Well, I did this twice. Once with an old friend that I haven't seen since I got off of active duty a scant 7 years ago. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and all the saints! Its pretty hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I got out of the military 7 years ago. (the military that makes you get up early every morning, instead of this one weekend a month thing.)
I hadn't spoken to him in a few months. This is the little dance we do. One calls the other, we talk for hours on end. Running down all the goings on. How we screwed this or that up. Who we're doing at the moment. How his kids are doing. How terrified I am of having kids. All the shit we used to do, including but not limited to drinking copious amounts of alcohol and crawling out on the ledge of the building we lived in and...well you get the idea. Followed quickly by one of us stating the obvious. How in the hell did we live through all that shit?
Then we don't talk for a few months, then one of us calls for this reason or that, and we start the whole dance over again. So I figured that the best thing I could do in this case was stop doing the dance and start calling on a regular basis. So I've faithfully called him once a week for about two weeks now. WOW, somebody get me a cookie.
I know that its not much but its a start. Now he and I have been friends for years. We both went through our first divorces together. I remember depleting my savings account buying beer for his! I'm still trying to sell a kidney to pay off the bar tab from mine. Needless to say, he and I have been through, and this is no small statement, the toughest times of each of our lives together. He knows me just as well as I know myself, and he's usually one step ahead of me as far as that goes. I love his daughter like she's my own and I still have a picture of her staring at me every morning when I wake up. That connection is there, and its a strong one.
That's my buddy, J.
Now the second reconnection that I made is a bit more esoteric. I think, if I'm using that word correctly. But even if I'm not, you'll get the idea in a minute.
Christopher Titus is a comedian. He's a pretty good one. I think he's hilarious. And apparently, at least 200 or so people at the Improv the other night thought so too.
Quick rundown of the substance of Titus' comedy. Born to a lunatic (certifiable) mother, and a drunken, womanizing father. Father was married and divorced six times. Mother shot and killed her last husband because, well you don't get another one after that. (Stolen from Titus) Christopher Titus himself was married to a crazy Irish girl for almost 20 years. They divorced recently and he is or had been dating a Diesel jeans model (Nice.) But that's about it, and he takes all the hilarity that comes with such lunacy and lets us all hear it.
A couple of my favorite lines of his...
His father says that Jesus was laughing as he walked into the light. Titus says, "He was laughing because you were trying to get into heaven!"
All those other pills are bullshit, but vicodins are gifts from the baby Jesus.
My dad doesn't like lies. It hurts people in the long run. He prefers the truth, it hurts them now.
(About his mother) Without her I don't exist. Without her, I wouldn't be doing this for a living. Without her, in four states, it would still be legal to kill a man with a cappuccino machine. She touched a lot of lives. Diagnosed manic depressive schizophreinc. Actually, it was pretty cool as a kid, 'cause I never really knew *who* was coming to dinner. But I was pretty sure they were going to be bummed out. It used to piss my teachers off. All my permission slips had different signatures on them.
My parents' divorce settlement involved a bar tab.
Whenever I got sick as a kid growing up, my dad’d always warm me up with a shot of hundred-proof whiskey. Never got sick… that I can remember
...and on and on I could go.
But I won't. I don't like anyone stealing my comedic thunder. And on my own blog no less.
Here's why I put him in this. You ever had one of those people, who just got you for whatever reason? I don't really know exactly what appeals to me about his comedy. Maybe its the crazy mother bit. When I was a kid I thought my mother was out there. As it turns out it was nothing more than a completely sane reaction to my brother and I, but at the time it seemed pretty batshit crazy to me. Maybe it was all the crazy women in his life, because until recently ALL the women in my life have been looney to one degree or another. Even the women in my friend's lives have been nuts! Remind me to tell you the story of how I had to help my buddy trick his then girlfriend into the truck so that we could take her to the wacko basket (mental ward at the hospital). But that's a story for another time.
His comedy has always reached deep down in me and pulled on the strings of some crazy part of me. And its always been a lot of fun when that part of me was driving the bus. I think that's probably why he and I have had such a good time over the years. I've watched every comedy special of his, I've got every episode of his TV show on DVD and I watch them over and over again, and have even gotten my mom to watch. (She cracked up laughing.)
He was on the computer telling jokes as I sat in my barracks at Camp Clark while rockets and mortars fell on my fucking head. He was in my ears making me laugh through my iPod as we drove through the hundreds of miles of IED infested wasteland that was Afghanistan. He was there again helping me kill the maddening flight time from Ireland to Bangor, Maine on my way home. So he was part of what kept me smiling through one of the shittier years of my life. For all of those reasons, I consider him to be an old friend...kinda like a good bottle of whiskey.
So last Friday I went to see him. My brother and I, our cousin, my ex, and her sister and husband and my cousin Sandy (Auntie Buddy's kid) we all went.
Almost died laughing, everyone had a great time. Ran up a $200 bar bill, which is surprisingly reasonable. Of course, I think that $150 of it was just my brother and I.
Now another thing about my close friends is that these guys have a knack for saying exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.
Titus did this right in the middle of his routine. He got onto the subject of people and their medications, and their mental issues and the tendency of so many people to blame all their problems on some mental defect or chemical imbalance or the fact that their mommy didn't love them enough. Then he started making fun of all the pills they take to make life tolerable. Paxil, and Lithium and Prozac and all that shit.
He then said that people's problems don't have much to do with their mental problems or their chemical imbalances...they just need a prescription for getoffyourass-adone. Laziness, that's most people's problem. Get up, and get out and go fucking do something.
I've gone over this a hundred times. Not as humorously as Titus has but the principle is there. I have a serious laziness problem. Probably my only real problem. Fixing this would most likely resolve all the others. A bottle of getoffyourass-adone over here please.
Thank him for me writing this, without that little line running through my head I probably would've laid it down and went to sleep as opposed to writing this.
Then the second thing that happened at the show that got me thinking.
My ex's sister's husband's name is Mark. He thanked me so much for inviting them to go to the show. He had a blast, laughed his ass off.
In the parking lot after the show Mark said this to me, "Thanks so much for inviting us to come. I forgot the power of a laugh."
Best thing I heard all night.
So thanks J, you're always going to be my boy.
Thanks Titus, for reminding me of the power of a laugh, and hopefully for the prescription for getoffyourass-adone.
and with that I'm done.
I love you Mom....
P.S. Day 8 is kind of stupid for me to do. Its "start a journal".
I may not keep up on it like I should but I'm pretty sure that the 600+ pages of this shit qualifies as a pretty extensive journal.
Next up, Day 9, Take a woman on a date. In the immortal words of Buckets, "Oh fuck yeah!"
Shitty picture, but its the best my no-flash having space phone could do!