When I was in 5th grade, I ran for president of my class. The slogan was “Aronauer: Time For A Change.” What needed changing at William B. Ward Elementary? I wasn’t so sure about that, but change is what politics is about.
Before I gave my speech, I threw up. I suppose this was better than throwing up during the speech or even after. Vomiting releases a lot of endorphins, and I got all my nerves out of the way. (I suppose what would have been even better than throwing up before my speech is notneeding to vomit out of fear of speaking to 300 8-11 year-olds.)
So public speaking isn’t my thing, and neither is public reading. The only time I’ve ever read my work aloud was in Vermont, when I was in at an artist colony and taking my writing too seriously. Reading part of my book to people made me feel very uncomfortable. I was afraid of being judged.
I realize now that not everyone shares my narcissistic personality disorder directed at me. No one really cares what I read. I’ve gone to a lot of friends’ concerts, art shows and readings. And to me, the fact that my friends are making something is more important than what they actually create.
The second time I’m going to read my work aloud is this Saturday night, at Northeast Kingdom in Bushwick. Unlike last time, I’m not going to spend hours making the work perfect, nor will I burn the transcript afterward. I’ll be reading a new short story, “Float” and if you’re around, you should check me out aloud.