a priori/a posteriori

Monday, April 4, 2011


I was trying to pick out pens. I need some new ones. Some loud woman walked past me in the aisle. She was talking at the person on the other end of her cellphone conversation. Well, calling it talking is being nice. She was yelling facts about selling homes and what the person on the other end of the cellphone should think about doing in the coming months. It was one of those one-sided conversations where the person who thinks they're helping is actually using the other person as a conduit to show just how much information they have about whatever topic is relevant at that moment. No matter what topic had been discussed, I'm certain the beastly woman would have been equally an expert and equally as loud. 

This past weekend at the Improv was one of those situations where being onstage was constant awareness of the moment. I could have gone up on stage and phoned-in the same 25 minutes every show and walked away with the paycheck, but the crowds potentially could have eaten me alive. So I went into each show the same way you do when driving in terrible conditions -- keep your eyes open and your reflexes ready to act. The problem with operating at this level for the last few days is that you remain at this level when it's no longer relevant -- i.e. walking through Target, picking out pens in some poor-man's version of Hurt Locker. In those moments, when each cookie-cutter house wife in their version of a spandex running outfit passes by you, the lack of anything happening is somewhat overwhelming. I'm expecting someone to heckle me or yell out, "that ain't right," or, "you ain't funny." But no one did. There was just me and the loud woman I could hear even as she walked several aisles away. In my world, they would have kicked her out of the club for talking on the phone...

Granted. I didn't have to go into this weekend on survival mode, but I think I definitely had better shows because of how committed I was to riding whatever happened in the 25 - 30 minutes I was on stage.

I don't really know what my point was, except that there was this feeling being completely out of place. At this moment, I'm wired to be onstage. I'm wired to interact with the turbulence of the unknown. Under the fluorescent lights of Target, some woman in front of me angrily tossed body-wash into her cart. What looked like a 70-year old man in a Target outfit asked if she needed help. This isn't unexpected for these two people, this is the norm for so many people. This is what they're wired for.

I'm not taking for granted that Target doesn't get how to have fun. I mean, Target has new baskets that look modern and hip and let you know corporate is putting the money we give them back into the store so they can maximize our shopping experience. 

I dunno. It's a pretty cool cart. It's durable and exciting. Maybe this cart is proof that I can find a balance between performing and being relevant. 

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