Okay, so at least this time I know I have to write directly on the blog site- no writing on Microsoft Works Processor(don’t ask what year my computer is from) then deciding whether or not to cut and paste it onto the web. This is it. I’m writing my thoughts on “blogger.com,” then hitting “publish.” Scary, isn’t it?
Tonight is my last night in St. John’s, before I go to Halifax. I know I said I’d give you highlights from my Friday and Saturday night shows, but since I know I only have three followers, I will just write whatever I want(a bonus of being unpopular- no expectations to fill.) Last night I decided to go out, and cheat on vegetarianism. I am on the Atlantic, after all. I even showered and dressed up for the salmon, not that anyone noticed. I went to a nice restaurant on Water Street, called “Merlo’s Press & Bean.” I may have chosen the place based on the name, as I was craving red wine. I actually walked by this place the other day, but I thought it was a coffee shop. (Seriously? “Press & Bean?” Wouldn’t you think they were selling coffee?) I walk in, and grab a seat at the bar. I’m the ONLY one at the bar. It’s fine. It’s a Monday. I brought a book. The menu is amazing. I want everything on it(easy for a vegetarian to say- we have restrictions, and want everything we can’t have.) The bartender walks over. “What are you reading?”
“The menu,” I respond.
“No, Maam. I was talking about the book beside you.”
Oh shit. Don’t be cheeky unless you’re absolutely sure you’re the smart one in the conversation.
“Oh, it’s called, ‘I Heart New York.’ I love chic-lit,” I say. He responds.
“I used to live in Manhatten- I just moved here three weeks ago.”
WTF? Are you guys thinking what I’m thinking? Who moves from NYC to Newfoundland? As great as Nfld is, New York is my dream. I constantly fantasize about being a stand up comic in New York. Newfoundland… well, it’s just a base I’ve been posted at.
“Wow… why?” I ask.
He takes my half litre of wine, and tops up my glass.
“I lived there for 18 years. I’m an actor. I’ve worked on Broadway, worked as a model for Ford… But the past couple years I’ve been working as a personal assistant to a woman who runs a gallery… She was a crackhead…not pleasant.” Up until that sentence, I was picturing Charlotte York. “I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to come home… re-evaluate things… find myself again…”
Craziness. I always think I need to go to New York to find my “self.” I guess others need Canada to do the same. Though, 18 years in Manhattan might do a number on someone. I was already noting that his service as a bartender was impeccable.
“And I didn’t tell a sole,” he says. “I just left.”
This shocks me even more. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, MySpace(though I rarely check that account anymore.) How does anyone just vanish these days? It seems nearly impossible, unless the unthinkable happens. I’ve made a lot of big moves in my life, but none as bold as this man’s. He’s genuine, so deserving. How did he end up back here? I get my “pipe dream” on. I should write a script, and cast him as the lead! (I may be 30, but I still dream like a kid. ) Then, he could be back in New York, and he woudn’t have to work for that Amy Winehouse Art Gallery lady anymore! (To be fair, I love Amy Winehouse, but I think we all understand she has some serious vices.) I would love to help this man succeed in big ways, but sadly, I’m no screenwriter. I don’t even have connections past getting him another restaurant job. Who knows if I’ll even be back here in St. John’s again? Hopefully, yes. The coconut shrimp is delicious. That’s the tricky part about travelling. You meet a lot of people, and it’s not clear whether you’ll see them again.
The restaurant is closing early. It is Monday night, after all. Ten o’clock is super early for a Toronto girl like myself, especially one who still works in a bar. He reassures me there’s no rush to leave. I think he knows I’m intrigued with his story. He’s how I picture the waiter in the book, “Waiter Rant,” by Steve Dublanica. When I mention this to him, the other girl working lights up. She loves that book.
I get my bill. I tip like an American, as I always do. Before I leave, he mentions how he’s a big believer that everything happens for a reason. This is ironic to me. I would do anything to live in New York. He’s been there, and given it all up. I’m jealous, yet I know he’s done it all for the right reasons.
It’s funny. I think most stand up comics would be out tonight, re-watching sets they taped on the weekend, trying to punch up their acts. I don’t know what I accompish on my nights off. Sometimes I go out in hopes of finding my next great joke. And sometimes, I go out and just meet great people. Nothing wrong with that. And just so you know, you’re not the ones I chose to make fun of.
Or should I say,