Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Searching for meaning…

It’s 3:25 AM and I can’t sleep. Partly because there’s too much weighing on my mind, and partly because its so goddamned hot I’m afraid if I did knock out for a few hours Id drown in my own sweat before waking up.

            Thoughts of the last three years race in my head as I compare where I started and where I’ve ended up presently, I’m content. The closest I’ve ever been prior was mildly restless, and even that was only after cumming. There is this sudden calm that’s been overtaking my life, because for the first time in ever I feel complete.
            Three years ago I set out on a journey to be a comedian. For someone who respects little, and takes most everything not seriously, Comedy and Comedians were just about the only thing I’ve ever been in awe of. Id assume most people’s earliest memories in life center around some sort of family type event, mine was watching ‘In Living Color’ on Fox. Since then being silly was all I ever wanted to do, and I feel like I’ve reached a point to where I’m doing my version of funny for what works for me.
            I have no level of fame or notoriety, which bothers me little, because I’m probably talented enough to get some of that as time drifts onwards. My only goal when I started doing comedy was to be good. And I feel like I’ve reached that point.
            However it was a difficult process. I remember the first night I did comedy. I was so nervous my heart alternated between feeling like it stopped beating one moment to pounding intensely the next. I remember waiting for my turn to go up on stage and pretending like every passing second I didn’t feel like my lungs were going to come out through my mouth. This was all Id ever wanted to do and I was worried I’d suck at it.
            Thankfully, that night I didn’t. Things went well. How well, I may never know. My only qualifier for a good first set was that the audience members weren’t pelting tomatoes at the stage. I felt like a virgin who’d tricked the girl he was with into believing he knew what he was doing while fumbling around looking for that pussy.
            The next time I was on stage things didn’t go as well. I walked on stage with a little more swagger than the last time and awkwardly shifted into my prepared routine about a friends dog getting loose from his leash during a basketball game and humping my leg in a prison rape-esque fashion. I told the story in an animatedly loud style which seemed more so when in contrast to the oil painting quiet and still quality of the crowd of comics watching apathetically. 
            After my set I felt lost confused and embarrassed. My whole life I’d always been the funny one. Classmates and friends always told me I was so funny I should do stand up, Id brush it off like a pretty girl getting compliments on the subway, while secretly using their kind words as fodder to boost my self esteem, so that one day I would in fact be able to get enough nerves together to actually do this whole joke telling thing.
            Id go on stage after that and alternate between good and bad nights. Some nights no one would listen to me when I went onstage, and comics would talk about where they planned to go to party while I was trying to tell my jokes so I’d just talk louder. One night enough of them stopped to listen and I ended up doing really well.
            Another night I’d brought two of my best friends out for a set I did, mapping out my material so precisely I’d thought I could perform my act while being water boarded. What I didn’t count on was a gay comedian (who I only preface as ‘gay’ because its all that asshole would talk about, we get it bro, your ass enjoys cock-MOVE ON) heckling/asking me on stage if I’d worked at Club Monaco. Which I did. This started an exchange that before it was over ate up all of the five minute slot I’d been allotted. That comedian has since disappeared from the scene as hacks often do. Which is a good thing, because If I ever see that motherfucker I’m liable to slit his face with the razors I keep in my shoes, or at least snub him openly.
            Generally speaking I don’t hang out with comedians. While some are assholes most are nice enough people, but just about all of them are attention whores. If I wanted to hear someone go on endlessly about the minutiae of their vapid lives Id date more. There seems to be this weird phenomenon, at least in the Toronto open mic scenes for guys and girls to go into shtick mode when having a conversation. One time I tried making small talk with a late twenties possibly early thirtyish woman in business casual attire, and was ‘treated’ to a monologue about the crazy kooky characters that work in her office, like Wang the office Asian, or Sally the office crybaby. By the time she got to the Larry the office pedophile my eyes glazed over like Vaseline was slathered over my corneas and my mouth hung open before mouthing the phrase ‘is this bitch serious?’
            Other times I’ve tried hanging out with people it usually involved sharing my blunt. Weed was my only way of getting to know people in my younger days, now as I’m older and more mature I use sandwiches. But back then pot helped. Some comics can carry a conversation well enough, others treat you like an audience, and ironically it’s usually the one’s who treat you like an audience who aren’t any good to begin with.
            Once it was me and this frail looking Asian girl in the back alley of the bar we’d just done an open mic at. On this particular night I’d killed, she wasn’t so lucky and seemed to have a nervous breakdown on stage, recalling all of the sacrifices she’d made in life the past year, and how maybe she just wasn’t very funny after all. I’ve had similar breakdowns myself, a neat little factoid I’d shared with her after grabbing her before she could totally escape the bar and the scene altogether.
I exhaled and offered her what was left of the cannon sized spliff I’d rolled during the acts that weren’t me on the open mic. She passed, saying the two tokes she’d already taken was more than enough. She stared at me openly and for extended periods of time, and I was almost uncomfortable with how clearly she’d looked up to me and perhaps was also attracted to me. If she’d seen me a few nights earlier when I’d bombed on stage I’d just be another bum hack peddling dick jokes to drunks while flop sweat creeped towards the small of my back while the heavy scent of desperation lingered like an old man fart in an elevator. But on this night I was something, and she was someone, good enough to satiate my ego, good enough to make me feel significant in some kind of way as I thought how much of a favour I was doing this kid by pushing her up against the brick wall of the bar and running my hand up her leg and ramming my tongue down her throat.
The next time I saw her at an open mic I brushed her off. A joke didn’t work and I needed the rest of the night to stew over it and besides, she wasn’t really the type I would go for. She was sort of thin and awkward. Im sure she’d understand, these things happen and it was 2010 for god’s sake, if this were a movie from the eighties WE’D BE IN THE FUTURE! She’d probably get over it, and she might have, but I’ve never seen her in the open mic scene since, but most hacks don’t last anyway.
I still wonder about her, and the others. I callously use them like housewives popping uppers for fleeting moments of bliss, and then discard them when they start seeking some kind of emotional attachment, which I honestly wondered if I was capable of, and probably unwilling to give if it was at all possible. Then I think I think too much about myself and assume they’d forget about me, then I remember who I am, and worry about how they’re coping with the loss.
But those thoughts would eventually fade as I’d move back towards thoughts of comedy. Id needed to craft a persona for my stage act, all the great comics had one. Groucho Marx was a cynical wise ass, W.C Fields was a racist asshole, and Milton Berle had a huge cock. All the greats had something. I needed to find my something.
After years of trial and error I’d stumbled onto a facet of my personality that I could exploit for attention. I was a charming sociopath, Unable to love anyone but myself and unwilling to compromise, but in the cutest way possible. I don’t know if my real personality affected my stage persona, or if it’s the other way around, either way over the past three years I’ve fully morphed into this character. And I can’t seem to escape.
It’s this thought that keeps me up at 4:38 AM. I’ve conquered my goal of being a comedian. The type of comedian I want to be. I’ve stockpiled a little more than an hours worth of material from jokes, and essays I’ve written on my blog that I’ve turned into bits. I’m good with the whole comic thing, I know what I do and I do it well.
‘Real’ life on the other hand has left me less sure of what’s next. I know I’m ready for the next chapter, but I’m weary of turning the page, instead I’ve been reading the same sentence over and over again for the past few months, floating around in my head, constantly reoccurring as if on an endless loop: ‘Searching for meaning in a meaningless world’.

I’m done writing for a bit. I’m tapped out creatively. I need to live more. If you want something funny please check out the other things I’ve done, they’re very good.

-Andy Itwaru

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