On Medium: https://medium.com/series/that-little-voice-5223dd5b398d

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

That Little Voice (TLV)

Conversation with That Little Voice (TLV) – 2nd Edition

Parking my car near the clubhouse at the Date Palm Country Club, TLV (That Little Voice) starts in on me.

TLV: This is nice.

Me: What? The dog park? (There’s a fenced enclosure next to where I’m parked, with one dog sniffing at the fence and a lady in the distance).

TLV: No, this place.

Me: You mean Date Palm Country Club?

TLV: You know that’s what I mean. Don’t toy with me, boy.

Me: OK, but what? What about it is nice?

TLV: You always want things spelled out for you, don’t you?

Me: Fine, don’t answer. Give me clues?

TLV: How do you feel?

Me: I feel fine. I’m glad I’m not speaking today and I’m just here to support my friend and see my people, my fellow Toastmasters.

TLV: That’s OK. You go ahead with your usual game. I’ll wait.

Me: OK, alright, yes, I do feel some sense of belonging. But I have no clue why I would belong here.

TLV: That’s better. You know very well the answers don’t always come so directly. Patience my boy, is its own reward.

Me: Sure, sure. I’m going in.

TLV: I’ll be here when you are done. I would say when you are ready, but I sense some resistance.

Me: I promise I’ll be more attentive when I return.

TLV: Good for you.

So, in I go.

This is the clubhouse that held the contest where I first competed with what I thought was a humorous speech. Had I been using a microphone, I might have asked, “Is this thing on?” Nobody was getting it. Nobody got me. Crickets. That experience reminded me that public speaking is one of the greatest fears in the world and now I might know why. Crickets. That awful sound of nobody laughing. Comedians will say, “I’m dying up here!” And now I understand that expression all too well. “Crashed and burned” is how I describe it.

But, this time, I am here in support of my friend John Sloan. It is his first competition and I’m here to see how he does and I’m hoping he finds some comfort in my company.

Watching him sit alone after his speech, I decided to move to his table to be at his side. If you’ve ever felt the energy coming from someone’s aura, you’ll know how I felt. His pain became part of my experience. That level of anxiety is palpable. The stress of not knowing and waiting to be judged can seem an eternity, especially when you are the first of six speakers!

So, that’s six speakers each with his or her 5 to 7 minute speech and about a minute and a half between speakers. Then there’s time allowed for judging. So, for John, it would be at least 45 minutes to an hour of waiting to hear the outcome. He was not amused.

There were only two competitors from his division, and he finished second. So that didn’t go well. Details on the speeches and the other speakers would serve little purpose here.

Let’s just get back to the TLV and my departure.

Back to my car and TLV immediately begins again.

TLV: This is nice.

Me: OK, yes, it seems like a nice place, already! Sheesh. What is so nice?

TLV: Maybe nice people live here, new people you should meet.

Me: Great. I’ll look into that. Maybe I’ll check out this AJ’s on the Green place tonight. (That’s the night club at the clubhouse here.)

TLV: Whatever you say. Likely you won’t, since you get up so early these days. But we’ll pick this up another time.

Meanwhile, I’ve missed my turn and realize I should have stayed put while having this discussion. Course correcting, I stop at the clubhouse entrance and go back in to offer help to my fellow Toastmasters.

So ends the conversation with TLV. This was Saturday, March 30, 2019.

As I write this on Sunday, March 31, 2019 – I can tell you the punch line came today.

I’ve made a habit of escorting a kind woman to her car after the 11 a.m. service at the CSL (Center for Spiritual Living) in Palm Desert. She and I shared this conversation along the way to the parking lot. It is not verbatim, but I’ll give you the gist.

Genevieve: There’s a power in the number 8. We are a group of eight women who pray for things. We all live at the Date Palm Country Club and we…

Me: Nice!

Thanks, TLV, for the mystery and the nice tie-in with the CSL and all. I did enjoy that! You are one funny power source. Thank you for being there for me.