Eli Schostak @EliSchostak: were you angry at anyone or any Being during the hurricane?
When there was a foot of water on the first floor of my house and my wedding ring had fallen off and gone missing when I was futilely taping up the outside doors, I had a few choices.
I could’ve said, “Ugh, why me!” Why did I have to lose that ring? Why did I have to live in a place that was going to get flooded. The river hasn’t surged like this in 40 years. Why is it happening now when I have so much to do?”
But why would I chose to fight like that. I had another choice. Go to the second floor. Get out the ipad, and watch a movie. Which is what Claudia and I did. We watched Casino Royale, the James Bond movie while the first floor filled up with almost two feet of water throughout the night.
Yesterday, a few days after the flood, I realized that we forgot to take out of a drawer a box of comic books that I had been saving since 1975. All of my comics that I had left. About a year ago we cleaned up my old comics and got rid of a lot. So this was the final box, the box of my favorites. The ones that I wanted to hold onto forever. The river ruined them all. Why did we forget them? How could I have been so stupid?
I put the box of comic books outside (along with one sofa and one bed that we didn’t protect properly) to be picked up by the garbage people and sat there for about an hour reading them. They were soggy and wet and the pages were old so even the slightest touch would shred them. I read through each page of some of them. Even those ads: “Hercules Wrist Band!” , “X-Ray Goggles!”, “Ventriloquist Doll!” I remember reading these comics when I was a kid. I remember buying them. My sister and I would sneak out of my grandparents house and go to this one newsstand on 29th and 8th avenue and for a dollar I could buy four or five comics and then spend the afternoon reading and re-reading them. I loved them. And now, at long last, they were dead. I had to throw them out. Completely ruined. It’s nice to feel the sadness of nostalgia.
But then it’s over. Then you accept what is and move on. It’s also nice to clean things out. To start fresh. To realize that everything in life is here for only a moment. It’s our choice: enjoy the moment or not enjoy the moment. What will you choose? Why would you choose to fight? If you have high expectations for nature then you will be often disappointed. We came into this world naked and we will leave here naked.
Louis CK wrote to his email list that he was going to be on Saturday Night Live. I thought it was a beautiful email. I’m going to reprint part of it without any permission:
Last night we shot some pre-tape segments in greenwich Village, which was pitch black dark for blocks and blocks, as it has been for a week now.
Its pretty impossible to describe walking through these city streets in total darkness. It can’t even be called a trip through time, because as long as new york has lived, its been lit. By electricity, gas lamps, candlelight, kerosene. But this was pitch black, street after street, corner round corner. And for me, the village being the very place that made me into a comedian and a man, to walk through the heart of it and feel like, in a way, it was dead. I can’t tell you how that felt. And you also had a palpable sense that inside each dark window was a family or a student or an artist or an old woman living alone, just being int he dark and waiting for the day to come back. Like we were all having one big sleep over, but not so much fun as that.
This is how a lot of the city is still. I know people in queens, brooklyn, Staten Island, new jersey, all over, are not normal yet. And not normal is hard.
And here at 30 rock, these folks are working so hard this week. There are kids in the studio every day, because members of the crew and staff had to bring them to work. Many people are sharing lodging. Everyone is tired. But there’s this feeling here that we’ve got to put on a great show. I’m sure it feels like that here every week. But wow. I feel really lucky to be sharing this time with these particular good folks here at SNL.
In about 5 hours we’ll be going on the air. I’ll do a monologue. And we’ll show you some sketches that we wrote and try to make you laugh. I’m gonna look really dumb in some of this stuff. But I don’t care. Its awfully worth it. And I’m really excited.
Anyway. I just wanted to let you know. If you watch the show tonight, when Don Pardo says my name and you see me walking out, all the shit in this email is what ill be thinking. I’m a pretty lucky guy. I hope you enjoy the show.
Live. From new york. Its saturday night.”
I hope we can all be so lucky.