I woke up in the middle of the night last night in a cold sweat. It finally hit me. I will never be an audience member at the Oprah Winfrey Show. And then the bigger, much more disgusting truth slapped me in the face:
OH MY CHRIST I WILL NEVER BE ON OPRAH!
I can’t say it was necessarily an active fantasy of mine to be on Oprah. I think it was a dream I cultivated when I was 12 – that magical age when the world owes you a favor. And there it has lived and over the years, just grown into a part of my inevitable story line.
I would go on Oprah and do a color guard routine or play the bassoon. The interview would end. I would hug Oprah briefly and kiss her on the check while she said “Really good. Really good.” over the applause. Then I would go back to the green room and start gathering my things.
ME: “Hi! Listen that was great, thanks so much for letting me come on.”
OPRAH: “Yes. That was amazing. I mean really….amazing! I just feel like…there was Mandela and then there was you, you know what I’m saying? BEST GUEST EVER!”
ME: “Don’t mention it.”
OPRAH: “So…what are you doing now?”
ME: “Probably going back to the hotel and then heading for the airport.”
OPRAH: “You’re leaving tonight!?”
ME: “Yeah, got to get back to New York.”
OPRAH: “Damn. Okay, it’s just some people are coming over to my house later and…”
ME: “Ohhh…wow. Wish I could. Really, that sounds great…it’s just…”
Oprah’s phone rings.
OPRAH: “So sorry, just give me a second.” (She picks up her phone) “Gayle? Yeah, I’m asking her now…She’s literally standing right in front of me. I know! I’m trying to convince her.” (She winks at me) “I know! Okay, okay. I’ll ask her…just…Gayle, Gayle, GAYLE!! I’M HANDLING IT!!”
She hangs up the phone.
OPRAH: “Listen, I’d be willing to lend you my jet tomorrow if you wanted to stay and hang out for a bit. Or the next day even…let’s just see what happens, play it by ear you know?”
ME: “I just can’t. I’m sorry.”
OPRAH: “Oh…okay. Well here, I wrote down my number here so you can just call me or text me and then I’ll have your number and then you’ll have my number and I’ll have yours, blah blah blah. And I wrote down my email and home address…”
ME: (heading for the door) “Fine. Really, thanks so much.”
OPRAH: “So I’ll call you later?”
OPRAH: “Or you call me. Or I’ll call you. What time’s your flight? Hey, you know what would be great? I’ll call you before you take off and we can make fun of the other people on the plane.”
ME: “That sounds like…fun.”
OPRAH: “Fantastic. Love you so much!”
I know now, that this will never happen. But, I also have this fantasy where Bono starts crying after I perform my slam poetry.