I don’t want to be cornered in a booth, is that too much to ask from life? I’m what I like to self-diagnose as a “part-time-co-dependent”. I have handfuls of people in my life and on the outskirts of my life who make it known that they need some help from me. I don’t obsess over them and it doesn’t overtake my life and I in no way actually go out of my way to help. But they are there. I can feel them hovering. And that drives me crazy. Someone who is not a co-dependent would not ‘feel the hover.’
One time, at my old day job, I had to interview a psychic. She would cleanse haunted houses using sage and a weird song that she sang that just sounded like she was saying, “Whoa. Yeah.” But I think it was Native American. She told me about a girl who kept seeing a ghost in her bedroom – this ghost was a black blob. I saw a picture of it. Black and blobby. When the psychic went to sage this blob away, she discovered that the girl also kept an alcoholic boyfriend in her bedroom. He started drinking every night at 4pm and stopped at 3 a.m. He drank with the local town drunk who was killing himself slowly, nightly. He said that this guy was “his idol.”
The psychic confirmed that she thought the blob was just the alcoholic’s aura and that there was no ghost. She said she sees this all the time and if the drunk leaves, the black blob will follow. I don’t know why that sounds more rational to me than a ghost, but I buy it. She said alcoholics have no boundaries because they are not fully present and their aura bounces all over the place, bothering others.
She also said that if, if there was indeed a ghost, it might be that this ghost was also an alcoholic this ghost sensed that the boyfriend had no boundaries and was attracted to that. The boyfriend admitted that he did invite the ghost to drink with him nightly. I wish I could see that. I picture a shot glass hovering in the air and emptying itself. Anyway, this drunk boyfriend was either drinking with an alcoholic ghost or a blobby black diseased aura.
Last night at a show, a very nice, albeit boundary-less gentlemen, slid into a booth I was sitting in and interuppted my conversation I was having with a friend. He said, “I am sorry to interrupt.” And then, “Hey, I don’t want to weird you out.” He spoke slowly to prevent slurring. He was also breathing heavy and sweating. Although I’d like to, I can’t take credit for his apparant increased heart rate. He was just as he said, “A huge drunk.”
Three sentences in thirty seconds that told me everything I need to know. I did my famous eye rolling and sarcastic, “Okaaays” and then he kept talking. He read an article that I wrote online and loved it. He called me, “Like, my new favorite comic ever.” But he kept mentioning how he wanted to write for this online magazine as well. He mentioned it three times. Persistence? or Drunk? I said that I couldn’t help him get published. He seemed miffed and said, “Oh, no. I don’t want to.”
He wasn’t bothering me or hitting on me or wanting anything but to say, “Thanks. I like what you do.” But I have to say, “Can you get to the point faster? I’m talking to someone. But thank you. You’re a little drunk and it’s just not a good time.” But I let this alcoholic ghost sidle up to me.
And then, in alcoholic ghost fashion, he mentioned that my writing reminds him of Bukowski. I said “oh” very sadly for comedic effect. Sometimes I like to act like there’s a camera on me. I explained that for me, that’s not really a compliment and that I’ve purposely avoided his writing. I never hear people who aren’t shitfaced, sweaty and looking for an enabler in the form of an author endorsing him. He thought I was flattered and said, “Yeah. You’d love him. Good writer.”
People, especially people who see me do comedy who feel they know me seem to think that I can help them because I’m sweet and perhaps falsely so. Really, I’m just smiling and nodding and reaching for the sage behind my back.