CONVERSATIONS PT. 1

CONVERSATIONS PT. 1 – EVOLUTION OF A WOULD-BE ENTERTAINER  

“Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look? It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear. And I need a job. So I want to be a paperback writer. Paperback writer.”

– Paperback Writer,” The Beatles

 

Circa 1994, Dinner, Ristorante Da Umberto, Chelsea, Manhattan: 

After a couple of Absoluts on the rocks and close to finishing bottle number two of a great ’89 Italian Ornellaia, the conversation with my boss, Mike, and his wife, Val, has become very less than serious.

Val: “I love coming here. I’m always waiting to see if one of the big mafia guys will show up. I heard John Gotti used to eat here.”

Mike: “I think she’s watching too much tv again. Honey, please don’t ask the waiter again tonight if anyone ‘famous’ is coming in. Gotti’s in jail so he won’t be coming in. Ever.”

Steve: “Gotti. Now there’s a book to write. If you can survive the research.”

Val: “Oh that’s right. You like to write. What would you have done if you hadn’t gone into sales? Write?”

Steve: “I don’t know. Maybe I would have been a writer.”

Mike: “Really. A writer, huh?”

Steve: “When I was growing up, my dream was to either be a writer or a standup comedian. But sales pays the bills. Unless you’re really good or really lucky, writing and standup don’t. But yeah. I would have liked to have been a writer or comedian. Obviously that’s never going to happen now.”

 

Circa 2004, Friday “Boys Night Out,” Filomena’s Restaurant, Berlin, NJ:

Steve: “So, dude. Got into a conversation with Brent, one of the guys I work with, today. We were talking about how the government is flooding the Grand Canyon. It’s a conservation thing and it surprised me that the Bush administration is doing anything at all to support the environment. There must be a special interest group behind it somewhere.”

Dan: “And?”

Steve: “Brent said to write something about it if I feel that strongly.”

Dan: “And?”

Steve: “And I think I will.”

 

March, 2005, Phone conversation:

Steve: “Dude. Just heard back from the Inquirer. They’re going to publish my essay about the military guy at the Knoxville airport!”

Dan: “Oh. Cool!”

Steve: “I wrote it and posted it under my Sly Krankfield pen name on my website, but I used my real name for the newspaper.”

Dan: “That’s great, dude. Proud of you.”

 

Circa mid-2007, Friday “Boys Night Out,” Filomena’s Restaurant, Berlin, NJ:

Steve: “Think I’m done with the writing thing. Just don’t feel like I’ve got a lot else to say.”

Dan: “You’ve got a lot of things going on.”

Steve: “I know, dude. Priority number one – find a job. Going on a year now. And you know just how “south” things have been going at home.”

Dan: “Give it some time. Maybe you should just take a break from writing for a while until things straighten out. You’ll feel better then.”

Steve: “Yeah. You’re probably right.”

 

Sept., 2013, Prose and Poetry Writing Class, Prescott Library, Prescott, AZ:

Steve: “Hi. My name is Steve Healey. I’m new to Prescott. I just moved here just a few months ago. I used to write, but I haven’t written anything in about six years or so. I was unemployed or semi-employed for almost 4 years. Trying to get a ‘decent’ job in your late 50’s and early 60’s is a full time job in itself. Going through a divorce after almost 34 years of marriage also gave me some unique experiences. Losing the best friend I ever had after a brutal two-year battle with cancer. Finally getting that decent job again, but then seeing how much the world around me had changed in those four years began to make me wonder if it was still worth it. Retiring and walking away from a job also gives rise to many new internal conflicts. And finally moving across a continent, leaving all family and friends behind, for a woman I’ve loved for five decades has added to the mix of emotions. All this has given me the inspiration to write again. I know now I’ve got more to say.”

Carol: “Well, what type of writing do you do?”

Steve: “I don’t know what you would call it. Contemporary humor, maybe. Satire. Memoir. I really don’t know what to call it. I just call it smartass.”

Carol: “Okay…”

 

March, 2014, Facebook posting:

Steve: “The Camden Courier-Post published one of my essays today. If you’d like to read it, you can do that at….”

 

June, 2014, Facebook posting: 

“If you saw the Mile High Comedy Show and thought, ‘Hey – I’d like to try that!’ Now’s your chance. Eight week summer improv workshop sign-ups are taking place right now! Only $10 a class – and you get a chance to audition to be a part of the cast.”

 

July 31, 2014, Mile High Comedy Theater workshop:

Cynthia: “There is no feeling in the world like taking a joke you’ve developed in your head, practice and practice it and then walk out on stage and get someone to laugh at it. It’s a real rush.”

 

August 1, 2014, Thumb Butte Distillery:

Emcee: “Welcome. Tonight you will see a brave group of individuals who will be making their debut as standup comics……” “Next up is a recent transplant from New Jersey, Mr. Steve Healey. Let’s hear it for Steve.”

Steve: “Wow. What a great crowd. It’s so good to see everyone here tonight. Well, almost everyone…..”

(Cynthia, you were right.)

 

Anything is possible. Never say never.

 

 

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