At 9:00 on Tuesday, I decided to take go to Memphis. I had no place to stay, no plan, no contacts, and very, very little money. I got a ride to the airport, barely made it through security on time and hopped on the plane about ten minutes before boarding ended, carrying only the clothes on my back, my computer, the very last of money and my notebooks.
I can't tell you how many stories I heard about going out like I did that ended with me getting sold into sex trafficking.
I found an open mic when I landed. The only plan I had was to make friends with somebody and find a place to crash. If not, then I'd be hanging out in a diner and wait until the library opened for a crash nap like a proper homeless person. It's amazing how outgoing you can be if your other option is nothing.
Happily, I made some friends, found a place for the night and a ride to Atlanta. That's where I am while I write this, by the way, I'm not even halfway through with this trip. I don't really know where I'll be sleeping tonight and my plans remain nonexistent other than going back to Memphis for a couple days, do a few shows on the way and then go back to Denver. I haven't finished the game and there's still time for this to all blow up in my face, but I know I'll figure it out one way or the other.
You can do a lot of things in life if you don't mind being uncomfortable. I knew going into this that good or bad, it would be a week out of my life, that the likelihood of my death was smaller than people thought it was (though admittedly, probably higher than I thought it was) and that so long as I can deal with hunger or sleeplessness, I'll be fine. When you break it down to these small increments of time, everything becomes very easy. It's when you gaze into the shadowy future you can't control or see that panic becomes a part of everything.
I've treated this whole experience like a video game; level one was find a place to stay. Level two wound up being go to Atlanta, and so on. I'm on level 8 now. By the time I beat this game I'm sure I'll hit triple digits. If something doesn't go right, you just have to restart and play the level again. It sounds puerile but it's worked so far.
I lost faith in people when I was younger. I didn't trust anyone. One of the more complicated pieces of my breakup is that Jay is the person who helped me work through pretty much everything. I owe him a lot. It's because of him that I figured out how to trust anyone. He's the person I met that showed me how good most people are to people they don't know (being vague for a reason here). Throughout our relationship, he was always willing to help out a complete stranger, no matter what problems they had, with a ride somewhere, a phone call, and on occasion a place to stay. He might have been Jesus.
Going out, I had to believe that people are good. I had to believe that Jay wasn't some anomaly and that everyone else is a piece of shit. That's a trap that I think we're primed for as kids; we're not supposed to trust anybody. As I get older and watch us remove human interaction more and more from our daily lives, be it with automatic checkouts or voicemail systems, the more I see that we don't know how to trust each other.
I don't blame technology for this either, by the way. It's a powerful tool responding to some kind of mathematical need to increase profits by removing human error. It's a pity that human error is something that we silly humans benefit from. We're afraid of people we don't know. I'm not an exception to that, either. No one wants to get hurt and we live in a world where human drama like murder and rape is amplified a thousand fold through media.
The irony is that we amplify the human drama because we're so lacking in it because we remove it from our daily lives in order to protect ourselves. We'd rather watch a soap opera than live in one. Nobody wants to get hurt, but we still want to experience the emotional spectrum, so we create a rift to live in through television shows and the internet.
You can't be afraid of unpleasant or dark things. That's why I keep my monster. I've been through a lot in my life; more than I expect I should have. When I went looking for trouble I easily found it, and I figured by the law of large numbers alone, the longer I went looking for something else, I'd find that too.
There's something else you have to remember about the dark things, whether or not you keep them or release them back into the Great Big Under. Bad things can happen to you, and they probably will at some point or another. Sometimes they're so traumatic that you're changed right down to your core. But having an event in your life change you is just another indicator that you have the ability to change. It's not easy or pleasant all the time, but it's possible. You're not defined solely on your past experiences unless you decide to be.
I take risks, I guess, even though I don't really see it that way. To me it seems riskier to stay in a life you're miserable in and just hope it figures itself out; the probability is lower that it will work and the rewards--a house, family, stability, are more extreme. When you're gambling on a bed for the night or a shower, the rewards are simple and the likelihood's a lot higher that it's going to work out for you.
So I don't watch TV, but I live dramatically. I have tantrums and laughing fits and enjoy them both. I form relationships that don't work and break my heart. I gain friends that I'll take bullets for. I travel without plans. I treat life like a game and play it for hours.
I level up, I'll let you know how it goes.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.