Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Thing #21: I'm a new member.

I don't realize it will be such a meaningful moment. I mean, yes, I do, of course I know it is going to be somewhat meaningful, you know, as a milestone of sorts, not only as a New Thing, but, well, hopefully a harbinger of more New Things to come. But I don't anticipate the reaction I am going to have. The rush of emotion that will run through me as soon as this is done. The complete elation. The excitement. I do not realize that any of these things are coming at all.

No, right now I'm just trying to make sure I have all of the paperwork I'm supposed to have. There's a lot of paperwork in this folder I've put together in an attempt to be organized and I keep thumbing through my documents to make sure that everything is here.

Looks good, I guess. Okay. I walk inside.

The man at the reception desk looks at me like he knows me. "Are you going to Registration?"

"No," I tell him, "I'm going to Membership."

"You need to go around the corner to the right."

I do as I'm told. I find a long empty room. A man at a desk. A sign that says "Registration."

"Is this Membership?" I ask him.

"No, it's Registration. You're looking for Membership? Then you wanna go up to the third floor."

I thank the man at the desk, I leave the long empty room, I go back around the corner to the left. As I pass the man at the reception desk, I explain, again, why I'm here.

"Oh, you're looking for Membership?" he asks me. "That's on the third floor."

As I step onto the elevator, I notice a simple computer print-out taped to the wall reminding people to "Register Your Scripts!" Well, now I know where to do that, I think to myself.

As I ride up to the third floor, all I can think about is how old and rickety this elevator is. It feels like it's held together with glue. I am afraid that if I breathe too hard, the whole thing will fall apart, and then I will plummet back down to the first floor, not to my death, but more likely to many broken bones.

I consider for a moment that this might not be such a bad thing because I have never broken a bone before and at least I could write about it in my blog. A bunch of broken bones from an elevator accident has gotta be worth at least three blog entries.

Then the elevator door opens, I forget about the elevator, and I step out into the third floor:

Membership.

This is it. I'm here.

I sit down with a very nice man named Patrick, he goes through all of my paperwork--yes, it looks like things are in order, he tells me--and then he stands and extends his hand out for me to shake and says the following words:

"Congratulations, you are now a member of the Writer's Guild of America."

And this is when I start feeling that elation that I didn't realize I was going to feel. It's a big moment. I shake Patrick's hand a little more firmly than I probably should and I make my way back to the elevator.

The doors close and I start dancing. I cannot help it. I do a little jig.

And then it starts to feel as if the elevator is going to crumble and suddenly I really do not want to break any bones, so I wait until I've gotten back down to the first floor, until my feet are once again planted firmly on the ground, and I dance some more.

The man at the reception desk smiles but doesn't say anything. I smile back at him, then head back to my car.

I'm a fuckin' member of the WGA, y'all!

7 comments:

the shorter story... said...

u da bomb! congratulations...that's awesome :) you best be sharing your advanced screeners with your loved ones...i won't tell ;)

dustin said...

That is WAY cool! You're moving up in the world.... Membership Has Its Privileges. Congrats!! Do you get a movie discount with that?

Michael Hartney said...

Congratulations! I was hoping it'd be a really prestigious sex club, but hey...writing and stuff...that's cool...

Anonymous said...

Writing can be a lonely business. The good thing is that you like the isolation that is necessary to commune with words, or you wouldn't be doing it. The bad thing is you never really feel like you belong anywhere. So it's great to belong to the WGA. It's a connection to the writing world that makes something that is not valued enough in our society seem a bit more legitimate. That's a good thing. Congratulations--and glad the elevator didn't crash because you have a lot of great writing ahead, and you don't need broken bones for your blog. The last thing you need to worry about is finding things to write about. You can make the smallest, most boring things interesting because of the way you write about them. Just one of many reasons you belong in the WGA.

Monets said...

WOO HOO!!! Congrats!!

Guess I found your blog at the right time... on the cusp of greatness! And I can say "oh yeah, I've been reading his stuff forevaaaaahhhhh..." ;-)

Ralph Colby said...

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome to the wonderful society of Guild membership. You will love the bennies. Health, Retirement. I'll have to take you out to dinner sometime soon and Celebrate!!

Erik said...

everyone--thank you for all of the congratulations! i should be getting my membership card in the mail any day now. which means certain movies during certain seasons at select theaters are on me.