I am a child of the 1980's. Wait, that's not right. I grew up in the 1970's and 1980's in a time of typewriters and cursive script. That's better.
I have never been technologically savvy so when I recently had to make a podcast reading of one of my stories for an online literary journal I was flummoxed. The editor sent an email, but the instructions sounded like some computer kid's ramblings in cypher code. It made my brain hurt. Thus, I procrastinated. The recording of the piece wasn't due for a couple of weeks, I had plenty of time.
Whining "help me" and "can you do it for me?" to my husband didn't help either. My husband has been working six days a week and has had a persistent cold. He ignored my pleas.
On the Friday the mp3 was due, I sat in my office at lunch trying to download the app on my iphone. Apple kept rejecting my password.
"Fuck," I yelled at the picture of Sid Vicious which hangs on my wall unframed (it is a Sex Pistols poster dammit, to frame it would be blashphemous). Lucky for me, cussing out loud in our office is no big deal. I sometimes find myself muttering a string of filthy expletives in an angry tirade as I walk down the hall. No one even notices. I have found a home.
Apple rejected my password a second and third time and wasn't allowing me to reset. I had wanted to make my recording in the quietness of an office with a shut door, but I would have to do this at home.
That Sunday evening, I was watching TV waiting for Dexter to come on and realized my mp3 was two days overdue. "Fuck," I yelled at my husband jumping out of bed. "It's late, it's late," I said sounding like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
Apple finally prompted my password reset and I downloaded the app on my phone. By this time, I was downstairs and could hear the rat a tat tat of my husband's Call of Duty game upstairs.
I started recording my story with iaudition reading off my iPad. It was not pretty. I kept on jumbling my words. The dogs started barking. On my tenth try, I did a decent recording of the whole story but halfway through a car alarm went off outside. I played the recording and debated whether I should just send it and get this whole thing over with. It wasn't that bad, I thought to myself. The car alarm gave it a surreal feel.
No. I had to start over. And over. And over.
About twenty tries in, I was halfway through another reading and it was going well. I had a rhythm.
"What's for dinner?" Adrian yelled downstairs in a nasally tinged voice.
"Fuck," I yelled back at him. "I'm in my recording studio. Shut up!"
"What's for dinner?" he yelled again. "I'm sick."
I am not good at explaining how to go screw yourself when stressed so I just ignored him until his pleas for dinner went away.
Maybe I would have to learn to use the editing feature on iaudition.
I decided to try one last time and finally, bingo! Even though I stumbled on a couple words, I was pleased. It sounded dramatic and there was no car alarm in the background. My dogs sat like a quiet audience and watched me while I read. Golden Ponyboy. Golden.
I took it upstairs and Adrian and I listened to it together. I almost fell asleep to the lull of my own words. Was I dreaming? Was that really me? Did I really write that story?
It was a dream, my dream, come true in that digital audio file on my iPad just waiting to be heard.