It's not always about being funny.

Nub

The sun, my natural alarm clock, paints my unshaven face with heat. Four steps from my bed sits my computer. I write for hours, only venturing outside once for some quick sustenance among people speaking a language I haven’t yet learned. Then it’s back to my words. My creations appearing on a screen in front of me. 

I’ve been waking up, in a sweat, to this vision every morning for the last week. It’s not a nightmare, though. It’s freeing.

My brain is overflowing with projects and ideas and whole worlds I can picture as if they were real and I want to develop and write and just . . . just create. For over a decade I’ve tried to balance a career with my creativity, but I’m gradually being ground down to nothing.

I hear my parents in my head as I type this. For baby boomers, life = work = money. You work hard because that’s how you support yourself and you don’t have to like it, but you do it so that eventually you can retire. By my age, my parents had three kids, two careers, two cars, a house with a pool, and a retirement fund. I have nothing. Zero. And I want even less.

A plan coalesces, piecing together every time those arctic fingers of depression crawl over me. All I need is the space to put it into play. Six months? A year? I need time to end this life, repay those who have been there, and rid myself of this detritus – this fucking debris that has become my life.

Why shouldn’t I? What can I possibly lose?

I’d rather live at a subsistence level and have the freedom to create than keep striving for this American dream, this nightmare that belongs to another generation, and be stifled. What I want out of this life, more than anything, is to make my mark. And that can’t happen right now. Not when I just keep grinding myself down to a nub.

therapy

Moms

Mine didn’t have dinner on the table every night, but she tried to. She worked sixty-plus hours a week, most of it standing up, staring into chest cavities, performing intricate procedures that required acuity and precision. She came home to three kids – the intellectual smart-ass who most resembled her and challenged her at every turn, the sweet yet temperamental daughter with perfect symptoms of the middle child syndrome, and the mischievious bright-eyed brat who got into everything and got away with most of it. She helped save lives all day long, a drastically more essential role in society, and then came home to the entirely marginal problems of children living in an upper-middle class family. My father would try to help, but he was the Judge Dredd of our little world, and his solutions tended to veer towards draconian.

Mine was the one who tried to be neutral and understanding, even when she just wanted to relax with a cigarette and a beer. She was the manipulative one, too – saying yes to the softballs but sending us to the enforcer for any favors she knew shouldn’t be allowed. I can’t blame her for that, though; it made the most sense given our family dynamic and as long as we always thought of her as the reasonable one, we gave her a break, which she has always deserved. Her snapping point was a distant point on the horizon and the only time she ever reached it was with all three of us, behind her, pushing her as hard as we could across that infinite space until it exploded in a flash of light and heat. The fact that all three of us survived to adulthood is a testament to her grace and serenity.

Mine was the smartest person I knew, with every adult in her circle treating her with respect and deference. She was the encyclopedia and the one who always knew how to figure out any answer. She was the lightning wit and biting sarcasm followed by the forgivable chuckle. Outsmarting her – outwitting her – outdoing her in any endeavor – those were my goals as a child, because that truly would be like stealing fire from the gods.

Mine is retired now, and enjoying the fruits of all of those years of her labor with my father, many miles away from the three of us – the genius narcissist who throws away his education, the sweet and fair-minded teacher who just wants all of us to always get along and love each other, and the salesman who will do whatever it takes and say whatever he needs to so he can close his next deal. Now when any of us, all adults in our own right, get to be too much, she can hang up the phone and relax and know that we’ll figure it out. We’ll do it because that’s how she and my father raised us.

Happy Mother’s Day to mine. You can’t have her.

Adam Avitable and his mother

therapy

New Phobias For Modern Society

Do you have a fear of flutes? Aulophobia. 

Does a bratwurst give you anxiety? Teutophobia.

Terrified of virgins?  Parthenophobia.

Gary Larson's Far Side cartoon on lupaslipophobia

There are literally hundreds of phobias. But as we become more and more connected as a global society and with the advent of new technology and new social behaviors and activities, there is a whole new crop of phobias that haven’t even been documented. Until now. I present to you:

Dr. Adam Heath Avitable’s Phobias for the Twenty-First Century

 

Sundayfundayproofophobia:  The fear of what your children will find years from now when they Google your name

Allcapsaphobia: Anxiety caused from the uncertainty of what any of your older relatives will comment on your Facebook posts

Skynethomicidaphobia: A fear that you will be caught committing a crime by the Google Maps car

LGBWTFophobia: The fear of offending someone by accidentally referring to them by the wrong gender

iFlushaphobia: Fear of dropping your phone in a public toilet while playing a game.

Carrrrrllllllllphobia: Fear of the zombie apocalypse

Carl Walking Dead Meme

Laundrydayaphobia: Anxiety caused by going out in public and being photographed for the People of Walmart site

Numberinacirclophobia: Anxiety caused by having unread notifications and unread emails

Peebeearrraphobia: The fear of hipsters

Pseudoexercisaphobia: Fear of mud runs and color runs

Foreveralonaphobia: The fear of accidentally swiping left on a good profile on Tinder

Foxnewsaphobia: Anxiety induced from having a black President

Mexicasiatexafrenchinesitalianaphobia: A fear of fusion restaurants

Trendsheepaphobia: Fear of people who insist they have a gluten allergy

Duckfaciaphobia: The fear that you’re going to take an unflattering selfie

Needmygameofthronesfixaphobia: Anxiety caused when you can’t get your friend’s dad’s buddy’s uncle’s daughter’s friend’s grandmother’s HBO Go password to work

Boobapaloozaphobia: The fear that you will accidentally send a nude snapchat to everyone

Whydoesshehatemephobia: The anxiety when your FB message has been marked “Seen” four hours ago but you haven’t received a reply

Urbandictionariaphobia: Anxiety caused by not knowing or understanding the latest trendy fake words like “fleek” and “thot”

Siriyoubitchaphobia: The fear that your phone will autocorrect your innocuous text into something offensive

Comedian Adam Avitable talks about autocorrect

And, finally:

Avitaphobia: The fear that Adam Avitable will post yet another naked picture somewhere on the Internet.

Thanks to Ree for the inspiration to write this post!

What new phobias do you foresee?

 

Broken hearts and strippers

The First White Dick

“So I do have to say this,” she said, in a conversation that had been entirely innocuous and normal up to that exact moment, “If you do get lucky tonight, you would be my first and only white dick.”

Why would you tell me that BEFORE? Having sex with someone new for the first time (and second and third and beyond) already comes with its own baggage. I’m already worried about performing well enough/being big enough/lasting long enough/making it fun enough/keeping it from being awkward/not sweating/hoping I don’t have any boogers/hoping that my breath is good enough/hoping that she’s not faking/hoping that we’re enjoying a legitimate moment/trying to actually lose myself in the moment instead of going through a mental checklist/and now I have to worry about the fact that your expectations are already higher because I’m a different race from your previous partners?

So now this instrument between my legs that is frankly a source of both pleasure and shame has to be some type of reverse Rosa Parks, refusing to back down until your bus reaches the station? If the sex isn’t mind-blowing, will I have, in your mind, let down all white men? Did I just let down George Clooney and Han Solo and Superman? Will I perpetuate the stereotype that once you go white, you won’t feel like it’s right?

I declined, if you wonder about those types of things. I wish I could say that it was due to some type of nobility because I didn’t want to be relegated to some Caucasian cock experiment for her, but the reality is that it just didn’t work out because I didn’t find her attractive enough to debase myself like that. Had she been a petite redhead with pale skin? Captain White Dick to the rescue!

Adam Avitable's Tinder Profile

I know that women have it worse on dating sites. Women have to deal with men who are psychotically horny, predatory, and terrifying. My experiences can’t even compare – it’s like complaining about being hungry when there are people starving to death in third-world countries. So I get it, and women, on behalf of men everywhere, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that this world of anonymity and filtered conversation through the Internet brings out the worst in many people. Do I date so that I can have sex? Sure – eventually. Maybe on that first date, maybe on a later one. Do I have dirty texting conversations? Of course I do, and more than that one time I almost accidentally sexted my mom instead of my girlfriend. Do I send dick pics? Absolutely, but there’s a time and place for everything, and that time is never when you first meet someone, and that place is never going to be in a conversation where you’re trying to get to know someone.

So I know I have no place to complain, since I am a man on a dating site, but fuck it. I’m going to complain a little. I’m sick of only seeing the weirdest segments of the population on dating sites. Yes, there are exceptions, from the strikingly attractive and creative Tampa photographer to the beautiful redheaded Orlando actress to the hard-working recruiter with the great smile, but we were never able to connect, and it’s the hundreds of others that I’ve had to contend with:

THE IDIOTS.

You don’t have to be a scholar. You don’t have to have a degree. You can misspell words and not understand possessive vs. contractions. I’ll still overlook it all if you have that spark of raw intelligence that might not demonstrate itself in the most obvious ways.

Maybe it’s just about showing some pride. Dating is about putting your best foot forward and making a good impression, then building upon that impression if you meet the person. Take some pride in what how you represent yourself and you’ll attract a better class of person. I just can’t see taking the time to try to translate your profile if you can’t be bothered to learn how to spell words like “you” or “the”.

THE POLYAMOROUS.

From an actual message I received:

My husband and I have a beautiful relationship based on mutual love and trust. We are open to other relationships with people because we see it as only an enhancement to our lives, as individuals and as a couple.

What? Okay, I get it if you are a woman who wants to bring another woman into a healthy relationship. It can add flavor and spice things up. And I understand if you’re in an unhappy relationship and you want to be with someone so you can feel loved and have a few moments of happiness while you try to build the strength to end your toxic situation.  But if you have a beautiful relationship based on mutual love and trust, why do you want to introduce others into it? It’s not going to enhance shit. All that usually means is that one person in the relationship has all the power and isn’t mature enough to commit fully to someone else, but their partner is too wrapped around a finger to disagree, so they throw around bullshit phrases like “open relationships enhance our lives”.

Plus, I’m way too competitive and narcissistic to be the third wheel in the tricycle of a polyamorous relationship. I’ll try anything once, but I don’t want to have sloppy seconds in any situation.

THE SO ALTERNATIVE THAT THE ALTERNATIVE THINK THEY’RE FREAKS.

Seriously. You’re trying too hard.

THE WOEFULLY UN-SELF-AWARE.

I don’t expect everyone to be as self aware as I am. I’ve spent years learning about me and learning who I am and what makes me happy. I know my destructive behaviors in and out and I’m aware of my motivations when I take any action.

But I would expect someone to be aware enough to realize that the blurry photo she posted in the stained white T-shirt sitting on the couch in the most unflattering pose I’ve ever witnessed might not be the best profile photo for a dating site. I understand – I really do – that we all want someone who will still love us when we look our worst just as much as when we look our best, but how about taking some fucking baby steps?

I think I deserve a cookie for not posting any screenshots I’ve taken of some of the awful profile photos I’ve seen. I don’t want to body-shame (it’s more like face-shame), because everyone’s beautiful for his or her own reason. BUT IF YOU COULD SEE SOME OF THESE PICTURES YOU’D DIE BUT LIKE LITERALLY DIE BECAUSE I THINK THESE PICTURES MAY CAUSE STROKES AND HEART CONDITIONS.

MY FRIENDS.

Already tried to have sex with you/didn’t work out or we had sex/decided to end things and stayed friends or we have a fwb situation/it still happens but we will never date.

THE REST.

Then there’s just the rest of the people out there on the big ol’ Internet who are looking for love but who don’t have that sense of humor, look in their eyes, spark of personality, tilt of the head, sense of style, body type, goofy smile, or whatever else grabs my attention and makes me want to know more.

I know what I like.

I know what I don’t.

And in the end it’s all about just having faith that eventually what I like matches someone and what she likes matches me, and we hit it off and have a spark and really feel a connection and she never says something like “you’ll be my first white dick” before we can consummate our relationship.

ONE CAN ONLY HOPE.

Adam Avitable is a stand-up comedian

March 20th Comedy Show: Dustin Diamond . . . and me!

One of the best things about being a stand-up comedian in Orlando is that there are so many different options for performing comedy. Whether you travel outside of Orlando itself to Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Winter Park, or the Milk District, or even further out like Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, or Melbourne, there is almost always a stage and a microphone to be found.

Sometimes it’s just about finding the right venue for comedy, and that’s what I’m looking forward to with my next big show. On Friday, March 20th, I’m working with Acme Superstore, a comic book store, to put on a fantastic comedy show. Acme recently renovated their entire location in Longwood (between Altamonte Springs and Lake Mary), and their giant “Danger Room” is a perfect room for someone who is looking for something to do on a Friday night in the Orlando area!

I have the pleasure of working with Dustin Diamond for this show. As our headliner, Dustin is flying in from Los Angeles just to perform in front of the lucky crowd at Acme Superstore. I’m producing two comedy shows that night – one at 7:30 and one at 10, just to give the Central Florida audience enough of a chance to come out and watch. It’s interesting producing a show with a controversial comedian like Dustin Diamond. People like to remember him as playing Screech from “Saved By The Bell” and I can’t blame him for taking some drastic steps in the opposite direction to distinguish himself. He’s not Screech. He’s Dustin, a separate person, and until you’ve been in his shoes as a child star who is forever typecast as a goofy, nerdy guy, how can you ever imagine what it’s actually like?

The most important thing about a comedy show is whether or not it’s funny. And this one will be. Obviously, Dustin Diamond is a well-established comic with a long background of stand-up and a track record for entertaining audiences with his stories and material. Plus, I get to feature, which is the easiest part of peforming stand-up comedy. The host has to warm up the crowd and get them ready to pay attention, and he or she takes the bullet for that. The headlining comedian has to be consistently funny enough for 45 minutes to an hour and end on enough of an upswing that audiences are happy. The feature? All you have to do is not screw up for 30 minutes!

If you live anywhere in the Orlando area, even if it’s Ocoee, Windermere, Avalon Park, or Claremont, or if you’re visiting from somewhere else and looking for a fun event or activity to do while you’re in Florida, come out to Acme Superstore on Friday, March 20th and watch stand-up comedy. The emcee for the night is one of the funniest up-and-coming comedians in Orlando right now, and if you haven’t seen Sean Finnerty, now is your chance before he makes it big and pretends like he doesn’t know any of us. Go over to BrownPaperTickets to get your tickets and I’ll see you at the show!

Comedy Show in Orlando with Dustin Diamond

Where Avitable lives.