Serra the psychotherapist unravels my lie quickly, with simple questions. This is useful. I lie to myself because I want to imagine I am rational and sensible, so my verbal formulation sounds rational.
I looked at the microphone and the wee stage, and they pleased me. I stepped up and looked round the small room. I know I want to perform. The thought of it delights me. I want to be looked at. The problem is that I am not a comedian. I do not make jokes. I still think my line “We asked to be treated as women. So they told us what we should think and feel, and judged us on our appearance” is funny, but it does not get laughs.
So I told the story of the kiss. I had a verbal formulation which satisfied me: “I want to communicate emotion”. Her question was, what emotion? I am unsure.
Returning to this post next morning, I find “lie” too strong a word. Confusion, perhaps. Analysis is my strength, so I will analyse.
What do I want?
-I want to perform. I want to feel appreciated. This might come from childhood experiences, or natural character, or whatever. I feel the desire, and see no need to resist it. So I want to work out what will get me that appreciation.
Liam wants to perform and be appreciated. I find his poems awful, expressing commonplaces in a prosaic way, with some rhyme but no meter, long flaccid lines with unnecessary words. He got applause from the friendly audience (perhaps they thought him better than I did). He spoke on Disability.
I felt my applause was not particularly enthusiastic. I had a moment in my story when I feared I was eliciting no response at all. The audience was smaller in the second half (after me, and Liam). That fear- how well does it relate to reality? When at the end someone said I was “excellent” why do I assume he was just being kind? I need to discuss this with others there.
There is a monthly open mic. How may I use it, to achieve anything I want?
There are more women in our community than men, but that day I met two men: A, who is here for the first time, with his mother, and still at school, and Carl, a bit older, on T for just three months. His voice was deep before, but is changing. He can’t sing, but he can act and dance and has been in plays with The Princes Trust. He has been coming here two years, but has only just had his second opinion.
There was a different receptionist. I knocked on the glass in the door, and she told me to ring the bell instead. So she pressed the door release, and I said on coming in, “It doesn’t let me in, does it?”
No, she said, this button does that.
It seemed a question of who is important. I feel I am a customer, entitled to greater courtesy. She seems to think I need to pay her greater respect, especially by Following the Rules. I did not feel disrespectful.