Why me? How did I make her cut and land this gig? I'm a Box News columnist, hardly a seasoned reporter. With every sweaty and breathy climb, I tried not to think about it. But when I reached the last rung on what appeared to be a solid gold ladder, I couldn't stop myself from obsessing about her choice. Was it my frank interview with her Psychologist friend Lisa Hearditall and her controversial new business Parapsych - underwritten by Mzzz. Pink - where they audaciously hope to increase the vibrancy in our muted city? While on the wall, I had no answers. Yet with what I was about to experience, I now look back and laugh at my own audacity.
I had my list of Box standard interview questions down. Things I thought people would want to know. I started by asking about her latest business ventures, particularly her reality TV show, "Kick Out the Ladder." Sure enough, I got her talking and earned her trust, and that's when I asked about the many blogs and tabloid rumors about her. Was it true she had an affair with Rob LaSuit? Was her dog Uno really an alien? Was she in fact really over 200 years old? Sure enough, now I had her vulnerable, and so I threw out my zinger. Just how did she manage to pull off a feat no one before her in Splash City ever had? C'mon, now. It was time to come clean and tell the citizens of Splash City the truth. Did she really expect us to believe she actually got off the wall?
The approach worked, or so I thought, until her enlightening answer to my classical zinger stunned me, knocking this reporter temporarily off her wall. It was only for a second. But whoa, what a ride! I will freely admit I have enjoyed every clutch on the extensive variety of rungs that my work as a Box journalist has gained me, yet nothing could have prepared me for the experience that awaited me in the next life-changing moments.
What did Mzzz Pink say? It wasn't what she said, but what she didn't say.
While I was waiting on baited breath for her answer to my zinger, her doorbell chimed and in walked two of her friends, the stylish Ms. Bee Haven, and a young woman by the name of Miss Guided Light. Mzzz Pink asked me to stay and be a part of their conversation. They were in the beginning phases of forming a new Splash City business, Splash City Studios, designed to help people transform their lives.
"I've had it with all the cynicism at the Coffee Chop. It's as if you're not cool unless you're a cynic." Miss Guided Light began. "My bubbly nature almost completely fizzled out because of it."
"I call it the 3D's of our toxic culture." Ms. Bee Haven responded. "Destruction, distraction and denial. It's all over the media. I home school my daughter Velocity to try and keep her away from it."
"I like to think of 3D in another way." Mzzz Pink offered. "Three-dimensional. It's our nature to be vibrant, empathetic and giving. And it's time we show the people of Splash City another way. This is who they really are. When they really know that, our world will turn from a place of ruin to a place of wonder."
For the next hour I listened in silence as these three powerful women brainstormed. Committees were formed, events planned, and friends called (including the famous singer Ms. Starbright who lives at Club Uphoria at the International Space Station). A website would offer inspirational stories written by some of the Splash City friends. Ms. Bee Haven suggested a series of books to help others become 3D. Mzzz Pink's dog Uno could share his powerful story of using his imagination to make his way out of a cage, Miss Guided Light offered up her story of re-discovering her bubbly, and Ms. Bee Haven would speak to her daughter Velocity about writing her story about "following the why." In time, they would ask all their friends to share their inspirational stories. What about a movie or a television series? Ms. Bee Haven asked.
After hearing them interact with such depth, respect and regard, it finally hit me. Mzzz Pink never asked me to her Penthouse for an interview. She asked me here to listen to this conversation. It was unlike any conversation I ever witnessed. It wasn't chatter. It was dialogue. Purposeful communication. By the time an hour lapsed, the women worked in harmony, and sounded like a symphony of action and ideas. In contrast, I thought about the conversations around the water cooler at Box News. Most of the women only talked about the shoes they just bought, or how far up the ladder they climbed, talking over or at each other, trying to outdo one another. Looking down at my feet with clunky shoes, I felt a little embarrassed by my own participation in those conversations, yet every time I started to feel that way, it seemed Mzzz Pink could tell. She looked over at me and smiled with her eyes as if to say "It's okay. You just never knew anything different."
That's when my world changed. Suddenly, I started feeling something I had never felt before - comfortable in my own shoes. It was okay to be myself. I didn't have to try to be like anyone else, or climb any kind of ladder, gold, titanium or anything else. What difference was it between climbing a gold ladder or a wooden one anyway? Listening to these creative, resourceful women talk, I didn't feel like climbing anymore. Day after day I watched women fumbling and clutching on the rungs of the ladders, catching their high heels in the corners of the rungs all to reach the top of the wall, and suddenly it all seemed so ridiculous. High heels on ladders?! C'mon!
Before I left, Mzzz Pink offered me a job. As soon as she asked I realized there was nothing else I would rather do. I didn't care about getting to the top of the wall anymore. Whatever was there no longer held my interest. It didn't matter. In the days to come I gave my notice to Box News and started working for her new venture, Splash City Studios, free lance.
So just what was Mzzz Pink's answer to my zinger interview question about getting off the wall? Actually, Mzzz Pink didn't say it, she showed it. She walked over to a door at one side of the glass dome and opened it, gesturing for me to come look. I got up from my seat, walked over, and looked out the door. It opened to the sky. Looking down, I could see the ladder on the wall that I climbed and climbed to get to her penthouse. The ladder was retracted. We were floating in mid-air! When I gasped, wondering how any of this was possible, Mzzz Pink simply smiled. While I spent so much blood, sweat, and tears climbing ladder after expensive ladder to get to her penthouse, she showed me that all along, there was another way.
Before I left, Box News wanted my interview with Mzzz Pink. I emailed her to ask what she wanted me to do, and she sent me a nice handwritten pink note encouraging me to do whatever I felt best. I contemplated writing it, yet when I sat down to actually draft it up, I couldn't shake the gnawing truth that the very format of an interview diminished her, and I just couldn't do that to her, or to myself. While I was hanging high-heeled on the ladder, this would have been the interview that would have made my career, but now I just couldn't write it. Ever since those spectacular and life-changing moments with her, I've been contemplating the best possible means to portray Mzzz Pink. And it finally came to me. How do I convey to you that she's the real deal? Well, figure it out for yourself, for here I am, kicking out my ladder.