Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Egg Science

I don't know if dogs make plans. I know dogs, especially my dog, and there are moments when I believe he's scheming, but I don't know. When I get home at night, the first thing I do is walk the mutt. The first thing Loki does is pee on the corner telephone pole but last night he skipped the pole.

Loki and I have a few routes we take, but they all pass the poodles. A block from my house live a pair of jet black standard poodles. The male looks about 70 pounds, the two of them see Loki, leap from their porch, sprint to the fence and launch a barrage of furiously barked insults through the chain link. Loki's a big guy and an old one. In his youth, he'd have been screaming back at the fence snapping his disgust and running the length end to end and end again just to prove how much he wanted things settled. These days, he ignores them.

Last night the poodles began their stream of canine curses as they launched their assault on the fence. Loki strolled up and waited. When the big male began his tirade, forcing his jaws through the fence, Lok just stood there for an pregnant second, turned his hips and pissed all over the poodle. Man did that dog look satisfied. You know that feeling when you've been holding it for so long it's almost orgasmic? The mutt had been holding this one all day and for the last year. He finished up, paused a moment, then shot me a look. I have not laughed that hard in a month of Sundays.

Mission accomplished we were on our way. Moments like this look to me like a sign that you're in for an evening and I was ready. I'd been at The Comedy Factory this weekend and I'd been facing demons. The last time I was there, I hit rock bottom with booze. A few weeks ago, I hit rock bottom without it. You ever read Paradise Lost? It starts with all these devils lying in the muck. They've fallen from heaven to hell and are wallowing in the refuse at the ass end of the universe.

Before even standing up and pulling their noses from the shit, they start on a plan, a plan to build a great capital right there at rock bottom. I've made plans like that, hell, I've lead a life like that. This go round's been different. I decided to stand up and build myself a jet pack. I'm not saying I haven't slipped in the shit, but I haven't gotten cozy and decided to catch up on a few Zs.

Thursdays at the Factory are tough. Radio in the morning, 9 hours at work to get nervous, then scramble home, walk the dog, clean up, change and try to force some food into myself. At this point, I'm shaky from hunger, but so nervous I can't eat.

The last time I had beers and a shot since that's a lot easier to get down then a sandwich and we all know alcohol sharpens the mind. At the club I had another beer and a shot and took a beer on stage. Perhaps I should have had a martini. The olive could at least pretend to be a meal. The show kicked off and here's the crazy thing, I destroyed! I had the set of my life. I stayed on stage because I knew what I was doing was way better than anything the headliner was going to bring. I had the crowd start sending me shots. I was up there for about 35 minutes and did 5 minutes of my act. The rest was just me in the moment and it was brilliant. Best show of my life.

I got off stage, I shit you not, to screaming fans and roaring applause. I walked out of the club, got on my motorcycle and headed to a romantic evening at my (now former) girlfriends house. At this point, you may be feeling a bit like a seer or a fortune teller, but things didn't go as planned. I stopped at a red light and fell over. After the show, collapsing in traffic was the highlight of the night.

There are a lot of opinions of what alcoholism is and how one should deal with it. My shrink gave me a book that resonated. For me, I didn't drink every day or even every week, but when certain things clicked, I'd drink like I was a one man stimulus package for less fortunate tequila growing regions in central Mexico. It wasn't about that night though, not completely anyway. It was about that next day, getting a fresh chance to kick myself in the head, to call everyone I may or may not have seen and offer up an apology for whatever I may or may not have done. So this book says you're not over alcoholism until you can go out, have a drink or two and not make it three. For me though, I realized comedy and booze mix like scotch and taffy.

So this past Thursday, I get home and that dread's been building. My heart was seizing, my arms and chest were aching, going on stage had the appeal of going to a dentist office run by clowns. A swig off the bottle was the best idea in my world, like building a city at the bottom of that pit. I didn't do it. I forced down a few PB&Js and went to work. It was the best weekend of comedy I have ever had.

Yeah, the crowds were tough, but I nailed everyone of them. The Friday late show I walked onto stage past midnight, the place was a third full, and the openers ate foot-long Subway shit sandwiches. The audience had the focus of an ADD riddled cocker spaniel puppy and I owned them. I did my thirty and maybe ten of it was jokes. The rest was the room and the audience and the absurdity of it all and it kept coming and going and rocking and it was the best god damned feeling in the world because it was as good a show as ANY I'd done in my life and there was no way no how no matter how hard I tried that I could blame it on booze.

Jose Cuervo aint funny but you can bet your ass that Jim Meyer is.

So seven shows, three nights and a six pack of O'douls later I think maybe there's hope in the jetpack. The next night I went out and had drinks with friends watching the game. The bartender asked me if I'd like another and I said no. I'm not saying I'm good now, that all is right with the world, but I'm working and working smart. After all the shit I did to myself to people around me, I'm feeling like an Obama sticker.

After the dog walk and dinner dishes, I put on a pot of eggs for the week and got a call from my buddy Chuck. Did you know that if you boil eggs til all the water is gone then boil them for another 20 minutes or so that they'll blow the fuck up? My kitchen looked like a chicken bukake. Laughter is supposed to be the opposite of despair. I never thought cleaning egg yolk off the ceiling fan could be so fuckin funny.

Currently reading:
Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis.
By Eric Berne


Post a Comment

<< Home