I live in Las Vegas now, which makes me a Las Vegan even though I am hardly a vegan as I had bacon earlier at the buffet. For over ten years, I was a New Yorker. My colon and my mouth were as dirty as the subways I rode. I would call the subway quick and dirty, but when the trains are being rerouted it’s slow and dirty. The thing about New York that most people don’t understand is millions of different people from different backgrounds are crammed so closely together it’s a miracle folks don’t flip their shit and kill each other. In the summer when it’s sweltering, it’s not just a mere miracle but rather an act of God.
Being a Las Vegan, I now take a car. No, I don’t drive. Hell, I don’t even have a license because ten years in New York I didn’t need one. Instead I am the mooch who gets rides from other people. I’ll do them a favor in exchange for the ride. The thought of learning how to drive is scary and exciting. I haven’t been behind a wheel in a minute, but New York has made me testy. Someone cuts me off and I just go on a blue streak. People out here don’t swear as much as New Yorkers though. Maybe they will have a bleep button handy.
I am used to the subway. When it’s crowded there is the downside of the germs of strangers all over you. Upside, when it is cold those same germs and halitosis keep you warm. In New York there is constant entertainment on the subway, from folks practicing their craft to homeless people with a creative hustle to get a dollar. We have street performers in Vegas, but the homeless out here aren’t nearly as creative. Not knocking someone’s right to exist but the homeless in New York work on those pitches and they know how to deliver. If I had my druthers, I would bring some of them into a network meeting with me to sell my ideas.
The subway is also a good place to reset. I have cried on many a New York City subway after a bad audition, bad set, and bad breakup and I have had more of all three than I want to admit. Most people leave you to cry alone anonymously with the circus inside your head. Every once in a while someone says, “I know you are having a bad day and I hope it gets better.” That moment of kindness makes you realize your misery is temporary and mostly self-brought, and if you stop being such an idiot it will get better.
Back in the day when I lived downtown I would jog across the Brooklyn Bridge and the subway would rumble next to me. The Throwback at Noon on Hot 97 blaring out my ears. My feet would hit the pavement and the angst would leave my system. Angst that I would never be a good ventriloquist comedian, angst that people would always laugh at me and shut the door in my face, angst that I couldn’t conquer New York or do this adult thing for real, angst over some moron I had the hots for. Yes, and they wanted to charge me as an adult.
The subway next to me always brought me back to reality, the reality that the bridge could collapse and I would die upon hitting the East River. Neuroses aside, it made me take a breath. It made write notebooks filled with bad jokes after my run. It made me shower and hit an open mic where I often bombed, but kept getting up to eventually craft a routine and my hard work started to shut a lot of idiots up. I channeled some of my angst into an online blog on a now defunct site for comedians where I overshared and sometimes lacked humility but was never without brutal candor when it came to myself. People read it and complimented my writing. They also let me know the adult thing is overwhelming forever and it is. You just learn not to take it personally. As for the morons I thought I had the hots for, all were bullets I dodged that were dumb enough to marry women who make them miserable. Hey, we all get what we deserve.
Now here I am in a new city with new challenges. So far there is no place I have found where I can cry anonymously. Sure, there is no one on the sidewalk and that dream can become a reality, but then there’s sunshine and scenery and so much for the anonymous cry. Then I can’t anonymous cry at my house because I live with four other people. Sure, I could shut a door but then two dogs come and sit by me, forcing me to pet them and then give me doggy kisses filled with love. Then I realize it’s useless to anonymous cry because I am feeling a sensation I don’t think I ever felt in New York City……..happiness. So then I decide to scrap the anonymous crying and focus on the future that feels as bright and warm as the sunshine surrounding me.
I have gained 6 pounds since moving here, the buffet and bacon not helping. However, I feel better than I have probably ever. I had fun debuting my new one woman show, April Unwrapped, and am ready for more adventures. Driving is scary but it might also be fun. It will be a new way to see the world and if this happy thing wears off and I need an anonymous cry, the car might be a good place to do it. But as I mentioned this happy thing might stick. I did a show last night and no curse words. Maybe both happy and Las Vegas are going to stick.
Regardless, the sun is out for a short time and two doggies wanna play. While I’ve had fun talking to you, I gotta go play with my four legged friends and be HAPPY. No anonymous crying today.