Let’s Get Honest For A Moment

Let’s Get Honest For A Moment

I hated everything and everyone during the heart of the pandemic. I didn’t (and still don’t) understand how people could be so callously inconsiderate, cruel even, over a public health issue. I won’t dump all my shit out here, but yeah… it was bad. Real bad. Then in the middle of the whole thing, my best friend for the last ten years OD’d, died, and broke the world, making me reassess everything.

So, here I am, trying on a different skin that fucking terrifies me: one that loves life and actually enjoys waking up each day. One that is open, honest, and takes life a moment at a time. I’ve got stories to tell, something to say, and the stage is the place where I can work out how to say them. All it took was the death of one beautiful person.

Standup & Improv has given me this. It has allowed me to access my humanity in a way that has genuinely made me a happier human being. I never expected that result when I started this. My wife <insert Borat ‘my wife’ here> says this is the happiest she thinks she’s ever seen me in our 15-year marriage.

Which, of course, means very shortly I’m gonna die in some tragic & unexpected way. You’re not allowed to be this happy without the scales balancing.

The Law of Conservation of Energy says energy can neither be created nor destroyed, so I’m stealing happy energy from someone who is currently having a really shit life… If you’re that person, I’m sorry.

Don’t worry: very soon I’m gonna get hit by a semi or choke to death on a chicken finger on Christmas Eve or my kid’s birthday or something cosmically balancing.

Ever have a bad week out of nowhere? That’s someone on the other side of the planet finally learning how to ride a unicycle. You don’t even know the hell that’s going to come down on you when he also learns to juggle while riding it.

I’d like to talk about my friend James who died and pushed me, head-first kicking and screaming, into pursuing a career in comedy.

He loved, among many things, reading my writing, sniffing the panties of trashy girls, and experimenting with, using and abusing any drugs. “Better living through Chemistry,”we used to say, thinking we were clever.

Well, he died doing what he loved. Panty-sniffing kills, ya’ll.

He loved heroine. I dabbled. She demands your love be absolute. She requires that you think about nothing else but her when you don’t have her. You have to constantly pursue her, sometimes to the ends of the Earth, until you could again feel her love flowing through your veins. I hated it, but her drug was like a love.

In a desperate moment of a week of withdrawal, I considered leaving my wife and kids. In my moment of weakness, my mind said ‘yes,’ but my body, <R. Kelly – MY BOHHH DY!> also said ‘yes,’ but my heart, the part of me that loves my family, said ‘no,’ and that’s what fortunately left my lips the day I started to change my life.

But man, not gonna lie: there are some days I miss her smell. She smelled sooooo good.

Everyone here familiar with ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books? The only difference between my best friend and I are just a few, little, decisions. As a regular customer of freelance pharmaceutical vendors, you’re just an unused fentanyl test strip away from prematurely finding the end of your own ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book.

“Ok, Timmy: Do you buy this shady gak from someone who isn’t your regular connect? Yes is Page 42 or No is Page 69?”

“Yes! Read page 42, Mommy!”

“Oops! You die alone in your bathroom! Everyone who loves you has a you-shaped hole in their heart forever! Your sober friend inherits your record player, crippling grief, and a new sense of purpose. The end.”

Anyone else do this? When I die unexpectedly in a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book, I’m always like ‘fuck that shit,’ and turn back to the page and make the other decision to see where the story goes.

I’m the ‘No’ choice in that book.

I’m page 69.

I chose that number for this joke because I am a man-child and it makes me giggle. If you know anything about CYOA books, they’re not remotely close to 420 pages. That’s not ‘CYOA’ that’s that nerd shit DND.

‘I’m page 69’ is also funny to me on a T-Shirt – I’m picturing some comedy groupie, who are already a notoriously depressed group of people ( I mean, look who they fuck!), getting up in the morning on some random Tuesday. They see the shirt hanging there and instantly ‘Oops! You die alone in your bathroom!’ and it’s just a crushing wave of sadness until they remember the story has an uplifting ending.

I’ll leave you with this, though: when their drug dealer asks what the shirt means, it’s gonna be fucking hilarious.

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