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April.  

I hadn’t heard from Ann for weeks.  Was she blissfully involved with that Glen guy?  Was she miserable?  I didn’t know.  And I couldn’t ask Ms. DeAngela, because she’d stopped coming to the eye.

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dog-on-couch

Friday night.  

I had decided to tell Ann about the Corral Show, and maybe even the WAIF shows.  The Six Pistols had a show coming up Saturday night which I hadn’t even written yet.  Maybe I’d bring Ann to WAIF and show her off?  But no, that’d be a mistake.  The studio itself would skeev her out, if the Pistols themselves didn’t.  And all I needed was to get into a fight with Bob in front of her.  Wouldn’t that be perfect?  

Friday was a heady evening and moving in the same direction as our previous two dates.  We went to dinner, then found ourselves making out in some abandoned parking lot somewhere.  She had wanted to go home early.  But not to get rid of me.  Her mom was out for the evening and she thought we could relax at her place for a change.  

While I couldn’t get far enough away from my own home, and would have never brought any girl there, Ann was eminently comfortable in her own home.  Was it the security of the nest?  Access to a full bar?  Who knows.  Chemistry and cutting jokes and a looming Six Pistol show were making me anxious.  But anywhere with Ann, I felt I could relax.

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chemistry

Witch_Burning1a

School cafeteria.  

Bob ate lunch with Doug Borges and Charlie Martins.  At the entrance to the gym area, a list had been posted.  I read the list, and infuriated, tore it off the door, walked over to Bob’s table, and thrust it at him.  

“What the hell is this?” I said.

“What?” said Bob.

She’s a Witch?

“So?”

“You signed up to do a Monty Python sketch?”

“Yeah.  Is that okay, your highness?”

“No.  It’s not okay.”

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dates

Saturday.

I had a faux-romanticized idea of what my date with Ann would be like: dinner, dancing, a movie, charming repartee and, if I was lucky, a light peck on the cheek at the end – a sign of better things to come.  I continued to have Ann pegged as a nice, normal, high school girl because up until then that was my experience of high school girls.  So I was not at all prepared for our first evening.  

We went to Zino’s, the upscale pizza joint on Little Vine, with the intention of going to a movie afterwards.  But half an hour later we were in the back parking lot literally steaming up the windows.  

The steam, in and of itself, impressed me.  Outside the car it was the middle of freezing winter.  But inside, even with the engine turned off, we were a living biochemistry experiment, generating actual heat.  Hey, condensation happens!  Here was this beautiful girl all over me and I was marveling at the science of it.  But then I let go and was in nirvana.  A rock star.  In just a few months I had transformed from dweeb loser to übermensch and the living proof was pressed up right next to me.  

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ann

Ann

By January of ’81, I had clear goals and focus.  I knew what I wanted – and more importantly I knew I knew what I wanted.  I was conscious, suddenly, that most of my peers seemed to be drifting.  That they weren’t driven by anything.  Didn’t have plans or goals or dreams.  Sure, maybe, they were good people.  But they were just going about business.  Shapeless.  Formless.  They were going off to college, to parties, excelling at whatever they excelled at, I supposed.  Wrestling, golf, shopping.  What did they look forward to?  What did they enjoy?  Who were they?  Maybe they didn’t need focus, like I did.  Maybe, for them, what they had was enough.

I had focus, goals, and a clear path in front of me, and was thrilled to have it.  I wanted to be the best stand-up in town, in America.  I wanted to be on Carson, wanted my own sitcom, maybe join SNL as a writer, performer.  Make movies, win Oscars.  Get attention and love.  And I was enjoying the road to get there.  

I had clarity.

And, perhaps, just a smidgen of arrogance.
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