I’ve never had children… during the years of life when that generally takes place I was performing on small dive bar type of comedy club stages, usually located in a small bar or restaurant that built a stage in order to provide entertainment… karaoke one night, comedy, trivia, when the bar-back gets married it’s a reception hall type of place, those places began to feel like home to me. I could walk into a dive bar that I had never been to before and it would feel so comfortable… same type of feel as so many others… not a lot of pretty people, not some polished bartenders… no, the staff at these places have seen a thing or two, not the type that you find working at a large chain restaurant / bar or any place that might do a drug test or background check.
Hell, even after the cleaning crew leaves in the morning you might still be able to find a tiny, jewelry sized discarded coke baggie lodged somewhere in a bathroom stall, corner of a booth, tucked into a piece of missing brick in the DJ booth, it’s weird where you can find those things sometimes … those places, those stinky dive bars that did comedy one night a week became my safe spot almost.
The schedule and lifestyle that parallels being a drug addict / alcoholic who also has some jokes is so much fun at some points, so healing in some ways… laughing until tears are in your eyes multiple times a week, being around other comics… I miss those parts, but my desire to go deep into drug abuse, deep into alcoholism, numbing everything that I could so that the tears wouldn’t find their way out was too strong… the tears that were still there from childhood, from being scared, from being misheard, misunderstood, and unable to fully communicate with others… never being dealt with, just band aids made of substances, bottles, and some jokes.
I was around someone not too long ago that grew up with an alcoholic, drug addicted mother. Just bringing her up filled this persons face with color, bright red… anger and embarrassment changing the hue of his face, describing her issues, telling brief stories… the stories that keep those anchors embedded into the deepest foundation so that they are firm… never to release. Nothing could change the past and with those stories… the hurt that is still present was just adding more dirt, mud and rocks holding this anchors in place.
I kept thinking of how I would have become that so easily. The hated parent… “We just don’t trust her to be alone with the kids…” “She calls sometimes… sends cards… little too late.” I just nod and feel very bad for this person who is sitting in front of me describing the absent mother, the drunk, the addict… and I can’t help but think that they are describing me, not her.