“And this year, the Booker, Orange, Best Novel of the Century, awards go to Brenda Moguez. A round of applauds ladies and gentleman!”
Cut to camera zoom in: Rob Thomas singing, Isn’t She Lovely.
I glide across the stage gracefully, as is if a million butterflies are lining the stage floor and lifting me with each step. Can this be real, really truly, is this my life. Yes, it’s you. Smile, remember to wave like Princess Diana, and bat those perfectly adhered MAC eyelashes. Stand tall and don’t’ forget to smile. WAIT! Run your tongue across those recently whitened—with Crest Whitening Strips—teeth to remove traces of Christian Dior Holiday Red lipstick that might have stuck to the pearly whites after George Clooney graced your lips with his.
Cut to camera zoom out: thundering applauds and Rhett Butler walking towards me with awards.
I shake my head. I must be dreaming. Rhett? A look alike no doubt. It’s no secret I think Rhett Butler is the embodiment of the ultimate man. How wonderful the Academy went through all this trouble for little of me (especially little since Jillian Michaels offered to be my personal trainer- FOR FREE!).
Cut to: close up on perfectly taut body, glistening under the light of a thousand flashing bulbs
I continue smiling while waiting for the exuberant crowd to mellow, which sounds as if it might take a while. A shiver of delight travels down my spine leaving a field of goose-bumps covering my exposed arms. I am wearing an Edith Head original.
Dissolve to: Edith Head sitting in the front role, next to Coco Chanel, smiling and stealing secret winks only shared between best friends.
When I heard I was nominated and later, won, Woman of the Year, followed by the numerous book awards, and being featured on magazine covers—People, The O Magazine, Time, Field and Track—I’ve wrote a speech. It’s gone through multiple revisions, of course. I didn’t want to go the Sally Field route, but I definitely aimed for memorable. It had to sound spontaneous, as if the awards and honors were not expected.
Dissolve to: Brenda sitting on the front porch of her Mother’s house peeling husks off corn.
My desire to remain a woman of the people, just a humble Latin woman raised by wolves and gypsies (OK, I cut that part of my speech out. I didn’t want to piss my mother off before the Oprah family interviews. This is a downside to worldwide fame. I wonder if I can have my family declared crazy, then committed. Note to self: Talk to publicist about family extraction).
Cut to camera: tamed lion walking across the stage in a slow, predatory fashion.
Now, as I am minutes away from the single greatest moment of my writing life I have a nagging doubt I’ve forgotten to include someone in the speech. Something is pawing at my subconscious. I involuntarily swish it away, as if the movement will remind me of what is critical, but the thought dissolves before my eyes.
Dissolve to: Brenda on stage
The master of ceremonies, no longer Rhett, I knew that was wishful hoping, speaks, “It’s 7:00, time to get up. Didn’t you hear the alarm? Are you going to work today? Who is George? You thanked him for something.”
My husband’s voice shatters the illusion. I close my eyes tightly hoping to hold on a little longer. The fat orange tabby—who needs time with Jillian—is sitting on my stomach. His paws are tapping the side of my face and his nose is touching mine, his cue to for me to get out of bed and feed him.
Cut to: Brenda pushing fat cat off her stomach, pulling the duvet over her head, and howling into the pillow:
What do you do when real life gets in the way?