I'm losing my mind. Slowly. And now quickly, it feels. Though unlike Lucas, I feel like I can probably get mine back at some point. I know that probably kills the suspense. But truth is truth.
I've been at my parents home, about a half hour north of Pittsburgh, for more than a month now. There were some family issues, and I had to come home. I haven't done stand-up for over six weeks.
I did a sermon about three weeks ago. I had wanted to preach for years now, but it was tough, because I don't have a degree of ministry, and - perhaps more importantly - I'm not a Christian. Those are two of the main hurdles.
Fortunately, the church I grew up in had to fill in some summer weeks, and I worked up the balls to ask if I could give a guest sermon. They tentatively accepted, and all in all, I'd say it went fairly well. No one seemed offended, and it seemed to drum up a conversation or two afterward.
Multiple times since, I've had church members tell me - or one of my parents - that I "missed my calling." My intense depression, in my opinion, proves otherwise.
I think I've been trying to put my finger on what goal I want to have when I perform. For almost a year now - since before I moved to New York in January - I've been trying to put it into words. I think I finally get it.
My goal onstage should be to figuratively put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger, every time I perform. I suppose that description doesn't immediately lend itself to a humorous result.
Maybe it's just an imbalance of chemicals in my head right now, but that makes perfect sense to me. Not literally killing myself. But ideally, if people are going to give me some of the limited time they have, they deserve my most open self. They deserve to have me as purely myself as I can possibly be. They deserve the level of honesty you'd find in a suicide note.
That's what performance art should be. It should be a suicide note, every time. And then, in theory, you don't kill yourself, so that you can leave a few more people your suicide note the next night.
I remember reading about a 19 year-old kid in Oregon who sang a song at an open-mic - a song he'd written called "Sorry for the Mess" - and then stabbed himself to death onstage once he was done singing. While I don't personally plan on doing that myself, I think I get it.
Or maybe I'm just projecting. I don't know that kid. Maybe he was just sad because a girl wouldn't pay attention to him. And so he went to a coffee shop open-mic and literally cut open his own heart, knowing that for at least a few seconds, people would notice.
In my mind, I want to be critical of him if he killed himself over a girl. But who am I to judge? I don't care enough to kill myself over anyone or anything. So I really have no right to judge based on what he loved so much that it was worth dying for. I wouldn't die for my country. I don't even pay my taxes. How critical do I have a right to be?
I'm jealous of that kid. I will never give a performance like that.
I realize most people won't understand where I'm coming from on that. Or maybe most people would. Maybe I'm not giving "people," as I define them in my head, enough credit. But I guess when I imagine a friend from high school reading this - or anyone in my life that is in my life due to circumstance, not because we actively sought each other's friendship out - I just have a feeling that this will be read as something that I don't intend it to be. I don't think I have an intention for it. I think it's my first ever suicide note. Except it's not perfect, because I know I'm going to keep living once I'm done with it.
And that's why I'm jealous of that kid. Because I'm arrogant enough to think that I can invent a new art form - the nightly suicide note. And that arrogance is what will keep me from ever being able to achieve my goal - to perform like it's my suicide note, and to mean it.
I'm caught. Some combination of too cowardly and too arrogant to actually kill myself, and I know it. I'm not going to kill myself. And as much as I want to say that I would do anything to connect with people, I'm not willing to do that. I'm not willing to literally end my individual existence, and take a chance that once we die, we literally become a part of everything. We connect, perfectly, not just with everyone, but with everything.
But I don't have the balls to do that. So instead, I'll just keep living at my parents' house, telling myself that I'm needed here. And I'll probably get on stage again soon, just to release some of the pressure that has been building in my brain, to avoid me getting to a place where I am more seriously depressed.
I don't know. I guess that's what I'm thinking right now. And hopefully, that's about what I would have said if I was about to go kill myself. Which I'm not.
I love my parents, I love my brothers, I love the partner that I've found, and in many ways, I love her family as my own. I have lived a very imperfect life, but I would like to think that I have embraced the emotions that have showed up along the way.
I can't get anything else out. That felt very real, and I started to tear up, and then I lost it. Because I know I'm not actually going to kill myself.
I appreciate you reading. Whoever you are. I send you love. If that means something to you, then I believe that on some level, it is true.
I gotta go. The Steelers game is starting.