My Mystery Man

Okay so this old white man (gotta be in his upper 70s) has shown up early to three of my shows so far. He first approached me before a show at 4th Tap a couple months ago. He was waiting in the parking lot in front of the building for me to come in. He approached me and told me he’d heard me on the radio and seen me do standup before and he wanted to talk to me about something that may or may not be related to farming and/or to comedy.

I wish I could remember everything he’s said to me, but I’ll just have to start recording our conversations in the future. So before the Good Set show, he said confusing things to me, said he'd like to meet up to discuss some things, if I was interested. And he handed me a manila envelope. It had an article that has to do with the water-irresponsible practices of California’s legal marijuana farmers. Apparently, there’s just not the regulation we desperately need them to have. Water is the number one problem we should all be concerned about, and there are practical and doable solutions but no one seems to care because they just don’t know because they’re so distracted by the idiotic political situation in this country that there’s no time for anything real. Obviously I’m interested in the topic, having been living with a farmer for the past three and a half years, I’ve learned a fair amount about it. So I found it interesting that he sent me/us that particular article. There was another article about the music scene in Houston in the 60s, and I have no idea why that was included in this packet, other than the fact that I’m from and grew up in H-town (represent), and then there was a hand written letter to me. It’s hard to describe that letter so I’m going to have to quote him. He starts by writing, “As I indicated, I approached you because of your elevated IQ. It is likely yours in higher than mine.

Later he writes, “I know so many things, not just from my own substantial decades of experience, but from monitoring what goes on worldwide.” Later, “Because you are smart, you also have have a status as a good liberal/minded person, perhaps even with what is known as a conscience? Speaking of brains, I need to ask this question: Is there anyone involved in comedy who is not also MENTALLY ILL (capitalization his)? At this moment, you could raise your girlish/boyish hand (Hey look, the old man gets my gender expression!) and say, ‘Not me, I am an exception to that pattern.’ (Uh, nah, I'm ill, yo.) I just put this is writing so you would not actually have to answer.”

He goes on to talk about his friends all suffering from depression. He says he has an endocrine disorder that he believes “protects [him] from depression, but has other ill effects, coupled with the unstoppable aging process.” He says he wants to meet to discuss something we might find “mutual[ly] educational.” The letters ends with, “An overlooked truth is that one can always learn from others, even if they have less knowledge to work with.”

Yesterday he showed up early to Austin Java before the Treehouse show, and he handed me the Scientific American issue and an envelope. He wants to arrange a time when he can have an hour of my time to talk. Hopefully next week will work for both of us.

I’m about to read the magazine. It’ll surely have some good stuff to talk about on Gender Fluids. The articles mentioned on the cover are “Gender Myths Debunked” , “The Sex Continuum” and “His Brain her Brain.” The envelope’s contents: there’s a little article classifying different varieties of anxiety and depression; then there’s a handwritten letter on the back of which is what looks to be a photocopied page from some kind of cool hippie underground magazine.

The Drugs are Dumb thingy is from the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

One of this letter’s highlights: “I have complimented your skills and smarts but will refrain from any detailed critique of you or your peers.” (Oh goodness.)

He then talks about having recently gotten on Twitter after purposefully ignoring it for its first decade. He says at first all he saw was a bunch of political crap, “ultra serious, political activist in nature. Then eventually I realized there was comedy to be gleaned and screened. So it has become a bit very time-consuming, but steady habit to examine on an ongoing basis.”

He says, “Unlike Mr. Dudley*, for practical reasons, I am not interested in the details, the nitty gritty of anyone’s sex life. (I’m sure it is interesting though). At some point I may ask you a psychology-based question or two.”
Then he mentions his friends being depressed again and ponders whether way more people are depressed than we’re all letting on, or whether he might just be the kind of person who’s attracted to depressed people. 

It’s like the universe handed me my very own Hunt-a-Killer-esque mystery box. This is so tight. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

*Here’s he referring to Dale Dudley, one of the hosts of a radio show here in Austin. I’ve been on the show twice now, and Dale does this thing where all he wants to do is ask me about lesbian sex, but then after he asks, he barely lets me say anything before interrupting to say he’s ashamed he asked, that he feels awful for asking me these questions. I’m always like, "No that’s what I’m here for, because I like answering questions like that," but to basically no avail.

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