After I had performed, and as the night had finished and I was leaving to come back to Oxford, I was stopped by someone.
Them: "Sorry, can I just say something?"
T: "I thought about 90% of what you did was shit."
M: I was caught a little off guard so just ended up saying "Oh."
T: "Yeah. There was this one poem you did with this image of shoes hanging..." they were talking about my poem 'Suspended' "...which was really good. Why do you do all that other superficial stuff?"
M: "I enjoy doing it. It makes people laugh and I enjoy doing it."
T: "Really?! I didn't enjoy it at all."
M: Pretty sure I just said "Oh." again. I was totally off guard and couldn't come up with any intelligent response.
T: "Yeah, I just think that if you can conjure up that kind of imagery like you did in that one, why would you bother doing any of that other stuff? I hated that most of what you did. You shouldn't do that other stuff, y'know?"
M: Resigned to the fact my brain has pretty much stopped almost all immediately useful functions. "Okay. Well, that's given me a lot to think about. Thanks for the honest feedback."
T: "Oh, no problem."
This made me feel pretty weird for a bit. Then as soon as I got on the Oxford Tube, I suddenly started smiling. I realised, I had my first hater! Someone had such a reaction to what I did that they felt the need to stop me and tell me about it. It was kind of cool.
I mean, yeah, if it happened all the time, that would be pretty demoralising. It's certainly not something I would want to happen too often, but, oh I don't know how to describe it properly. I just thought it was pretty cool, that's all.