Ok,so the web master called and gave me the instructions… ya push this button here, ya click that, ya go over there, then you log the meta information and ya press send. And steam came out of each ear like I was Roger Rabbit. My eyes rolled back in my head and my tongue hit the desk. You see, I’m dyslexic. The information goes in and then that voice that you hear inside your head… it starts screaming… WHAT ARE YOU DOING…. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND…. YOU’RE A MORON…. YOU’LL NEVER GET THIS RIGHT… and the whole thing shuts down like a computer with a virus.
Being dyslexic is the worst thing that ever happened to me… um… it’s one of the worst things that has ever happened to me. My parents divorce was the worst thing, that was followed by finding out my child was not mine and THEN comes the dyslexia. And being dyslexic what would the worst possible job one could get? If you are dyslexic and they put a gun to your head and tell you… you have to do this job… what do you think it would be? Naturally, it would be working in the buying office of a major metropolitan department store. A job where you have to deal with entering numbers all day long. A job where one mistake makes a 6000 dollar order a 60,000 dollar order. Ya, that’s the job I got right after college. Why? Executioner was taken. I remember sitting at my desk, tears rolling down my eyes because I was so miserable, because I felt I HAD to be in that job, because I was told that “YOU ARE NOT AN ARTIST… YOU HAVE TO HAVE JOB.” And so for two years I sat entering numbers hoping that there would be a fire in the building and my mistakes would be consumed by flames.
I want you to know I did this twice… once at Alexanders in New York City and once in Los Angeles at the May Company. Why, you ask yourself? I’m a glutton for punishment. Eventually it catches up with you and you get fired. That’s what happened to me at The May Company. I got fired. The head of HR called me up to her office and validated every rotten feeling I ever had about myself. She told me all the things that I feared… that I was stupid..that I was unable to comprehend the complexities of the systems, that anyone, a piece of furniture, would be better in the job than me. In reality she said that the buyer needed someone more of top of the figures… but on the translations computer in head she was telling me everything I ever feared about myself.
I walked out of that office almost in a coma. I remember walking directly from the HR office to store nurse. That’s how much pain I was in. And as I sat there I was asking for a sign that this was a good thing, that getting fired from a job I detested was going to turn out well, that… well, you get the picture. And I looked down at my hand and I saw the sign.The thumb on my right hand had turned a bright red, a rash covered the entire thumb and no other part of my hand. Now usually this would send me to the emergency room. But today it was the sign I needed. You see, when my grandmother was dying in the hospital she would reach out through the bars of her bed and she would take my hand and wrap her fingers around my thumb… my right thumb. And we would sit there as she gasped for breath and was trying to pass over.
I looked at my thumb and knew that my grandmother was with me. She loved to watch WHO CAN YOU TRUST with a young Johnny Carson. She once turned to me and said, “You could do that.” She only said it once. And it was the only positive thing she EVER said to me. After all, I was my father’s son and since he was the moron who ruined her favorite daughter’s life then I must be a piece of shit too… you know, guilt by association. I took whatever positive feedback I could from that woman. And that day I got “You could do that.” The rash was absolute proof to me that I was headed in the right direction.
I went back up to my office and sat and talked with my assistant. I told him I was going to be a comedian. That I had to try to be a comedian because it’s what I always wanted to be. And I remember exactly what I said to him, “If I don’t try now, all of my life I will say what if I had tried… at least if I try and fail I would have made the effort. I have to know if I can do it.” And so I packed up my things and left The May Company to begin my journey in show business. I had it all, the youth, the talent, the good looks… what I didn’t have was the belief that I had the youth, the talent, the good looks. And that would be the Achilles heel of my stand up career.
But writing, for some reason, has been my savior. I am able to put down on paper my emotions and have the reader actually feel them. It has been the most rewarding experience of my life. One door closed, stand up… another opened… writer/playwright. The dyslexic became a writer…with his own website, with his own blog. And here I will stay hoping that what I write will amuse and inform and make the reader feel. I’ll proofread it but you’ll have to know that there will be mistakes. Myself will be myself… from will be form… and I will never see those mistakes. I am asking for you permission to NOT be 100% to be 85% or 90% and to make it be all right, that you will still come back and read more of my writings.
So this is my first entry in my very own blog. I hope you come along with me on my journey as I vent, I scream, I pour my heart out to nobody in particular. It’s my dyslexic blog and I thank you for reading the first entry.