Sunday, April 27, 2014

The sun shows its face

I'm very much a creature of habit. I crave even the most seemingly trivial rituals because they give order to things that seemingly have no order, and ground me when all hell is breaking loose.

To wit: When I have an interview, the drive to and from the studio is an integral part of the process.

On the way there, it's all about getting my head into the game. By the time I get in the car, I've already reviewed my notes and research materials six ways from Sunday. My laptop is packed in my backpack, loaded with notes that I almost never need to use in-studio, but still tote along because it makes me feel a little better just to have them with me.

As I back out of the driveway, I pick the right tunes and begin to methodically drill myself on potential questions. I spend the entire drive thinking through the interview, anticipating angles and talking myself through potential responses. I scenario-play the discussion to get a feel for it. If it's a particularly unique interview or show, I'll often mentally snapshot scenes along the way, almost as if I'm recording the moment, just because.

Door-to-door, it's just under 10 km, and it takes, on a bad day, about 15 minutes to get there. By the time I get to the parking lot, I feel as if my brain has already patterned the discussion, and all that's left is to flip on the red light and let it rip.

The way home is all about decompression. Weather permitting, I slide the sunroof open and slowly cruise down from the hilltop studio. I play back the interview in my mind for the first couple of blocks, almost judging myself in the process. On good days, I almost feel like I'm floating, as it's hard to believe I get to do this, at this level.

Once I've boxed the hit up, I turn the tunes up and and enjoy the rest of the ride home. It's a rare snippet of alone time, a moment to reflect before I get back to the home office and have to get back on the keyboard and the phone.

Why am I bothering to share any of this? Because I had an interview on Saturday night that went particularly well. The discussion flowed easily, and the anchor managed to make it both light-hearted and detail-filled - the kind of interview that sets the bar for everything else. The late evening sky was grey, so I left the sunglasses in their holder and hit the road.

As I reached the halfway point home, I noticed an incredibly bright spot in the sky to my left. The sun had emerged from the grey in a tiny sliver of cloudless sky just above the horizon and, in the few seconds remaining before it sank out of sight for good, had become a massive, deep orange ball.

I couldn't get a picture because I was still driving, so the only photo I got was the one that burned itself into my brain. But as I squinted in the few seconds before it sank out of sight, I smiled at the serendipitous timing that put me right there, right then.

It wasn't part of my normal post-interview ritual, but I'll take it all the same.


Unknown said...

The best outcome of an interview with anchor and guest--a true visit--and a nice ride home! Sounds great!!

rashbre said...

Yes and sometimes the best pix are the ones in the mind.