Back in New York, my time working with Brenna was nearing its end. The underhanded comments I would witness in the workplace made it harder and harder to keep my composure, and I knew any physical action would put me in a bind. So as my days at the company winded down, I would invite a select few to a night out at Gizzi’s. Offering multiple time slots, I allowed others to take the stage and showcase their material, before headlining the night’s festivities. Having had a successful show at Wicked Willy’s, I invited the pianist, who would share the stage with me that night. I should’ve known something was off. Prior to our arrival in West Village, I made my way to his house to help with equipment, making a pitstop for beer on the way there to pre-game. This neighborhood was unfamiliar territory, and the Heineken logo was nowhere to be found. Taking my pick of an indie brew, I grab a 6 pack of “Angry Dog” and finalize my purchase. By the time we reached the show, the effects of this foreign IPA had started to find their way to the forefront of my presentation. As my guests performed, I took shots and chasers to the face, preparing myself for a lengthy set. Once on stage, it wouldn’t take long before the devil on my shoulder appeared. Packed with a small crowd, I singled out patrons at the one table in the entire venue talking throughout the performance and cut a profanity-laced promo in classic ECW fashion. “When I’m on stage, you shut the fuck up!”. The disappointment on the faces of my friends and family was barely visible through the beer goggles I had on. After some back and forth, the group would gather their belongings and leave the venue. In shock, the pianist remains on stage, undoubtedly counting the seconds til the show was over. I wasn’t sure why he stayed til the end. Knowing what I had just done, we played the remainder of the set in a tense atmosphere, created by the inability to move past what had just transpired. As the night ends, and my following finds their exit, I’m approached by individuals who offered a fresh perspective on the night. “Dude, you’re the next Kurt Cobain”. “That was the most rockstar shit I’ve ever seen”. Conflicted, I accepted their praise, while simultaneously hiding my shame.

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