Going to start this one off with a big surprise: It begins with me being fucking wasted.
“Having fun on the floor?”
The tone in my girlfriend’s voice was pure sarcasm and disdain, like she had just rinsed her mouth out with ‘Daria’ brand mouthwash.
If we back up by about 45 seconds, you would know that I just crashed my child’s Razor scooter into our refrigerator. I decided that I was going to drive it around our hardwood floors from the living room, all the way to the kitchen.
INT. KITCHEN – NIGHT
You are going to fall if you ride that toy.
Fuck you, lady…I’m a man.
[Loud off-camera crash is heard.]
I’ll pay for that.
I was a mess, and once again my girlfriend was just dealing with it.
No long-winded preaching.
No fucks given.
She was a pro.
My drunk mishaps were like shifting fault lines to her; while most girlfriends would be running for a bathtub or a doorway to hide under, she would just sit back and laugh.
“Ha. It’s just a little 7.5 quake; calm the fuck down. You should see his 9.0 shakes…those are scary, and probably involve him trying to do anal.”
I was injured, even though I couldn’t feel it yet. She bent over my body, kissed me on the cheek, and offered her hand to help me up…and as she did, I uttered the now infamous words-
“What are you going to do when I’m on tour as a famous comedian? Huh?!”
When my girlfriend laughs, it’s usually a polite, muffled giggle into her palm. My words however, turned her face into a booming, guffaw. She erupted like St. Helens at my question and proceeded to walk off and watch TV.
This was in February of 2011.
I remember waking up the next day; my head was throbbing, my face red, my body ached. She rolled over and kissed me and then said,
“You were hysterical last night. No more drinking for you though for a while.”
Honey, um, why does my ass hurt?
“You crashed your son’s scooter into our new fridge. The ice-maker went off and dumped cubes all over you.”
[I laughed] That’s kind of funny.
“Then the best part was when you asked me what I would do when you were on tour for comedy. How long has it been since you last did stand-up?”
Like, 5 years. Wait, I said that?
“You slurred it. It was adorable.”
For the first time in a long time…I was completely embarrassed.
- I did my first stand up show when I was in 5th grade.
- I performed my first set at Great Basin when I was 17.
- I would continually perform off-and-on until about the age of 21.
- I never got near a mic again until I was 27.
Why was I throwing out dreams of taking my stand up (which I wasn’t performing) on the road?
That night became the butt of a joke between my girlfriend and I ever since. To her, it was a line to break me down every time I would tease her. She told it at parties, to her parents, my parents, friends, co-workers.
It was so funny, because it was so far from my goals at the time. I might as well have made a bowl of cereal that night, and screamed out,
“I just made Cap’n Crunch, what are you gonna do when I’m on Top Chef?!”
Alas, there is a point to all this-
It came about 3 weeks ago.
We were at dinner, and I was discussing my recent stand-up; how badly it needs work, how I need more practice, pointing out all my flaws, etc. But how lately that between doing stand-up, and freelance writing, that it just felt kind of…right. My on-stage persona was become more confident, I was being offered pro gigs, and the freelance work was pouring in.
Then she took a sip of water, set it down, looked right at me and said-
“Oh my god, what am I going to do when you’re on tour soon?”
She was serious. It was a genuine question, like any other thing she would ask herself that day; ‘do we need milk tonight?’, ‘Did I leave the oven on?’, ‘Should we have sex?’
It was the best compliment I had ever received.
I felt like Helen Hunt in “As Good As It Gets”, getting told that I wanted to make Jack Nicholson be a better man!
The fact is that a tour is so far from plausible right now that it’s downright ridiculous to think about; my stand up needs major work, and even though freelance gigs are coming in, they aren’t exactly making me roll in money.
But she thought it. She questioned it for the first time. It wasn’t said out of irony.
Sometimes life can still surprise me.
It wasn’t much, but it was something. Sometimes we have those great moments, it doesn’t matter if it’s a compliment, or a person flirting with you at a coffee shop, or finding that $20 while doing laundry.
There are still small moments that seem to propel happiness, and this was one of them.
See you on tour.