“Folks, I’m going to be honest with you, I just woke up. And no, I’m not saying that in a ‘edgy, cool girl’ kind of way. I mean that at some point earlier in time, I went to bed in my pajamas at my home and now I am standing in front of you, apparently doing stand-up comedy. This, I find especially odd because I kind of hate stand-up, but while I’m here, I guess I may as well go for it.” With that, a legend was born. No one knew who this woman was, but every couple of weeks, she would come to open mic nights around the city and leave us in stitches. Only, she never remembered how she got there.
“So, I guess this is the second time that this has happened now. Was I talking just before this or did I just get here? No, please stop laughing, I am actually asking. Again, this is not a bit. I hate bits. I literally just woke up here again and, wait, this is a different place, isn’t it? Oh god. Y’all don’t even know what I am talking about. Well, since I’m here…” She was killing it. Only, she was wrong about one thing: I had been there the first time. I knew what she was talking about. But, I am a journalist, and thus invisible to most humans.
“No, no, no, no, no. I have just had it.” With that, she stormed off the stage. Apparently this was starting to get to her head. I thought about trying to flag her down for an interview, but something told me all I would have to do is give it some time and the answer would come to me. And I was right.
“Hey everyone, how are you all doing tonight? Good? Good. I am glad to hear that. I wanted to take some time right now to do a little confessional with each of you. I truly believe I might be losing my mind. I keep falling asleep in the comfort of my own home only to wake up in a nightmare that’s far too real. It appears as if my subconscious is forcing me to face my fears by any means necessary, including dragging my comatose body to various open mic nights across the city and putting me up here to shock me awake. I hope you all still think this is funny, because trust me, I don’t.”
I knew that as a journalist I could not affect the outcome of the story, but I felt like I needed to do something. What if no one else knew about her problem except for me? I vowed that next time she went out, I would tell her.
But then, something funny happened. I never found her doing stand-up again. While she had repeatedly and consistently been going out the last few months and waking up mid-set, I suddenly couldn’t find her anywhere. Part of me feared the worst, but another part hoped for the best.
Whoever you were, I hope you found peace away from the microphone. I think we could all learn from your example.
This article was written by Nathan Ellwood, who finished all of Jeopardy! on Hulu. What now? Follow him for more (is there more?) on Twitter @NPEllwood.