Thursday, January 9, 2014

Living In Limbo

Thursday January 9th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

   I can feel a ball of excitement brewing in my immediate future, and it’s giving me a lot of hope for a great year in 2014 – which I predict will be my greatest ever by far. I shot for last year to be that and in many ways it was, but the vibe I’ve got now is markedly better. This is at full throttle.

   Nothing is ever perfect though, and I’m deeply disturbed by the horrific situation my roommate Sheri is in. It’s magnified a hundred times, because I’m living in her house. It’s silent to the point of ridiculousness, and I can’t help but be saddened all over again every time I walk in the door.

   Sheri has a dog named “Indy” (short for Indiana) that’s a little fuzz bucket that was never more than five feet from her at any time. He’s a yipping little thing and could be annoying at times, but he protected Sheri with his life. He was her pride and joy, and she treated him like her only child.

   I’ve never been a pet owner, but I would never think of being mean to an animal. I could sense how important Indy was to Sheri, and even though I’d only been here a month he was starting to grow on me too. He always tried to get in my room, and when he did he’d dig through my stuff.

   I wasn’t thrilled at first, but I learned to keep the door closed and it was fine. He wasn’t hurting anything, and had a very playful vibe. He scampered around the house, and if I took time to play with him he totally got into it. He loved the attention, and it felt like he was getting used to me.

   It got to the point I would look forward to playing with him when I got home. I could hear him yipping when I opened the garage door, and he’d jump up on me when I walked in the house. It’s not that way now at all, and it’s eerie. The silence is deafening and serves as a constant reminder.

   Sheri’s long time friend Debra stops by on occasion to give me updates. Nobody is exactly sure of anything, other than the fact Sheri will be laid up indefinitely. She will have a long tough road back to say the least, but nobody is quite sure where “back” will be. They’re still examining how much damage there was, and it’s a process that will take a while. I have no experience with this.

   Debra said I was welcome to stay here for the immediate future, but after that nobody knows. It may come to the point where they need to sell the house, and that’s understandable. She also said it’s good that someone is living here to keep the walk shoveled and look after things. I told her to keep me informed, and whatever I need to do is fine. I’m living in limbo, but I’ll help if I’m able.

   The very least I can do is organize a comedy benefit show, and I put the word out today for all the Zanies staff that know Sheri. I’m sure Zanies will let us do the show in one of their locations at some point, and I think it needs to be done for everyone. Obviously Sheri can use some money to pay some immediate expenses, but it will be good for all of us to come together to support too.

   I have hosted so many benefits at this point that part is the very least of my worries. I’ll be able to get comedians and we will do a show. We’ll have a friendly crowd that will show up to donate to a worthy cause. The Zanies staff will get together and have fun, and we’ll give 100% of all the night’s proceeds to Sheri. That’s all great, but it just seems SO wrong that we need to do it in the first place. Life is short, delicate and comes with zero guarantees. This is not a pleasant scenario.

Sheri Johnson worked at Zanies Comedy Club in Vernon Hills, IL for twenty years - as did I. She has a huge heart, and suffered a major stroke recently. Prayers are nice, but she needs money to pay her immediate bills.

The Vernon Hills location is now closed, but there are three other Chicago locations and I'm sure we'll be able to find one to let us do a benefit show in the near future. It's the right thing to do, and I will do all in my power to make sure it happens. We all need it.

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