It’s 2:45 in the morning, and I’m writing this as a lie in bed. Next to me is my partner, who is fast asleep. She woke up briefly when I got home around 2:15, mumbled a few incoherent thoughts, and then went back to dreamland.
I left about 5:30 p.m. yesterday (technically), and I headed to a 6 o’clock open-mic at The Creek and the Cave, a nice coffee-and-more shop that has open-mics just about every night of the week. I did a 3-minute set at that show, then a 4-minute set at an open-mic in Manhattan at 8, and then walked the half-mile or so to The Pit, where I did a 2-and-a-half minute set on an open-mic at 11. I lucked out and went up fourth, but stayed to watch the other 30 comics or so - half to build up good karma, and half because there was a terrible comic going up later that I hadn’t seen in ages.
I left my third open-mic around 1 a.m., walked the mile or so to get to the A-train (which my Brooklyn apartment is off of), waited about 15 minutes for it, and then rode it home.
If you’re a comic that wants an excuse to not move to New York, here’s a stat for you:
Total time spent open-micing tonight: roughly 9 hours
Total time spent onstage: roughly 9 minutes
So...yes. Yes, this is a slow and frustrating process, this process of climbing the New York ladder.
But that having been said...I’ll take it. In the three days since I moved back here from my parents’ home in Pittsburgh, I already have an affection for this city that I didn’t have in the six months I was here from January through June. And I think in some way, me and the city have made our peace.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put this into words, but I think in some weird way, my past three months in Pittsburgh were kind of like the scene in Forrest Gump when Lieutenant Dan gets caught in that horrible storm on the boat.
Hmm. I don’t know if that’s true. But the part of the analogy that feels true to me is when he’s swimming in the water. Remember that? When he just jumps down into the water, and he starts swimming away? That’s what New York feels like this second time around. I don’t know. Maybe it’s premature. But it feels like I’ve made my peace, and I’m ready to just see what happens. He wasn’t angry, he wasn’t bitter, he wasn’t trying to prove a point or anything. He just went swimming.
New York is New York. Whatever I do here, that’s what I’m going to accomplish here. I’m not going to fight anymore. I’m just gonna go swimming.