(Back to the story.)
So I greeted everyone in the Secret Rabbi Room, church version (the one with the feather boa on the shelf). I put on my tallit, and the rabbi and I walked out front. Going through my head was: who would have imagined. Life is strange and wonderful. I was quite calm, my nerves probably still home in bed and exhausted from the workout of those three Shabbat mornings.
The sanctuary, even at 9AM, held a few hundred people. I placed my own machzor on the bima, and saw that someone had thoughtfully put another there for me, as well. I picked it up and, without looking, moved it to the little shelf hidden inside the podium.
I had no idea that another considerate person had also placed a glass of water on the shelf.
I watched the glass tip over as if in slow motion, and the water flow down the side of the bima, over my feet, and towards the wires that snaked out from the microphone. I suddenly envisioned a blaze of glory, rivaling that of the burning bush, enveloping us all as I electrocuted the entire congregation during my first act as hazzanit on Rosh Hashonah. They probably wouldn't ask me to lead services again after that. I didn't panic because I think I entered a state of shock. I reached inside the podium for a tissue--the mysterious bima elves had thought of everything--but it was too late. The water dripped down my ankles and lapped up around at the base of the microphone. The rabbi to my right kept singing--"...hareni mikabelet alai...," "...love your neighbor like yourself"-- unaware that our bima might soon be the site of a very uncharitable act.
But nothing happened. After a few moments I realized we would all continue to live for at least a little while longer, and so I started to breathe and sing.
On a different topic, this blog led me, again, to a very interesting couple of pages that described exactly what my rabbi taught at last week's class.