I’m feeling a bit better
Well, what happens when you sit around your house for two days feeling sorry for yourself and not talking?
Your voice comes back.
Not completely, but enough for me to come back to work. Enough for me to get out of the house, which I really needed. Last night I was so bored from sitting around my house that I fell asleep at eleven. I haven’t done that in I don’t know how long.
Because so much time has passed since my last “real” entry, things are starting to blur and fade. The wholeness of the weekend is starting to break up into moments that I don’t want to forget. Now I just have little notes to myself:
things to remember…
Remember the trip to Houston, and how you found out that this year’s Aspen audition is in a couple of months. Remember that feeling of “this is starting all over again,” and how nervous you were that you might have a shaved head or blue hair for your audition…
Remember how when you checked into the hotel in Houston the desk clerk said that you looked like your father. You don’t hear that very often. Remember how you walked around and then drove around for half an hour before finding a place across the highway called “Cornbreads.”
Remember when Eric asked Matt what our waitress’ name was he said, “Angel,” not because he had asked, but rather because she looked like the sort of hardened, “pack of cigarettes rolled up in her skin” woman who would be named Angel.
Remember how happy you were when you remembered that Jeff was supposed to move to Chicago in May, but when you turned to your left that night he was still sitting there retelling old stories about horrible theatre shows you had both been in.
Remember being so nervous about when to give Eric his birthday present.
Don’t forget about when you left Cornbread’s, and Eric shouted out to the woman in his corn nut way, “Goodnight, Angel!” and Matt just about peed on himself trying to get out of the bar.
Don’t forget how the toilet in your room didn’t work, and how the hotel staff sent up a plunger an hour and a half later, with the security guard giving you a wink and saying, “Don’t forget to give this back now, you hear?”
You bugged Eric to death about his present that night, but he didn’t want it yet. He was now enjoying guessing what it was, and he announced to everyone that he was positive you had bought him a trip to Ireland.
You got a little nervous wondering if your gift even slightly compared to the non-existent trip to Ireland.
Remember how the next morning all of the hotel staff freaked out when they realized that your father was their boss.
Remember telling the manager that it wasn’t necessary to move you into a suite and give everyone on your trip their own bed, and that he certainly didn’t have to fill your refrigerator with beer.
Remember how you secretly hoped that it would be Bud Light.
Astroworld was so much fun. Even though the Dungeon Drop was closed, you got to ride everything else you wanted to, and sometimes more than once. Mom got to see Astroworld for the first time since she moved here. Remember how happy you were when you saw her riding in the front seat of a roller coaster for the first time in ten years. Remember how happy she looked. Remember how you flashed back to when you were a little kid and she was next to you in the seat telling you to “hold on tight,” and how she would smile and laugh when you went on the big loops. Remember how she gave Eric the “proud mother” smile when he was talking to that kid in line ahead of us about whether or not he was going to be a starter on the fifth grade soccer team.
The kid’s name was Angel. What were the odds?
The kid was with a pack of about nineteen hyper kids, all pulling on the line ropes and knocking over trash cans and screaming and giggling. Remember how once one of them pulled out a whistle and started playing it how Eric put his hands on his hips and said, “All right!” and every head craned around to look at him and they stopped immediately.
Remember how you finally got the right amount of wet on a water ride and weren’t uncomfortable or chaffed like everyone else.
Eric wouldn’t slow down for anyone. At one point he rode a ride without you just because he didn’t want to wait for other people to meet up. Remember feeling sort of left out, knowing that usually you’re the one running off with him and leaving the others behind to make all of their “plans,” but knowing that this time you had to stay behind so he could have all the fun he wanted. Eric had a great time and it kicked off his birthday week beautifully.
Jeff can get along with any parent at any time, anywhere. Matt makes a close second. I’ve never seen people chat on a roller coaster before.
Eric gave Sylvester the cat “dap,” and then Matt hugged him.
“Guys,” Eric said as we were all walking towards the exit of the park– wet, dirty, and exhausted–“Birthday week is all about knowing who you are and being comfortable with who you are. And I am very comfortable with who I am. I am a very selfish, selfish man. I’m riding the Serial Thriller again now WHO’S WITH ME?” Jeff ran off behind Eric towards the line. Matt and you looked at each other, and at the others. “My feet are kind of hurting,” he said. “Mine too,” you said. We shifted back and forth. “And that last ride really hurt,” you said. “Yeah, so we should probably… do one more so that we end on a good note..” And we both ran to catch up with Eric.
Remember how when you were leaving the park you were walking behind a small boy with a large inflatable hammer who was hitting things with it. Remember how you laughed when he hit a fence so hard with the toy that it came right back and bounced in his face. Remember how you felt like you were supposed to be watching him, and how when he looked up and gave Matt a puzzled look that you knew he was lost. Remember how you asked him his name and if he knew where his mother was. Remember how he said that his name was Shane and that he’d like to find his mother. Remember how you felt when you saw how close he was to walking right out of the park. Remember how good you felt when you saw his mother run up and take him in her arms and ask him why he walked off from her. She thanked you and then went back to kissing his head. “Pam saved a boy’s life,” Eric had said when someone asked what was going on. Shane was a really cute little boy.
Remember going back to the hotel and finding a full fridge of beer in your room. Lots of cheering and celebration. You called the front desk to see if you could take the beer down to the pool. They said no, but then called back in three minutes saying, “I didn’t know it was… well.. YOU… YOU…. you can take the beer down.” You explained that you didn’t want to break any rules, so you all went down to the pool without alcohol and swam. You saw beer cans by the trash can, though, and felt like maybe you were allowed to drink down there. You played barnyard animals (the game where one person jumps in the pool while another announces the barnyard animal you must mimic while jumping in) until the Knicks game was really-really on and not just sortof-started on. You did your first barnyard animal. Usually you just shout animals while Eric jumps in. Everyone thought the game was fun.
After the game there was some sort of discussion as to what to do next. Should you all go out? Stay in? Drink? The only bars besides Angel and the Cornbreads around were a bunch of titty bars. One was called an adult cabaret, so you called to find out exactly what that was:
What exactly do you guys have there?
WOMAN ON PHONE
What kind of answer are you looking for?
You decide to get the excitement going in the air again by giving Eric his present. Remember the look on his face as he started reading the certificate and realized that he wasn’t just going to be going around the track at the Malibu Grand Prix, but rather will be suiting up and racing in a real race car. Remember hearing his voice get real small and say, “One hundred and fifty miles an hour?” Remember how you told him that a reader named Lisa had written to you and told you all about it and how you practically kissed the monitor to thank her for telling you about this. Remember how Eric excused himself to the bathroom for a minute.
He has to pee at a time like this?
No, he’s probably tearing up and didn’t want you guys to see.
He did the same thing when we watched Babe.
Remember that Eric then announced he was buying drinks for everyone. Back to Cornbreads, where Angel kept giving you guys drinks. Eric kept forgetting that her name wasn’t really Angel, and just kept calling her that. Lots of toasts and good conversation. Eric fed the jukebox with money for songs we never got to hear. In the bathroom three women were standing around this other woman who was sitting on a stool in the middle of the room, and they all looked at you like you were the weird one for trying to pee in a place like this.
Remember that you don’t usually drink, and two Colorado Bulldogs, a Kamikaze and something called a “Finger Me Good” will get you drunk, and will get you drunk quickly.
Your voice was starting to go.
Later, back at the hotel room, Matt loses a bet. You all go to sleep.
Waking up with a hangover for four, there was nothing else to do but go and see Austin Powers again. It wasn’t as funny without a room full of people. It still was funny, just not as hysterical. The first one was indeed better.
You went back to the hotel room with the intention of everyone playing barnyard animals in the pool again, but every single one of you fell asleep. All but Eric, who stayed up watching HBO. Remember how the desk clerk would get nervous every time you walked by, in case you asked for something else.
The show that night rocked. You wished that you were doing it for two nights. The theatre was so nice. You wished that you had performed in it before and would do so again. You had people come and see the show that you hadn’t seen in months, including your sister, who had never seen you do comedy before. She really liked it, and even her “old man” said he thought we were “fucking funny.” You know that you have just received the highest compliment those two ever give. You, Rock, Sandler and Cross are “fucking funny.”
At one point during the show you know that you are about to sing a note that will kill your voice for the next four days. “On with the show,” you think, and sing “Foolish Games,” like you’re on Lillith Fair. You say goodbye to your voice.
Off to the Laff Stop where you watch a very, very funny Jake Johansen, and you remember how you’ve been laughing at him since you were a kid. After the show it’s Matt’s turn at the mic, and you use whatever squeaks you have left to cheer him on.
You and Eric were still awake and everyone else had gone to sleep. You were laying on the bed with your feet resting on the pillows talking about comedy and your futures and what you wanted to do with the next few months. He had to take his contacts out, but you were both so comfortable. You fall asleep.
The next thing you knew it was six in the morning, and you were asleep on the wrong side of the bed and Eric was tucked in the bed asleep the right way.
Four hours later you are on your hands and knees looking around the hotel room. It seems that Eric tried to take his contacts out in his sleep and has no idea where he put them. They are really lost. He cannot see, you cannot talk. You go to your parents to visit a father who cannot hear. Your mother mumbles. It’s gonna be a good father’s day.
As much as your parents want to, they do not like City Hunter. Eric takes a nap.
On the trip home you discuss your upcoming one person show (July 9th and 10th, 16th and 17th) and decide that it is coming along nicely, and that it’s time to get into some heavy rehearsals. Unfortunately you’re pretty busy for the next couple of months, so you talk about some late night rehearsals.
You fall asleep reading different Stephen King books.
(other birthday week gifts so far have included: a new shirt, the Austin Powers 2 soundtrack, the Lo-Fidelity All-Stars soundtrack, and a foot rub)
I’m feeling much better today than I did Monday and Tuesday. I had another City Hunter to shoot on Monday but my voice wasn’t strong enough, so we’ll do it this Friday. Oh, and those of you waiting for my big premiere: City Hunter: the Motion Picture releases this weekend. Look for it at your local video store. It looks like the series got picked up, so I could be shooting quite a few of these this year.
Please everyone think warm Squishy thoughts today as Eric’s brother is going into surgery for his knee.