yesterday i did something i have not done in twenty-five years. a girlfriend and i went in to pitch a t.v. show we had created. before i go any further, i must confess that neither she nor i had any real desire to go back to work, but pitch we did.
i, being a former, but not highly successful writer for television (my one true claim to fame was having written the game show "card sharks") and my friend, an actually successful producer back in her day, were just drawn to the idea of getting dressed up and for an hour or so playing as though we were back in the game.
on arriving for our appointment, the first thing we noticed was that the entire office was being run by teenagers - that should have been our first clue. when the gentleman we were meeting with came out to reception to greet us, he too was a mere tyke. with shirttails out and tennis shoes he led us to a corner office - his corner office. he was a big deal teenager and very polite. as he was talking, i couldn't help but think how proud his mother must be - i also couldn't help but think that i probably went to high school with his mother.
we pitched our show - quite effectively i thought. just like riding a bicycle or almost. i was in mid sentence, making what i thought was a brilliant point when suddenly my brain froze. i completely lost my train of thought. i stammered, i stuttered and nothing came out of my mouth. mercifully my girlfriend started talking, as though nothing strange had just taken place, and the meeting went on - but i was shaken.
it was the very first time that i had to acknowledge that as much as i liked to kid myself into believing that in spite of all the exercising and dieting and facials, not only was my body failing but my mind was on it's way out as well. i could still do the sunday new york times crossword and i always remember both my children's names and what i ate for breakfast, but i had to admit that i am just not as sharp as i once was. a few years ago this would have worried me. i would have been distraught at the thought that this young, very young man, would think i was old - too old to do the job. i would have been devastated at the idea that i couldn't sell my show. i would have been terrified that i wouldn't be given a chance. now, i am terrified that i will. what if somebody actually buys this damn thing. everyday i would have to show up and show the world - at least this teenage version of the world, how lame my poor brain had become.
we left the meeting and went to saks. a perfect place to be. no matter how forgetful and feeble you may be the salesladies at saks, as long as your credit card is good, will never judge you.