a priori/a posteriori

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Perfect Birthday

My birthday was yesterday. Thursday, January 19, 2012. I turned 28. I’m 28 now.

It wasn’t a perfect birthday. There was nothing epic about it. I woke up. I had breakfast. I wrote. I cleaned. I went to the bank. I went shopping. I treated myself to some long-johns, some new dress socks. I even got some protein mix, just in case 28 is the year I start giving a shit about my body.

Then I went out for the night. I went to a 6 p.m. open-mic at The Creek and the Cave. I got a 3-minute set in, talking out my recent realization that I’m a serial monogamist. Talking out how to combat it.

Then I headed over to another mic, this one at a bar called Production Lounge, in a different part of Brooklyn. I had wanted to get to another mic or two after that, but it worked out that my name was the last one picked out of the bucket, so I was there for the whole show. I ended up getting buzzed before my set, so it was an interesting set. I tried to explain why I’m learning to love alcohol, and Adderall, and why on your birthday, you just kind of want a girl to make out with. I tried to acknowledge that I wanted to make out with the two women there, without making them uncomfortable. It was a fun challenge, though I don’t know if I passed.

After that, I had a choice: I could head into Manhattan, and potentially find said birthday make-out session. Or, I could head over to a bar down the street, where I was being told there might be another mic.

I guess some decisions we make in life are more than they are. Last night was only one night. It’s not going to determine my career or anything. But sometimes, you just get a sense that a decision you’re making is also making that same decision a hundred other times, somehow. That’s what that moment outside Production Lounge felt like.

I went down the street. It was a bar, and it was almost empty. There was a mic stand and a microphone at one end of the bar, and there were maybe four or five people there. Drinking. Ending their day. They didn’t expect comedy to show up, and they didn’t need it.

So I just started talking to them. Not even really trying to be funny. If I’d tried to be funny, it would shown a lack of self-awareness. At some shows, you’d have to be delusional to try to be funny. It’s almost insulting to the lives of the people in the bar. As if they should be loving their life, they’re just not smart enough like I am, to see what’s so funny about it.

It wasn’t a funny bar. There was no show. Just a microphone. There was no killing there. There wasn’t any fame coming from that set. It was what it was.

I didn’t get to make out with anyone on my birthday. That’s okay. I did what I needed to do. I worked.

(note: thanks to Brad Austin and Niles Turner for buying me beers and keeping me company)

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