I’m often asked to give keynote speeches to various groups because I have a gift for bullshit and I can use finger puppets to make even the crabbiest person laugh for a few minutes. Every public speaker has inevitable worries: Will they laugh at my jokes? Do they understand three-syllable words? Am I going to have explosive diarrhea?
My biggest fear is not knowing who will be in the audience. Will it be that pesky groupie who always asks me how to get published – right now! Will it be Cousin Timothy who will tell me I’m going to hell if I don’t change my ways? Or will it be THAT PERSON – the one who stabbed me in the back, kicked me in the gut, and pushed me off the corporate ladder more than twenty years ago. Yeah, I’m still hurt. And bitter. And wimpy enough to admit it.
This week I was the keynote speaker at a prestigious event in Twin Falls. I got to the podium, looked out, and saw THAT PERSON. Normally, I would avoid looking in that area and increase the intensity of my presentation. This time, however, something changed and I no longer felt the need to fantasize that a giant, flying, prehistoric pterosaur would suddenly swoop into the room, snatch THAT PERSON, and fly away to feed hungry babies. No, it’s been two decades, and I’m finally over it. I made eye contact, smiled, and gave a stellar performance.
Call if maturity or common sense, but I know it’s useless to carry a grudge. Especially for twenty years. Letting go is liberating because why should I allow someone else to live rent-free in my head? Certain images of revenge against THAT PERSON do make for delicious short stories, which I have written and published, but the pain isn’t as raw anymore because the wound is healed. I now can move on to satirize other irritating people. Besides, my life is abundant and THAT PERSON looks sad and worn. Sweet.
Today’s blog is fueled by a 2008 Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella from Italy. It’s about $30 a bottle and the bold, rich flavor will make you forget your enemies, love the entire world, and ask for another.