love and like


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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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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