April Fools’ seems an appropriate day to resume blogging.

I’ve heard that, “May you live in interesting times,” is a curse. Well, this year is interesting so far. Sadly, I’ve neither the ambition nor the talent to live on standup alone, so I needed an actual job. A few real opportunities came and went last December but in January, as my unemployment benefits were dwindling to a close, I was offered a full-time job close to home, to start in February. Great!

Except, one night near the end of January, I went to bed and the room spun around me. Felt drunk, but wasn’t drunk, believe it or not. Felt weird enough to wonder, as I fell asleep, if I’d wake up again. But not so weird it kept me from passing the hell out as usual. Next morning, I sat up and nearly fell over, I was so dizzy. Stumbled into the bathroom, feeling like I was on a boat, and promptly vomited.

Now, I’m closing in on 50, and I learned long ago that weird shit can and will happen to me. And why bother going to a doctor when Google is available? I quickly diagnosed myself. Seems there’s a condition where calcium crystals can loosen in your inner ear, throwing off your balance, and the only treatment is time and literally shaking your head, hoping to knock the crystals back into place. In other words, I needed to fix my head the way I’d fix a TV set back in the Eighties- by slapping the shit out of it. Seeing as I have a hole in my right ear where there shouldn’t be one, this seemed a likely culprit.

I’m assuming I was right, since I am feeling much better, but it didn’t make my first few weeks of work that fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked full-time, not to mention needing to get up at 5 AM, so it would’ve been rough already even without the inexplicable dizziness.

With all this going on, it made it that much more surreal when my phone rang at work and I got the news that someone I was once close to had died.

I have a lot of feelings on the matter, feelings I won’t be sharing. I don’t see a need to be public with grief, although I don’t begrudge others for doing that. In the weeks that followed, I saw others acting well, others not so much. It’s somehow appropriate and makes me chuckle that her death was a catalyst for starting yet another beef with yet another comic, one that I wasn’t looking for. In death, as in life, she could cause drama. She would’ve liked that. I’ll pray for the guy.

I will say that the aftermath was fairly predictable. The social media posts that Anthony Jeselnik rightly labeled, “Don’t forget about me!” The messages I got from others, expressing their condolences and then immediately asking how she died. Some people- probably more than I know- just outright assuming how she died.

There is one thing I liked seeing. All of us are complex. We have our good sides, we have our bad. We hope the good outweighs the bad. She was certainly no exception. In death, though, most only see her for the good. Not just that, but there are people who didn’t know her well that remember a lofty version of her that never actually existed. I like that. Why remember her as anything less?

Anyway. I’ve been all over the place these past few months. I also decided to go on a social media fast, since I found myself falling into old habits. Scrolling through page after page, despite not caring about anything I was looking at. Getting jealous, annoyed, even thinking dark thoughts about people I once considered friends. I don’t like being that way, so I’m staying off except to keep this blog going and to put out the last few episodes of my podcast I have in the can. Although I need to re-edit the episode I’d meant to put out most recently, as it featured a very funny clip about comics dying.

I couldn’t help but smile when, three days without signing in, Facebook sent me an email to let me know someone I don’t care about had posted something I don’t care about. I’m expecting them to send someone to knock on my door to give me updates. Or maybe a John Cusack move where they park outside my apartment and hold up a jukebox.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
– John Donne