".. The normal checking account has been slashed and burned, and the emergency-only bank account has been tapped..."
Blurry Discomfort, March 29, 2005
There's a spot on my couch in Harlem that feels like home. It's the cushion next to the puffy left arm, and back in the old days, if I curled up in my spot for even just fifteen minutes a day, I felt centered. I'd come home from Tough Crowd, sit for awhile, re-energize and then leave for comedy.
In Los Angeles, there is no spot for me. I am subletting in a furnished apartment that feels like a comedy condo. The wall to wall carpeting is shag, and everytime I step on it, I feel the imprints of all the toes that have preceded me. The couches are someone else's, so is the wall art and the tertiary furniture.
Comedy clubs offer no relief. In two nights at two clubs, I heard the same bit coming from different comedians. And it wasn't parallel writing- the bit was word for word identical. In New York, you would get called out on that shit. In LA, no one notices. I didn't know who stole from whom, or if there is even a third comic, still living with his parents back home, who actually wrote the bit. My own growth has stopped. At the Improv last Thursday, I did old shit, and I was wobbly onstage.
I hate that feeling.
At the job, I feel choppy. I'm not completely in sync. In terms of comedy sensibilities, some of my darts hit the bullseye, some are close and others practically hit a bystander in the face. I don't know if that's normal, or awful or good. I'll find out in eleven weeks.
My friend Cheryl took Chris and me apartment hunting on Saturday. We found something we really like. It's close to work, secluded and not too expensive. But it starts in April and my sublet is pre-paid through May. If we get this new place, I'll be paying triple rents (including NYC) for April and May.
The normal checking account has been slashed and burned, and the emergency-only bank account has been tapped.
Before I left NYC, I had my eyes checked. The optometrist insisted my astigmatism could be corrected with toric lenses.
"I don't mind a little astigmatism," I said, "it keeps me humble, ha ha."
"Wouldn't you like to see from your contacts the way you see from your glasses?"
"But they're the same right correction right now, I can put one lense in either eye- I don't have to do that right/left stuff," I said.
I hate right/left shit.
"Please, ma'am," he said, about to make a sale, "you will thank me."
It's six weeks later, and his glorious new prescription is wrong. It's not so wrong that I can't tell night from day, but it's wrong enough that I can't read streetsigns in a new city, or the newspapers at a new job. Everyone sees things I can't, and I hate being left out. So I wear my glasses instead, which only adds to the anonymity. At clubs, even people who know me don't recognize me with glasses.
I hate this feeling, this uncertain, blurry invisibility.
And, once again, just in case anyone thinks I was being sarcastic last week... when in doubt, pull the plug.