One of my favorite moments in any sport is when someone rises to the occasion when all eyes are upon them. In my lifetime, probably Mary Lou Retton nailing the vault with a perfect 10 to win the all-around gold medal at the 1984 Olympics was the moment.
Well, last night my best friend, Carla, stuck her landing with her storytelling performance at The Monti.
For the uninitiated, The Monti is a NC non-profit that showcases short, unscripted, nonfiction narratives onstage. You’re given a topic a few weeks in advance and you have 12 minutes to tell your story. The only rules are no notes and the story must be true.
The topic last night was Animal Instincts and Carla told a story about her beloved dog, Yoshi, who passed away three years ago next month.
You can listen to Carla’s story soon at The Monti so I don’t need to recap it here except to say that it’s a love story that made many a grown man in attendance cry. Me? I did the ugly cry.
I was so proud watching Carla do something she had talked about doing for a couple of years – something she was kind of afraid to do – and doing it with great aplomb. Now there’s a word that’s just not used enough so I’m here to say, I’m bringing aplomb back.
I’m old enough to be Carla’s aunt. (Don’t make me say mother.) Sometimes I do worry about her in motherly ways but other times I’m more like the younger sister who wants to be like her when I grow up.
She’s beautiful and cool in ways that are so foreign to me. On her worst days, she still looks kind of glamorous to me. She’s that person who can tie a scarf around a tee shirt and look chic. If I did the same thing, I’d look like shit.
But what I love most about Carla is that she wears her heart on her tattooed sleeve and she always keeps that heart open to the world. Always – even when it has been shattered. In spite of our significant age difference, we’ve led very parallel lives – becoming close when we were both navigating painful losses and then sharing each other’s blinding happiness when we found our mates.
I tried to simultaneously watch her and the other people in the room as she told her story. I was nervous for her but there was no need to be.
Carla glows from the inside out. I’ve always known that but last night, an audience got to see it, too.