So how is it that there I was early last Saturday morning sweating it out with the rest of the herd, eyes stinging from lack of sleep but the body I traveled in outfitted with enough effort to make the move appear effortless as I awaited my turn at bat. (“Pitch,” indeed!)
I closed my eyes to shut out the men and women who shuffled back and forth, their strained smiles and cradled cups of coffee distracting, making me care too much for their plights and draining me of the iota of strength I had somehow scooped together from off the floor where my heart had sunk when I’d put back in mind the fire I’d have to brave this morning.
“It’s your time,” the timekeeper assigned to my agent alerted me, as the schedule was a monstrous mechanism everyone had to help keep in motion—and if I wasn’t able to lather myself into grease for its wheels I wouldn't be the Monkey Wrench either.
You have no idea, I wanted to say, flashing the volunteer a weak grin as I fell in step behind her. But as I focused on putting each foot forward the notion that I was over rehearsed but oddly unprepared consumed me and I fought for control over my autonomic reflexes, for the ability to slow my breathing, which could cap the rising blood pressure, which could disable the impending hyperventilation and the not-exactly-attractive red puffy face. Why, oh why, did I morph into Monk when I most needed to be Spartacus? If not a warrior then why did it have to be the rats, abandoning ship? Surely, some part of me must cooperate to keep me from capsizing the vessel the instant it was critical to steer precisely.
. . .“I like it,” the big, California press literary agent smiled at me. “Sounds intriguing. I’d like to take a look at it. Please send me the first 50 pages of your novel. Here is my card with the contact information. Just follow the submission guidelines online.”
I was stunned and felt like stupid Sally Fields receiving her Academy Award. “You LIKE me?! Oh, my gosh, you guys really like me!”
“Great!” I exclaimed, standing to shake her hand and hurry out before my brain landed and I said something to spoil the deal or to change her mind. But all I could hear in my head was Charlie Bucket’s montra, I have a Golden Ticket! And I could’ve kissed her on the lips as I danced out of there, killing the others in the batters’ box with envy.
“But you still have plenty of time,” she encouraged, telling me not to leave yet. “Do you have any questions for me?”