OBSRVTNS: June 27th, 2016
This week has been a lot about decompressing. I just came from doing a bunch of stand up in NYC, and then a detour down to Roanoke Island to visit the site of the Lost Colony because I wanted to see it, and then the Cobra Juice variety show I do every month at the Steve Allen Theater, and then headlining the Candy show at the Comedy Store. I think I did a pretty solid set. It was my first time doing twenty minutes and it was freeing to get to do my material without feeling rushed, having the chance to let things hang, to explore, to slow down. So of course now all I want to do are sets that are twenty minutes or longer (not gonna happen any time soon unless it's in my living room to my dog, but whatever).
Then Tuesday I got to open for Marc Maron at the Steve Allen, which was my 99th time going up (I tried to go to a few more mics before the show to make it 100, but he asked me on a Sunday night and I could only get to three mics on the Monday before the show. Yes, I have a thing with numbers, just leave it alone). He was doing a residence at the theater for the last couple months working out his new hour and he asked if I wanted to go up before his set this last week and do fifteen minutes. It was the largest audience I've gone up in front of so far, but I was more concerned with the one guy in the wings; it's a little intimidating, performing in front of someone I have a great deal of respect and admiration for. I think I did alright. Marc is one of my favorite comics as well as one of my favorite people so I was just happy to be invited. His audience is awesome and they made me feel very welcome.
Since he's developing his material best part of the show for me was getting to watch someone writing on stage in real time. As a baby comic it was a different experience than when I've watched him before; different point of view, paying attention to different things. He did a great eight minute bit about a hat and there was some magical crowd work involving a random mouth harpist who was in the audience. Good times.
Then I went home to see my dad this weekend. It's intense. I can't stop time. I have two fathers, a natural father and an adoptive father. My natural father is younger and healthier, he calls me on phone to talk about his life out in Arizona, his plans for the future with his wife. My adoptive father is a lot older, his health is failing, he's also the only one who can see when I'm hurting, the one who has shouldered the burden of raising me up through a difficult beginning, carried me through times of devastation and despair. I'm my natural father's "little warrior" able to roll with the punches, the one who doesn't ever seem to be daunted by circumstances. My adoptive father, my real father, is the one who makes me feel seen...and coming to terms with the impending loss of him is so painful it makes me avoidant. I find a lot of excuses to miss visits, to stay away. I can't do that anymore. I know this is a stage of life that we all have to go through and that I'll figure it out, but in the meantime: FUCK.
Pills can stave off congestive heart failure, radiation can create a stop gap against cancer, but the relentless march of time against the body is something that wears every last one of us down eventually. I know that God doesn't bring more death, that sentence is upon all of us, but the gravity of feeling that truth is something I'm wrestling with. And it's hard to wrestle with it when in my own life everything feels brand new, optimistic, hopeful. The impulse is to rescue him to move home and care for him, but he insists I get on with my life, that all he's ever wanted for me is to be free. So it's short visits, walks around the same acre of land I've lived on since I was a baby, around the house he built with his own hands before I was born, that's mine now. He shows me where he'd like his ashes scattered and reassures me that he's ready.