USA to Canada and back,
658 dyslexic miles badly spent.

More dyssy days of yore, college freshman,
solid c-, English comp. Too many
sentences dyssy diagramed, too many
unidentified, disease-infected, unprotected
gerunds and infinitives pile up.
Dyssy years roll by, still no spell-check.
Editor informs author, publishing house record,
single word misspelled three different dyssy
ways, one lonely paragraph.

Now unwinding, what to do, an interview
delayed two time-zone hours, surfing
news sites, sick of politics, sick of Trump,
moving on, mindless checking home-town obits.
Flinching, double-take, oh, my, sad news,
cousin Norma, dead at 90. No more old-time
family stories, no more fun-filled fall visits.
Broken promises only. Promises
to keep in touch, to write, to call.
Two time-zone hours to feel guilty.
No dyssy excuses.