My mom asks how it went last night. Was I performing? Or just seeing a friend? I tell her I just went to see a friend. That’s so generous, she says. You’re so loyal. I explain it’s not really that generous. I showed up to support but also to get inspired. I’ve been wanting to get back into stand-up for awhile. The first step is showing up at a show. Was he funny? she asks. Yes, I say. You should have asked him to spend the night, she says. I explain he’s married. That’s OK, she says.
We have a guest room.
Did you laugh at his jokes? she asks. I tell her yes but admit I didn’t laugh as hard as I could have. You should have laughed harder! she says. If you laugh intentionally then other people will laugh, too. It’s not that he wasn’t funny, I say. It’s just I’ve heard his jokes before. He pulled from a routine he used to do pre-COVID. At least I think it was pre-COVID. I hadn’t been to one of his live shows in such a long time. Was it 2020 or 2018? The thing about surviving a global pandemic is the years blend together. Sometimes I can’t remember if I’m in my early or late 30s. I do remember, when my friend asked what I’ve been up to the last five years, I gave him a one-minute recap like a standup routine.
You’ve always got a story, girl, he said.
Other people laughed so I don’t feel bad. If nobody had laughed, I would have been the girl laughing. Oftentimes I’m the “woo” girl. Or if I see someone starting to bomb, I intentionally make eye contact and try to subliminally signal “it’s going to be OK.” My friend didn’t need my help so I was more focused on what kind of beer to order. I know nothing about beer. I should know at least a little by now. I’m a big fan of my friend’s brewery outside Grenoble. Partly because the beer is good and partly because he has strong opinions re: what I should drink and I don’t have to think twice about it.
I went with cider donut.
The night was pitch black. The brewery sits off a highway across from a motorcycle shop adjacent a Sheetz. There’s a sign outside the entrance that says DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF SHEETZ. So I had to turn back when I got there and move my car. But once you enter the garden area, there are lawn chairs and fire pits and scarecrows for Halloween. They really do try in Manassas. Walking through the parking lot on my way out, I heard a loud “bahhhhhhhh” and startled at the sight of a bunch of baby goats in the back of a pick-up truck. The brewery does goat yoga.
We should go sometime, I tell Mom. I thought GOAT stood for “Greatest of All Time?” she asks. Yes, I say. But a goat is also an animal. That does yoga? she asks. Yes, I say. But, like, do the animals do the poses with you? she asks.
I don’t know, I say. I’ve never been.