I guess it’s nice to know I can still handle weeks like that.
MONDAY: Story meeting with group I alluded to last week. Results, not terrible. Hope to have finished module by, um, yesterday the 17th. (That almost happened.)
TUESDAY: Live broadcast of joint City Council/Planning & Zoning meeting. Call @ 5:00. I am not put on camera, which I suppose is for the best – I’m a mediocre cameraman at best. I’m taking care of technical details, PowerPoint presentations on a projector, the microphone for public outcry. Everything I am told is wrong, but I am used to that, so I actually manage to do most everything right. except for the microphone, which is not occupying the exact geometry needed, so I must suck.
This is the first of these I’ve been involved in that actually had citizens come forward to address the pols. Usually, when the Mayor calls for public input, we cut to a camera set up to capture anyone at the mike and get a wonderful shot of empty seats. As if to intimidate anyone daring to speak out against the “controversial” new planning ordinance, the meeting goes on for nearly two hours before public input is called for. This gambit does not work. Things are repeated over and over. Finally, at 11PM, there is a bathroom break.
Someone once likened watching the wheels of government grind to the process of sausage making, but this is totally unfair to sausage makers. There was a whole lot of sausage made that night, and its contents were composed of dead horse, beaten to a runny pulp. After the bathroom break, the citizenry was gone, so it was time for some gratuitous in-fighting.
I get home after 1:00AM.
WEDNESDAY: Rehearsal for re-mounted Mystery Cafe show. Me, the new guy, and two others are all that make it. This is going to sound egotistical, but I’m not the one that needs the rehearsal, folks. I’ve been doing this gig for 15 years now. AND THAT REALIZATION CAUSES MY SOUL TO SHRIEK IN HORROR.
THURSDAY: Writing, writing, writing. Trying to finish by Monday, remember? Writing passages with genuine emotional impact (I hope). Oddly, this sort of thing takes longer.
FRIDAY: Second story meeting of week. Emotional stuff passes muster. I am gratified. I also have to leave the meeting early to make my call for the Friday show. It’s a typical Friday audience: too tired from the work week to be really responsive, though by the end of the second act they are really into it.
SATURDAY: I am up at 7:00AM, stupid Circadian rhythm. Fall into coma-like sleep about Noon. Family has a meltdown while I sleep the sleep of the dead. The clichéd Teenager Abuse of Trust has finally happened, and must be dealt with. That’s bad enough, but while dealing with the trauma from that, my wife finds out one of her friends has advanced cancer. I hate it when the Universe gives you perspective – it usually seems to give somebody cancer to achieve that end.
Then there is The Saturday Show. I am more depressed than anything, and not certain I will be funny at all that night. As you might predict, I fucking killed that night.
SUNDAY: Up at 7:00AM to perform at Church. This is hilarious on many different levels. I’m not a Christian, but my wife is; I generally don’t mind when they ask me to do these things, because, you know, we’re the resident actors. This one, though? Anybody could have done it. But they hadn’t asked in a long time, so I agreed.
Of course, the capper to an exhausting week is a suddenly-booked private show Sunday night. At this point, you shrug and soldier on. Besides, the clichéd Teenage Abuse of Trust had a serious financial hit attached to it, and the extra money was needful, especially since I had requested a portion of my writing paycheck Friday, and instead of letting me pick it up at the Friday meeting, it was mailed to me. No mail delivery Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. You do the math.
MONDAY: Never received an e-mail about the next story meeting. Really, should have written the few bits remaining on current module. Fuck it. I need some me time.
Instead, I crunch numbers. Mortgage and checks still outstanding. The way the Day Job pay is structured, I had one week’s pay on Friday, plus the three-show weekend, carry the three… I have about $50 to go buy groceries on. I can do that. I’ve dealt with worse. I can get enough to tide us over until the writing check finally arrives.
Then we get word that the estranged husband of one of my wife’s friends has committed suicide.
I THINK MY PERSPECTIVE WAS PRETTY OKAY THEN, UNIVERSE. IT REALLY DIDN’T NEED ADJUSTING.
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