Live On Stage

I’m disintegrating on stage – it’s like a burlesque of my soul, right from the opener.

“Hey – found a wallet with $300. If it’s yours, ask the manager. But he will need you to show ID.” They laugh, I laugh – but each time, mine’s fainter. And they’re starting to see it. You do shows for years, you know quiet because they didn’t get it from quiet because you didn’t sell it.

Jen. You laughed, Jen.

I’m not emceeing roasts. If I can’t do it for real, I’m out. All the way out.

It’s a prop gag. One of those belly workout belts, a sound meter and a circuit board. And a cord that plugs into the stage outlet.

I put it on, go out. Each second with no laugh, it ups a bit. I got a minute of room in a ten-minute set. If I can’t fill ten minutes, I’m dead out there anyway.

When I can’t go on, they’ll stop laughing. Then it goes all the way. It’s a killer closer.

Goddamn. Even when I think in bits, I can’t laugh. Her last breath was the last laugh on me. From me. My eyes can’t smile, and it’s just killing me.

View this story's 5 comments.