Next thing I knew I was crossing the streets of Colorado after watching someone have a mental breakdown on stage; it made me wonder if I should have gone south. I was leaving a weed party, a dispensary-sponsored event where the joints on the table were free and I grabbed a few. I tried to warn the other comics what the show would be like, I should’ve been more clear but I didn’t want to offend anyone, I thought if they were from Denver they must’ve done weed shows before. But I knew I was going to get up there and do one-liners as if anyone was listening then politely get off. 

 

The girl who went up first also had her hair dyed green and a tattoo choker black plastic necklace around her neck. We laughed about how we looked the same despite meeting for the first time. She did jokes like a normal person in the beginning but after realizing no one was listening she started talking to a plant. It all came to a head when a man booed the boxing match on TV and thinking it was meant for her she just jumped off the deep end and started screaming “Fuck Feminism.” I don’t think she knew her voice was playing on the speakers outside so the DJ just turned up the music and turned her mic off. It was the right move, I was sad I didn’t get a chance to embarrass myself so I smoked one of the joints to the face and walked out. My friend Sean, who scheduled this and might not live in reality asked me if I wanted to try again, I pointed out how hilarious it would be if a girl that looks similar comes up after and says “alright we’re trying again.” I told him that no matter what happens my tomorrow is unaffected, but if we get up and verbally assault these people again his tomorrow might look very different. I think he understood and I walked to a downtown bar about 30 minutes away. I needed some time to think and be less high.

I am omitting parts of the story to hide someone who asked me not to write about them. While they only joined for a weekend through this whole trip, he messed up. He tried to take it back but it was too late, and asking nicely not to do stand-up jokes about the downfall was probably one of the final nails in our coffin. I am trying to convince him to let me sell the whole story on Patreon so please comment if you’d be interested so I can show him. But I left Colorado sad, and it felt like I was falling with nothing to hold on to. I am alone a lot, I drove 35 hours in the car by myself before he helped me drive ten, but nothing is a lonelier feeling than being severed. Severed from what you thought was going to make you less lonely, less sad, and more whole. On the bright side, I picked up another comic in Colorado, Meghan Graves, a younger comic two and half years into standup and fresh out of Baltimore, seeing the cross country sites for the first time. This will be my 6th trip driving across the United States, so it was rad watching her see it for the first time.

We debated staying in Denver for more guaranteed mics, but I needed to drive out of town, I needed to physically drive away from mental anguish as if it would help. She reluctantly agreed, and we made it to a shitty motel I was happy with. She talked me out of it for a cute cottage in Wyoming. I went to a hot spring, open all night, along with time to think. I don’t know what I thought about because the road makes me loopy but I know that it felt good, alone, but good. In the morning I took Megan to the hot springs and we set off for Salt Lake City. We did a mic and met other comics on the road as well as the local open mic’ers. In the first set, I tried a new rape joke that killed, which is a sentence I love saying. The second mic only had four other people there so I spent the entirety of my time doing crowd work with the only person I identified as a non-comic. I asked him if he thought Hipsters would win against the Mormons, he adamantly said Mormon, and I made fun of him for voting against himself. Told his girlfriend to leave him during the apocalypse and felt great with what I had done with my time in front of no one. It felt like I had unlocked a new ability, to be funny with no planning. I can do it with friends, but there is some pressure to land on stage, and I was hitting every mark. It made me rethink how I do stand up, could I make an audience of strangers feel like I was giggling with my best friend? I hope so because that seems like the pinnacle of fun. 

 

The next day we drove to Reno, tired from the edibles and consistent driving we tiredly went into an open mic at a jazzy-looking bar. I found the mic by asking the comedy Facebook group in Reno, more people responded to my post then came to the show. Again I spent five whole minutes on crowd work. This time I ask if they think a meth head or a crackhead would win in a fight, it was unanimously meth. I had a lot of fun with that. I thought the debate would end when I delivered my punch line, “well I will find out at the Motel 6 tonight,” but instead it kept on for almost 8 minutes. When I had my last yawn and couldn’t do it anymore we went back to what I believe is the worst motel in Reno, which says a lot when the whole city is the Motel 6 of America. 

We woke up, went to the thrift store, picked up more $2 gallons of water and PBnJ supplies, and headed to San Francisco to pick up Mike Faverman. We had a gig in Redding, California at a casino. I imagined the casino gig to be large, only because any casino gig I have been on or even seen was big. I had my hopes up, after doing good shows on the east coast followed by shit open mics all the way across I needed a pick me up, just something that says I am doing the right thing by being here. The room was small, and not closed off. You could hear the rest of the casino and the bar machines would ring every time someone won. The people looked like squidbillies and there was a woman who looked very upset as she pressed the slot machine button 100 times a minute, probably gambling away her 401k the first day she could.

I laughed to myself, I really had no feelings, just that I was ready. I paced for Megan’s ten minute set and didn’t think a lot about what I would say. But when I got up there I ripped it, I picked out one person and made fun of him so much I was told people who were offended by what I was saying didn’t want to leave because they were afraid they would get picked on, easily one of my favorite things anyone has ever said to me. I watched Mike take his well deserved headline spot, always amazed to see it.

After the show, I sold T-shirts, and a couple tipped me $100 for a picture. I am sure they’re probably playing the long game of trying to get me in their bed but I am so broke I don’t even care what they thought. 

After I was done basking in it we went to my car to grab a joint from that party in Colorado, when we smoked it everyone said it’s the highest they had ever been, I couldn’t even feel my legs. Every time Megan and I went to the bathroom we laughed and yelled between the stalls how lucky it is that we did not smoke in the car. At one point I told everyone about how that girl smoked an entire joint then had a mental breakdown on stage. We laughed until we took our food vouchers and fell asleep. The next day we drove north to Oregon, eating edibles and giggling into the forest. 

 

Next, we headed to Sacramento California. To get there I drove down the steep mountains of Oregon using the semi-automatic gear shifters in what is basically a go-cart for six hours. Mike got an underrated guest spot at the local comedy club and I managed to snag one on the late show..

 

The next day I let the others live out their vacation while I ran with mundane life tasks like laundry. A night cap and a few joints later I’m asleep by ten, a pirate’s life for me.

In Sacramento I watched Mike do a tight opening five after a stale host. It was weird, seeing such a high level A club headliner have to stoop to a tight five at a B list club. I know it didn’t bother him and it made me realize that that’s how comedy was; one day you are performing at an A list club playing to a packed house and the next you are barking outside in the freezing cold trying to get anyone into your free bar show (from a past experience of mine, Sacramento was warm and we didn’t have to flyer). 

 

I went up for the opening five of the late night show at the Sacramento Comedy Club. Before the set I was outside asking Mike if I could fit the gyno bit in, implying I would be dirty for the late night showing. I crushed the slot, got the audience involved, and even got a later light, meaning the booker let me go longer. But Mike said I was too dirty for an auditioning spot. I was curious why this wasn’t a conversation when I asked him if I had enough time to put my legs in the air and pretend a doctor was inside of me. I looked around and noticed out of the seven comedy posters advertising upcoming shows, only one was featuring a female comic, and she was hosting. Mike called out the booker for my observation and she got defensive, but it changed nothing, and I decided I didn’t want to care. So in hindsight, the booker probably thought all females were vulgar, and I should’ve dived with dad jokes instead of thrive on anal.

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