Sunday, December 10, 2017

RENO

I remember discovering the meaning of existential nihilism when I was booked to do comedy in Reno, Nevada.  I think you would be hard pressed to find a more appropriate setting for such a discovery.

So I get booked to do standup for a week at Catch A Rising Star at the Silver Legacy Casino in downtown Reno Nevada.  Considering most of the paid gigs I got booked on at the time were at indistinct wood-paneled function rooms of bygone hotels or old VFW halls in rural parts of New England, that quite possibly sprung up from another dimension serving up buffet food and cheap wine, I welcomed the idea to get out of dodge.  Funny because Dodge City might be what you would think Reno may be like, but au contraire and even though it isn’t near Reno, it’s definitely cut from the same David Lynchian setting.

Flying to Reno is not as awesome as flying to Vegas, mainly because it’s considerably more expensive.  Also, when you get off the plane, you’re in Reno.  I’m not saying it’s not an exciting place, in fact, I relished in the retro signage and time-capsule feel of the place.  I’m not sure if it ever had a heyday, but it’s known for where people used to go to get a divorce.  Since I technically got divorced twice, and my wedding song (Cole Porter’s Night & Day) is the main number in The Gay Divorcee which quite frankly should have been a red flag (but there were so many I missed), and of course this is back when gay meant happy, Reno seemed a completely apropos place.  I was living in the moment.

I get my airfare, pack a huge suitcase and I feel like a road comic again.  Leaving Boston in December at the time was exactly what I wanted to do.  On the plane after being up in the air for some time, peering out beyond the clouds, the vegetation begins to change dramatically.  By the time you’ve crossed the second time zone, the landscape looks like another planet.  Everything has changed from green shrubbery and giant emerald pines to a flat desert of burnt sienna browns and beiges.  After five hours, I land at the airport and right away, the contrast is staggering.  There’s a life sized sculpture of several bighorn sheep in a realistic wildlife setting right there on the carpet.  I’m thinking, I just want to get my bags and maybe a drink.  I wasn’t ready for fake animals.   I’m an artist.  I specifically went to school for drawing and painting, but taxidermy at the airport is more perplexing than any abstract expressionist shit I’ve ever seen.  There’s more disturbing sculptures and paintings  as I make my way down the long, narrow hallway that leads to baggage claim.  I pass a few slot machines, get my bag and then head outside.

The casino has a free shuttle.  Because of this I have gotten spoiled and have been dismayed to find out other airports don’t have free shuttles to the gig.  It’s exciting to fly to the big show though.  A lot of what I had done up until that point in standup was host and feature shows wherever I could get booked.  The most exotic places I’d worked were Vegas and Florida, so Reno follows suit, in that it’s the type of town if you’re heading there, you should pack a gun.  When you feature (which means you go on after the host and before the headliner) you do about a half hour.  There’s something about getting out of your usual digs and traveling.  I’m elated to be in the desert even with the eerie sculpture welcoming.  Plus, Catch has a legendary history including discovering and/or nurturing the careers of guys like Robin Williams and Jerry Seinfeld, so this adds to the elation.  After checking in, showering and spraying my hair, I head down the elevator through the lobby and down an escalator to the club.

The room is set back in the peripheral of the ground floor of the Silver Legacy casino.   You walk in and it’s carpeted with rows of chairs all facing a rather large, well-lit stage with a piano.  The emcee is Barry Gibb.  Not literally, but he could enter and possibly win a look-alike contest, if there were such a event.  Although I was born in the 70’s, I never have, nor since, seen this hairstyle coupled with a beard in real life.  He ends up being the nicest guy in the world.  You couldn’t ask for a room to be warmed up any better.  He plays the piano and jokes with the audience for a good 20 minutes before bringing up the comedians.  I’m so thrilled to be performing on a real stage, with real drinks, sans wood-paneling. 

I persuaded my friend Christian who was the manager to take me to The Sands after the show.  Its legendary title suggests Vegas swank and old school charm, as in jazz and beehives.  But the Reno version is anything but.  He reluctantly agrees.  We walk about four blocks west by a large parking lot through snow to get to the infamous tower.  The worn carpet of the lobby sprawls the peripheral of the casino and judges us as we meander toward alcohol.  The bar’s aged decor reflects the grimaces on the women’s faces that seem like something from a Hunter S. Thompson novel.  The waitress’s suspicious stare made me wonder what we were in for, but as a writer I had to confess, “This is perfect !”  Christian on the other hand, is about as excited as cat about to get a bath.  We both agree with just a nod that this is fertile ground for people-watching, but we try to play it cool even though we’re secretly fascinated, or I’m fascinated.  We ordered drinks and began to talk shop; comedy, writing, etc..  

We talked about life, wine, the Smiths and The Cosmic Trigger whilst taking in the view of extras from My Name is Earl that peppered the room.  The brightly lit counter of libations held the same amount of glamour as a bingo game.  There wasn’t going to be any rat pack crooning at this trailer park.  I loved talking with Christian because he is really smart.  We talked real shit.  I wish that dam gig was still around.  I talked about my family and how I’m dark.  “Dead inside?” he asked.  I laughed.  He is funny too, by the way.  I told him I felt like it’s all a big nothing.  Christian explained that Existential Nihilism embraces cause and effect in that all feelings and bad experiences are from prior causes.  As a result, there is no free will and nature v. nurture is bullshit too, which confirms life’s futility. 

“Basically,” he went on, “the world lacks meaning or purpose.  All existence; actions, suffering, feelings; is senseless, nothingness.  It literally is all a big nothing.” 


“Oh my God !!!  That’s it ! ! !  That is exactly how I feel ! ! !”  I exclaim with exasperation.  I’m so excited to receive validation of what had been simmering inside of me.  The brooding, the apathy which naturally I was experiencing as a result of divorce, had a name !  This is nothing short of a revelation, I thought.  Just then, the guy next to Christian, clad in a wife beater with a drug dealer hoodie and Adidas shorts, fell completely off of his barstool.  

SHUT UP AND LOOK GOOD

I started comedy a while ago.   A long time ago.  I was married.  It was different.  I’m a comic in New York now, I’m single, and I am having a hard time.  Well, wait a day and ask me, and I will say it’s great.  A lot of my perspective hinges on where I got on last, how much money I made this month and if my new stuff worked somewhere.  But generally, and in particular, this week, things are shitty.

I’m not a new comic, but upon moving to New York I became new again in a way, having been unfamiliar with most of what goes on in the New York comedy scene.  It’s par for the course when moving to another city.

But when I ponder my situation a little deeper, what’s frustrating for me is my gender.  There comes a time when you realize, people don’t take you seriously if you are female.  People used to say “oh you do comedy that must be so hard.”  At the time I thought they were morons for saying so.  I used to think doing comedy was great.  You go to a club and work out ideas that you’ve been banging around i.e. funny thoughts, jaunts and stabs at people that irritate you.  It’s an activity that makes all the messed up stuff in your life have a shred of meaning and you make people feel better, including yourself.  It’s symbiotic and so creative.  But in time, I began to see what those annoying people meant.  Audiences are reluctant to like female comics.  And then there’s everybody else.   

When I first moved to New York a comic at Dangerfield’s said to me, “men in the Middle East have it right…women should be covered from head to toe in a berka and kept quiet.”  The same week another comedian gave me a spot at one of the clubs.  He was actually nice to me and happy to help me out, but the next night when I didn’t text him back right away, he texted, “Are you drunk or just a retard?”  Another time, in an effort to help me assimilate in New York, a friend of mine connected me with an established comic.  Long story short, the comic asked me to three-way with him and his girlfriend.

The problem starts when you actually want to make some kind of career out of it.  If you’re just doing your “sketches” at little dives here and there, it isn’t affecting anything.  You’re not challenging the status quo.  But when you have something to say, and when you want to be compensated for your work, now you are creating a wake.  In some cases, bookers don’t respect comics of the female gender, therefore, pay them less.  It is sort of known that back in the day, a now famous female comic was paid a lot less than all of the male headliners in Boston.  No wonder she left.    

In New York, it’s competitive.  Male comics will use their yang prowess to try and intimidate people they deem as inferior, I guess in an effort to stroke their own ego.  Either that or they’ll hit on you.  They’ll insult you.  At Times Square Arts Center, one of the comics said to me “I would never put two female comics on in a row…”  He really should just be embarrassed.  They also underestimate your  intelligence.  I don’t give a fuck what skinny, loser comics who are high have to say.  They are going for the easiest target which makes me question their intelligence and just screams insecurity.  They are trying to make me feel bad.  Look frightened little boy, it’s obvious you are steeped in self-hatred and exhaustion from having to suppress so many secret homosexual urges, that your shame only elicits intense insecurity, I’m here to tell ya, the rest of society takes care of my feeling bad about myself.  Women experience this constantly with sexist, objectifying images in advertising, in conversations and inappropriate glances.  Do you think your stupid comment is upsetting?  You’re just a buffoon, who’s clearly threatened by the possibility that a female comic will steal your shitty $25 dollar spot at a dump in the theatre district.  At the time, I didn’t respond.  But I probably should have at least told him to f**k off.

When frustrated with standup, I used to say “I should have been a dancer,” probably because society values women by their looks.  They really want us to just shut up and look good.  We are socialized to believe that women are second class citizens.  Female comics have to work hard despite this.[1]  Everybody acts like I’m wrong because I want to be valued for my intelligence and talent and everything but my looks.  If I felt I was good looking, I wouldn’t be doing standup in the first place and female comics who are trying to use their looks just want fame and are not into the craft and probably really want to be an actress. 

This is a bigger issue than I thought.  Because a baby comes out of our person, we are somehow deemed as less than?   When you see a guy comic two years in, who automatically receives more credibility from the audience than your 14 years, it’s disheartening to say the least.  side note: I did read Gloria Steinem books when I was seventeen, followed by Camile Paglia, among others.  But I  sort of blocked it out for a period of time. I think for a while I chose to look the other way, for fear that I would be miserable if I was always thinking about this.  However, now that I do standup, and I’m a lot older, there is absolutely no escaping the staunch reality of sexism and inequality.  It only magnifies with time.

People have gone out of their way after a show to say “we don’t usually like female comics, but we really liked you.”  A booker of a big club in Boston said to me while we were backstage about a comic who was on stage, “she’s not that funny but she’s nice to look at.”   

Another time in Boston a booker told me right to my face that “all these paid comics are hacky…”  He was only referring to some of the funniest comedians ever on the planet.  He also mentioned my then husband.  Why would you say that to someone’s wife?  Was I supposed to be impressed by a guy who never paid comics upstairs from a Chinese restaurant?  Maybe people just think that my entire gender is dumb. 

[The word cunt doesn’t offend me at all.
Most of the time when I use it, I’m referring to a man]
-Tweet from me:  @stacykendro

Often society’s message is we’re just arm candy.  How quaint.  A large part of being female (and this is deep in the psyche of most women) is the need to ingratiate yourself to people.  That’s the hard part – being so dam agreeable.  We are socialized to make others feel comfortable, which means if you are a jerk to me, I will smile.  Sometimes, that is the thing for someone with manners to do.  However, don’t mistake my politeness for passivity.  Now I’m talking about New York.  In an effort to take the high road, or to make you believe you didn’t really get to me, I might not retaliate right away.  But just know that I’m Albanian.  I will be planning your demise.  Well, at least I will go home and write about you, but take heed because if you catch me on a bad day, who knows.  Even though “vendetta” is an Italian word, just ask people in the Bronx and they’ll tell you which nationality is scarier.







[1] I think some women are confused about where their gender fits into performing.  They dress up too much.  They dress provocatively.  A lot of skin showing.  They look like a friggen peacock.  I like George Carlin.  He dressed in all black.  Like an artist.  If you are a singer or a stripper, then by all means, wear the dress.  I just don’t see the connection with comedy.  You see minimalist theatre and they are in all black.  They’re not stuffed in a dress, in heels with their arms showing. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

UFC v. Old Guy

Let’s talk about men.  Yes the security guy at the front desk is cute, he does some kind of mixed martial arts, but he’s young.  Gay boyfriend was puzzled about how that could be a problem.  My thinking is this:  that guy can’t take me to the Essex House where I can comfortably sink into a fancy leather seat to drink top shelf martinis while taking in the wondrous aroma of whiskey and cigar smoke and talk about the latest Paul Krugman piece and possibly about art (whereas, an older gentleman can).  He probably shaves his pubes off.  And he wrestles with other men.  Gay boyfriend was still puzzled.  So in an effort to elaborate, I will do a compare and contrast argument with older v. younger, and I will entitle the latter “UFC”.  UFC definitely doesn’t have a beach house where I could drop the day job and go write my memoirs.  Even if that translates into squandering the time drinking too much and getting nothing done, where my ultimate and inevitable return would produce little writing and one big hangover, at least the opportunity to attempt a first draft would be there.  And I’d be tan.  UFC guy wouldn’t take me to fancy places like the Hamptons or Cape May.  His regular watering hole is probably in Bayonne.  Although, he most likely wouldn’t drink in lieu of fight preparation, so I imagine spending time with him could entail moseying around Prospect Park drinking energy drinks and green tea.  Maybe he’s not from Brooklyn but it doesn’t matter.  I don’t like parks.  I like the ocean and I like men who want to go boating.  UFC guy would grow completely weary from my intellectual rantings regarding the mastery of Peter Bogdonavich and how I need to go to San Francisco to remember the artist within that I feel I somehow left there.  Even though he’s handsome, he smells like cabbage.  He’s got that trimmed beard with a crew cut thing going on that’s wicked hot, but I’m at least ten years older than he is.  If in conversation he didn’t know of Mr. Roper (or some other important cultural icon), I would be mortified.

My father was forty-two when I was born.  His heyday was the fifties.  He used to prowl the Wildwood boardwalk with his drinking buddies and go listen to jazz.  I’ve taken just about all of my musical influence from him, from Harry James to John Coltrane.  And then there’s comedy.  That generation loved Johnny Carson.  He explained to me who Jack Parr was.  Growing up he used to play old Spike Jones records for me and do imitations of Peter Lory.  UFC guy has never even seen The Pink Panther.  Maybe what I’m saying is I’m an old soul, but I think I’m saying I have retro sensibilities.      

An older gentlemen would have a beach house.  He would think it was cute that I like vodka for dinner and he would always be concerned that I was alright.  He wouldn’t think anything of coming to get me, wherever I was.  In New York, you’re lucky if you get a guy to leave his borough.  Another thing, it doesn’t have to always happen, but girls like it when a man scampers ahead of us to get the door, which seems somehow like a lost art. 

UFC guy has had so much pussy waving around, he doesn’t understand how to make a princess feel like a queen.  Old guy does.  Old guy also gets the whole jewelry thing too.  UFC guy has tattoos which is kind of cool but the first time I caught him looking at himself in the mirror, I think it’d be over.  Also he’s had more than one threesome and I’m just too old for that shit.


New York guys are the complete opposite of this.  They don’t think they need to do anything.  They take you to a wine bar once and then expect sex.  It’s absolutely unacceptable.  Old guy would go so far out of his way to please his future bride.  He would buy stuff and go for long weekend trips.  UFC picks up women from bars who dress sparingly and look like they’re twelve.  An older gentleman knows how to feed the Cinderella complex.  The only complex UFC is familiar with is Napolean.  I think I’ve made my point.  It is something I had to write out, because having several cougar friends, I just wanted to get my side heard. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Unofficial Bridesmaid

I have a roommate who I call No Tits because she broke my balls from the jump when she first moved in (having fits over tablecloths, not having boundaries, criticizing my belongings and just generally being a rude entitled frizzy haired wench).  Surprisingly, someone moved in after her who was worse.  The new roommate who moved in, I refer to as the premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-riddled-Jihadist-Macedonian-with-borderline (Jihad for short) has become extremely difficult to live with, thus has rendered No Tits and I, buddies.  (Jihad actually replaced the former roommate who was an obsessive-compulsive-anorexic-vegan-germaphobic-violinist-singer).  At any rate, the other day, the Jihadist and I had it out.  It was a short burst of an argument that escalated very quickly, ending with me calling her a twat.  I haven’t been that proud of moment in a while.  As a result, No Tits and I have a new found almost friendship, and subsequently I was subjected to a long-winded story about the pre-matrimonial celebration of some other bird, whom I imagine is also from Queens.  (how revolting).

No Tits informed me that she would be partaking in her best friend’s wedding as an “unofficial bridesmaid.”  It is not clear why she was given the less than desirable title of an un-thing.  I suspect that the bride had too many candidates to choose from and did not want to create a hierarchy or pit members of the would-be bridal party against each other.  It’s as if she is saying, “the matching dress thing I can do without, but I still need someone to do all the pre-wedding party stuff, so we’ll have to call her something pretty close to bridesmaid.”  So, No Tits doesn’t get a real title.  She does all the work without the glory. 

Bridesmaids usually are kind of strange looking with their weird taffeta dresses and goofy up-do’s.  I often wonder what happens to them, because you know what they say; once a bridesmaid . . . . she’ll probably get an abortion and move to Reno . . .(and I imagine she goes on to live a sad, loveless life as an alcoholic residing in some small town with an old powder blue Chevy Malibu on blocks in the front yard, sad and forgotten about, like the love she'd always wished she were pretty enough to know). 

No Tits planned the engagement party, the bridal shower and the bachelorette party.  Lack of being blessed well endowed aside, she is doing a service to her friend out of love and she informed me that the other bitches are chiming in, because they don’t like her having a position of power (however unofficial it may be).  They drop comments.  They dis her planning.  They walked out of one event because it wasn’t open bar, leaving No Tits with a $300 alcohol tab, which she paid.  Proper etiquette dictates that the family of the bride should host the shower.  According to Emily Post, “it is not within the responsibilities of the bridal shower to do so, although they can if they want.”   Also, I’m pretty sure the maid of honor shouldn’t be doing all three events i.e. everything. 

Because of the mother’s absence, the other fraulines should have stepped up.  Instead they criticized the almost bridesmaid who is handling all three events.  Poor No Tits.  I can’t believe I am feeling compassion for someone who caused me much grief in the beginning of our relationship.  She is grinning and bearing it for her friend.  No Tits is a bigger person than me, because I wouldn’t have lasted through the first half of the not open bar engagement party as an unofficial bridesmaid.  I’da been all “I don’t think so sluts.”  Not because of lack of booze, but because these people have no class.     

The problem with this unofficial bridal party is that every female should be working together to pick up the slack to make the celebration happen, where the mother clearly has dropped the ball.  But instead, they are being outright rude and entitled.  Maybe they’re pissed they weren’t bridesmaids. 

I got all this information in the kitchen, which is where N.T. and I usually converse.  At the end of her story, she divulged that she will be wearing a very low cut dress for the bachelorette party, but that it didn’t matter because she has no tits.  Life does take strange twists and turns, but I honestly found my way around from really not getting along with this roommate, whom admittedly, I gave a terrible nickname, to cheering her on in her battle over the senseless gaggle of nit-picking hens.


reference:  emilypost.com/book/emily-posts-wedding-etiquette/

Saturday, July 29, 2017

CRASHING: INTERVIEW WITH GENO

I’ve been recording a podcast with a friend of mine.  For weeks we hadn't launched it because we’re comics.  What that means is we’re not organized.  It took a while but now we have it here.  The podcast is called Comic’ly Unstable.  This week we interviewed Geno Bisconte, who is a great, funny comedian and best friend of the host, Tommy A.  Geno has his own show on the Cumia Network and you can go check it out here:  www.compoundmedia.com/show/in-hot-water/   We all go way back and the connection is comedy and Brooklyn.  Those two lived together at one point and although it was a great interview, the bromance between them was practically filling the room like a big, thick cloud.
   
Comedy careers have ups and downs and are completely unpredictable.  My experience is sometimes you’re in Vegas making serious money and sometimes you’re in rural Pennsylvania telling jokes to a drunk bridal party for $100 bucks questioning all of your life decisions up until that point.    After talking with Geno it became evident that his timeline has been no less dramatic.  Recent highlights for him are appearing in HBO’s Crashing a new sitcom starring Pete Holmes about standup comics in New York.  He was invited to roast Gary Busey at the Friar’s club which is a New York staple for show business.  It was founded by Milton Berle and the current abbot is Jerry Lewis.  All that said, the interview was more about hard times and how to endure them, and coming out the other side.

He told us at one point, he was living in his car.  The lease ended at his apartment and his then roommate was going to LA and rather than deal with getting a new apartment right away, he decided to wing it.  He slept in Jersey at his aunts at times, and much like Pete Holmes character in the aforementioned show Crashing, he slept on friends’ couches. 

What I came away with after listening to him is that it might get impossibly hard, but it will be worth it to stick it out.  New York and living for your art is pretty challenging.  Particularly, (especially) if you’ve chosen either New York or LA.  You have ups and downs and take risks that would cripple other people.  I suspect most people would never wager such a bet because it definitely blows up in your face at times.  You do shows, you get work, you get fired, you get rejected.  You do shitty gigs, and you probably develop a drinking problem, but here’s a side note, if your life is in the toilet but you are grateful for those gigs, you might be headed in the right direction.  I’d rather enjoy myself at a dump in New Jersey and have a good time than be sitting in the back of the room rolling my eyes and lamenting at how shitty it all is.  But we’ve all been on either side of that fence.

The business is tough.  You have to have conviction.  I suspect that the wake that is created by trying to be true to yourself will be made up of the good, the bad and the ugly.  <---- but how amazing is that?  You have to deal with the shit, but you ultimately will revel in the glory.  I think this is what he was getting at.

My take after doing standup 14 years, and the point of a lot of what Mr. Bisconte was getting at, is the fallout that sticking to your guns creates is, at times unbearable, albeit fucked up.  You lose relationships, apartments, jobs, cars.  There is no safety net and it’s terrifying, but you have to stick it out. <--- (this is exactly what I’m currently going through with comedy + life).  But isn’t it strange i.e. the universe’s timing of this interview and my own crisis?  <--- (maybe not.  Most comics are having crises).

If you are gifted the freedom of a catastrophe, but then get to the point where you’re not ruined by it, I bet it’s the best feeling in the world.  I’m still going through it, so I’m suffering somewhat, but Geno seemed content.  I must state this again because none of the comics I know feel this way ---> he seemed happy ! 

We’re all sort of waiting for the reward, but I’m sensing that it’s already here.  <--- the trick is to feel that way regardless of circumstances.  Artists live life on their own terms, which isn’t always great, but I think it’s the conviction of saying “I can do this” that is so empowering.  You can come out the other side and say you didn’t die.  You’re still here as Elaine Stritch epitomized.  At present, I have a part-time office job, roommates from hell & my car got totaled so I’m not 100% feeling this, I’m sort of mad at the universe, but you know who isn’t?  Geno Bisconte.  Twitter: https://twitter.com/genobisconte

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

GREEK FORTRESS

I have a lot going on right now.  I live with awful roommates.  I’m always trying to not be home so I don’t have to see one of the pterodactyls.  That’s what it’s come to.  I’ve assigned a nickname of an ugly prehistoric bird to the people that I share an apartment with.  I live in an abundantly-tiled Greek house that resembles a fortress that begins with a nose-bleed angled, city code-defying cement staircase that leads up to the main floor.  The first floor is half in the ground.  They call that “garden level” in New York, which was probably invented by real estate agents, because all feasible square footage is rented out in this city.  In other states, what towns call a cellar, in New York is a shitty basement apartment.  

The landlord of said dwelling lives upstairs.  He is a plump, talkative Greek man who speaks as if he has a swollen tongue that’s gotten pinned while wrestling with the rest of his mouth to spit out the English language.   After he has spoken in his long-winded, overly self-indulgent manner in extreme broken English for what seems like an eternity, I often say, “what?!” 

I cannot begin to express the violence I feel for all of these people.  Because of this, I realize I do need to work on myself some, while simultaneously feel completely validated in imagining their untimely, somewhat horrific demise.

Yesterday I heard a knock at the door roughly around 5:30PM.   I had a sneaking suspicion Aristotle Onasis was on the other side of the door waiting to proclaim his case for bothering me in grunts that resemble communication.  Avoidance doesn’t really work with this fisherman.  After several tries at knocking with no answer, he walked back down the hallway towards the foyer, opened the front door to the house – a grown man mind you – reached his arm outside and rang the buzzer to my apartment.  The shrill, earsplitting decibels of the buzzer could wake up an entire submarine regimen.  He leaned on the buzzer too, to be extra annoying.  How quaint.  I still ignore it.  After the fourth or fifth time, I begin to reach exasperation, I virulently open the door to ask him what he wants.  I yell at him stating that I’m not really dressed and what the hell is so important (clearly he doesn’t get the hint that nobody wants to talk to him).  Even his wife sleeps in Flushing.  

First he asks if we have a washing machine in the house, which is just “THIS IS WHAT YOU WERE RINGING THE DOORBELL LIKE A FUCKING PSYCHO FOR ???????  REALLY!!??!!”  First of all, the pterodactyls can’t afford soap or paper towels, so it’s funny to me that he would even think that they bought an appliance.  Then he says he’s bringing the ladder for one of the roommates (the one I choose to call the Macedonian whore – she’s in a different blog).  I proceed to just yell at him, telling him to leave it in the hallway because I’m in my pajamas and then shut the door.

Lack of understanding American social moors or boundaries might be what he hides behind as a disguise to get people to interact with him.  That aside, describing him as wildly inappropriate doesn’t seem to stress enough what he is.  He tells the neighbors I’m his girlfriend.   He makes offers of taking me to Greece.  One time he and his family had come back from a wedding (this was before his wife retired to another part of the borough).  It was late.  The weather was nice, so I was sitting outside, smoking.  Most likely he spotted me from his balcony about, then rushed downstairs to bother me.  He was in a robe and his rotund, watermelon-like stomach was sticking out.  He made small talk and then quickly proceeded to show off his construction chops by showing me pictures on his phone of the Athens condo that he built out.  I may have been indulging him because the rent was late, I can’t remember looking back.  I am a comedian after all, I can’t really just walk away when people are being ludicrous).  But also I had had some wine and it was kind of entertaining.  In hindsight, I’m questioning why I was so polite toward Baklava.  Sometimes you have to be gracious in the face of others’ rudeness.  He has invited me to go live with him in Greece on more than one occasion.  He’s so lucky I don’t have a gun.  It’s just so wrong that I can’t even make it clever. 

I did get him back though.  He asked me how old I thought he was once, and I said seventy.  It’s not clear exactly how old he is, but he’s arrogant, so in his mind he’s still in his fifties, and by his reaction it’s clear I was way off (but not by much I suspect).  A hundred bucks says he’s sixty-nine.



Sunday, June 18, 2017

LETTERS TO ROOMMATES

Letter to Roommate #1

Dear Roommate #1 (aka the Jihadist): Everyone knows leaving hostile sticky notes is just bad form.  So, don’t take this the wrong way, but when you wonder why you’re floating up to heaven, the answer is that you didn’t belong on the planet.  The mere existence of your person is just completely wrecking my universe.  I’m sorry you have a lot of periods, but (a) I’m not sure why you want to share that with me and (b) there are things you can take for that (for fuck’s sake).  And why, mother of God, is every light in the fucking house on?  I swear to God if it’s the last thing I do on this earth, I’m going to disconnect the fucking awful florescent lights that you insist on keeping on 24/7 in the kitchen.  But let’s get on with the real issue. 

I know you’re European and everything (so you think tight jeans and boots is a great look, but I’m here to tell you, they don’t have rodeos in Queens.  Also walking around the kitchen back and forth in said thick-heeled, slut boots at 9:00 a.m. is weird and kind of rude.  You do this early in the morning on a Saturday when people are trying to sleep.  You do it in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday.  Does it make you feel thin, or more horse-like?  I just want to get a sense of why, particularly because I’m trying to get some god forsaken sleep, but I can’t, because I’m bewildered by your strange domestic patterns.  That, and what’s with you and the fucking kitchen.  Get a life.  You shouldn’t stay holed up in the house all day it’s not healthy, and your hair is greasy and there is an odor coming from your Etruscan cave of a bedroom.

You’re crashing dishes and whatever around too – my dishes, incidentally, because you don’t own anything.  You leave them in the sink until things are growing from them.  God forbid anyone make a request that the dishes be done more frequently, because then you blow up like a PMS-ridden-guerilla-psychopath.  It felt very satisfying to block you on my phone, by the way, because I refuse to read text rants, which until I saw them, I didn’t believe they existed.  Your generation doesn’t know how to do anything unless it’s on an app, so I get it, but it doesn’t make it valid.  My generation doesn’t text.  We want a face to face where I will break your nose.

I don’t even want to be writing this shit, but I am so exasperated, I’m about to buy firearms.  I suspect that is the nature of the roommate situation, but that is giving you too much credit.  To act like a cunt over a cabinet shelf and leaving bitchy notes around the apartment means you have mental issues.  I doubt you are in therapy considering you seldom buy anything that resembles a paper product, and you don’t seem to be getting any relief from that meditation class.  I’m trying to keep this light because really I’m praying that you get captured by ICE on your trip back from the motherland, because you’ve been nothing short of a tyrannical nazi whore.  PS – I don’t want any fucking Turkish coffee.  Americans don’t like that shit.  PS2 – no one will ever marry you.


* * *


Letter to Roommate #2

This is a sincere continuance of the roommate letter, but to the other, more pterodactyl-like one who has, and whom I will now refer to as, No Tits.

Dear No Tits:  I know you like to come home and talk on the phone really loud to whoever is on the other end, which, I find astounding that anyone would actually listen to you, because your voice makes me want to scratch my own eyes out.  I’ve never before felt the urge to run across a room and dive out a window than after I’ve heard a diatribe coming from your trachea.  And loud, loquacious vocalizations in the living room the way neurotic cats tend to do at 3:00 a.m. probably makes sense to your rather pigeon-like brain, I’m sure, because although you have a room you could go into to do such things, why not make sure the whole house is disturbed?  You laugh a lot, but it’s like a nervous, right before you lose touch with reality type laugh, and you have weird frizzy hair and seem somewhat dim-witted.  In my act I refer to you as Pennsylvania barnyard stupid.  But, since it creates a furrow in my being, I have stopped talking about you on stage, except to say the part where I believe you sleep upside down in your closet. 

I know this probably seems somewhat hostile, especially considering I smile and try to be pleasant, because that is, in fact, my nature.  But really it’s because I’m imagining your untimely and fairly brutal demise.  It’s the only way I can get through this phase of living in New York affordably, which clearly, I should have thought out better.  My hostility started when you began making comments about my furniture.   You wanted to organize my belongings which frankly are none of your business.  You made comments about my armoire.  The irony is that when you moved in, you didn’t own anything.  Not even a lamp.  You threw a fit because of a table cloth and then minutes later offered me some salmon.  Maybe your medication is off.  I can’t even list it all because I feel more gray hair coming in as I type.


And although I usually cringe at your stories that disclose personal information about your dumb life, when you told me that you had celiac and couldn’t shit, I nearly wept with joy.  I must admit, however fleeting, I was almost grateful for the debacle of my artist-led existence in this over-tiled Greek fortress of a house in stupid Queens.  I found myself almost faint.  Even though living with you has overshadowed other unfortunate living situations, such as the alcoholic who made puppets or the Hawaiian violinist who was in Cabaret on Broadway and referred to its star as “Al” (Alan Cumming) because they were buddies, your having an issue with your dairy air made me almost feel guilty for calling you NTBN – (which is short for No Tits Big Nose).  I would feel guilty except it’s caught on with all of my friends and it provides humor that clearly this household lacks.  And P.S. fuck you too.