2024-01-10: reading

did a reading last night along with a few other poets. it's been snowing here recently, not a huge amount, but regularly over the last few days. and so the roads have been bad, and while they're better than they were friday, when i saw a pile-up at a right turn just trying to leave my neighbourhood, they're still pretty slippery.

before the reading i made roasted cauliflower, garlic, and cheddar soup, had a small bowl of that with a smoked meat sandwich on rye. nothing too heavy. not the literal inches of meat you'd get in such in montréal. i didn't sleep the night before. my partner's sick, and was up that night, coughing, probably every hour. my sleep was wrecked. i was already tired. i didn't want a heavy supper making me sleepy at the reading.

so i had my supper, drove downtown (thankful for snow mode), and left myself plenty of time to get there. i'm glad i did; i ended up parking a bit too far away, and having to walk careful, careful steps on the icy sidewalks, bundled up against the bitter cold. but i found the place, or at least the basement entrance (it has at least 3!), where i heard, "you must be [malachite]!". i laughed. "i am," i said, "but i can't see a thing." my glasses had fogged up. i looked over them, saw a young woman in glasses. she laughed, introduced herself (one of the other readers), and we headed upstairs.

there were hors d'ouevres, cocktails at the cash bar, water if (like me) you're trying to dry yourself out a bit. the first reader, it turns out, was sick, so i ended up opening the whole thing. somehow, my nerves were nowhere to be seen. thank the night before? can't be nervous if you're flat-out exhausted.

and then the others read, though there was a break in the middle for a bunch of interactive art exhibits. i hung back, talked with some people i know. took lots of photos of everyone else reading.

we finished a little early. i finished my water, said my thank-yous to the organizers, headed out. when i got back to my car, i could feel the stiffness of the seats after just a few hours left out in the cold. i started the car, cranked my seat heater, turned on the hits station on the radio. i hadn't read in-person in years. i couldn't believe my nerves took the night off! i shoulder-checked for traffic, turned my car around, and drove home in the still, snowy night.