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Friday, February 24, 2006

four hours till quitting time

When Al Green had a scalding pot of hot grits plastered all over his back he underwent a remarkable transformation. Hot grits have been known to do that. Speaking about the incident later he commented "I felt my soul and my heart converging from the champagne and the wine and the women" May have been the hot grits talking, and while this statement makes less sense than an African immigrant with a stutter I do understand his perspective.

My life changed dramatically when I first saw Miami Vice. When it debuted on Friday night the show became a defining moment for me. Many of my friends wanted to be Crocket or Tubbs...while I just wanted to be one of the bad guys. I didn’t want to be one of those bad guys that killed people, rather one of the bad guys who drank all night, partied with women and spent their days relaxing on luxury boats. I was attracted to the night life. After Miami Vice went off, I would lie and bed and fantasize about what was happening in Times Square at the time. I thought about the parties, the drug deals and the hookers and pimps that roamed the streets late at night when everyone else had headed off to bed. Years later, I'm still attracted to the night life. I love hanging out, drinking up and talking to woman. At least I used to.

My plate of hot grits has been the birth of my son. I spent yesterday in bed with him just staring at his remarkable face without the desire in me to go hang out. Instead of downing shots of Jaeger I'm cradling him in my arms feeding him a bottle. Instead of smoking a blunt outside I'm changing a diaper. They say kids change you, and finally I understand how. I've been resisting the urge to mature for so long it’s quite stunning when you’re forced to take an accounting of your actions because someone else is actually dependent on you. His life has crystallized many things for me and at once caused a conflict to stir deep inside my consciousness. Comedy or kid?

I don’t know if I can do comedy anymore. I don’t know if I want to. Comedy has been my first love since before I started doing it. I relayed on comedy to get me through awkward situations and tough times. Its help me sleep with women. It’s made deep friendships for me. It’s saved me from putting a bullet in my brain. When I started doing comedy, while it was a new experience to get onstage, it felt as if I had actualized a dream I had been training for my entire life. Up until Feb 13, it’s been comedy or death for me. But introducing my son to the world has changed a lot for me. My happiness is not tied into egocentric illusions of making strangers laugh, rather seeing him smile. Comedy has kept me alive for the past 2 and 1/2 years, and now I feel like it may be killing me. The drinking, the staying out late the unending scouring of my brain for the next bit. I do things that make me happy. And for such a long time connecting with the audience made me happy. Writing an original bit made me happy. But with the over saturation of comedy taking place in society now, I feel as if I'm part of the problem and not the solution. I'm just one in a sea of heads looking for some faint sign that we're unique and worthy of 10 minutes of individualized attention from a group of people. I don’t need this shit any more. My son makes me happy. I'll see how I feel next week...I'm getting season one of Miami Vice on DVD.

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