“When you’re beginning to suspect you might be leaving a place, you become hypersensitive to it, as if your mind is subconsciously stocking itself with smells, sound, sights, and tactile sensations of a place you’ll no longer see every day.” Patton Oswalt quoted from Zombie Spaceship Wasteland.
This is my last week in North Carolina. Because I’ll be leaving soon I’ve being walking around in a dreamlike state. I feel hypnotized by the smells here, the thickness in the air makes them linger. I am falling in love with the kudzu, the oak trees, and the greenness everywhere. The last few days have been a frenzied attempt to experience places. My mind has not been fully present so I’ve been doing a lot of dim witted things like pulling up to a gas station, paying $25 for gas, and driving away without pumping it… good stuff. I feel overcome with nostalgia for the present.
I spent a few hours sitting on the back porch of my parents house. I love listening to my father verbally plotting absurd ways to launch a counter attack on our adorable squirrel population into my brain. I am sad to go.
In addition to the sights and smells, I am also leaving behind an incredibly warm and talented community of comics.
On Tuesday at Flex the open mic community in the triangle roasted me. Mal-Ice was kind enough to “organize” the event, and Steve Bradley hosted the show. I think the intention was to send me to NYC humbled and hating myself a little, mission accomplished!
The show itself was much better than I expected it to be. All of the comics had some very strong jokes. Tyler Meznarich filmed his set. They put me in an ancient gynecologist chair, so I was on stage in stirrups for the entire show. I laughed so hard at one point in the show I farted.
What makes the NC scene so special is that we have so many comics who are forging ahead with their own projects, creating their own stage time, and inviting other comics to join them. There is a real commitment to original work, and there are a lot of unique voices in the area. We all give each other a lot of leeway to experiment, fail, try again, and support each other when we are doing well. At open mics there are invariably a lot of awkward moments on stage. In NC I learned to understand and say “that bit isn’t ready, keep working on it” or “you’re new, keep working, everyone sucks for the first year” instead of the much harder and less true “he/she sucks.” I cannot remember a single incident when I did not feel safe trying new material. In Raleigh, we have all been very generous to each other as we carve our own path up the mountain.
I feel overwhelmed at the prospect of leaving these incredible people. Keep up the good work guys!