Year Without Beer

“If you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

                        –Toni Morrison

            Do It All Dad, a 45-year-old divorced father of three, was burnt out on feeling like a waste of height, already.  He longed to fly high like MJ and DR J or Chocolate Thunder before him; yet what would Do It All Dad’s next destination be?  Do It All Dad had a gorgeous-looking jump shot; yet he wasn’t going to try out for the European basketball league, knowing that his ball handle was weak, and he could only dunk out with a mini-basketball on a regulation at hoop at 6’4 in a non-game situation with an extreme running start and only with one hand, while still fretting about awkwardly falling in his ass in the process.  

            One summer, when Do It All Dad was a lonely college student still heartbroken over his summer romance with Katie on the Cape, which stayed in Kennedy Country and within the deep pits of his pain-punctured heart, he worked as a waiter at the NY Yacht Club in Rye, NY, and became friendly with all the busboys and other waiters there.

            They mostly came from the boogie-down Bronx, versus his more snuggle-soft secure upbringing along the Tudor-housed streets, with crisp cut grass you can eat a knocked-over Hebrew National Dog from (assuming your uncontrollable, putzy DNA held your semi-surging self-esteem hostage again, or you’d just dropped and spilled a plate at a barbeque because you have no sense of beer-pounding pace whatsoever, especially with high octane weed being puffed at an increasingly rapid rate.

            One time, on their downtime at work, Do It All Dad (then known as simply Josh) was at local basketball court with a Latino busy boy who was half his size, boasting calf muscles thicker than the Yellow Pages phone book, and launched high, with zero hesitation, for a thunderous dunk with reverberating authority.

             He was the lost twenty-year-old college senior without a passion to latch a career onto yet; miserably clueless about what type of white collar job he’d pursue after graduating from the top communications schools in the country (that being Ithaca College, which he’d call ‘Cornell’s retarded next door neighbor’ in his eventual open mike stand-up act years later).

            He thinks to himself, “Look at Julio fly. My dad is right. I really am a waste of height. So I scored ten points against an all-Japanese private school team on our home floor.

            “It’s hard to feel empowered about my sudden offensive power surge, then, which consisted mostly of jumpers and some occasional semi-forceful layups that drew some contact in the paint. I knew that whoever my defender was next had a tendency to run away, scared, from me when I drove to the hoop like they were auditioning as scurrying movie extras in a scorched city scene from Godzilla.

            Then, after Julio’s raise-the-roof, in-your-face, I’m-the-man dunk, he encouraged Josh to get physical and try dunking himself, saying, “Your turn, Josh. I’m half your size. Dunk it home for me. You can do it, player.”

            Josh was very touched by this motivated nudge to assert his latent manhood by at least trying to dunk a ball without fear of failure or embarrassment from falling on his ass or cracking his head on the concrete for trying to launch toward the hoop with more fickle feet apprehension, knowing that his less-than-lackluster ups, which he had done nothing to accentuate since his varsity-playing basketball days, when he used to run on his tippy toes instead of high tops, made him look like he was auditioning for America’s Top Model, instead.

            If only LaVar Ball was his sub coach! He’d make sure he lost his virginity before his younger brother did. He’d joked about this in an act, when he auditioned for amateur night at the Apollo Theater, once, adding, “LaVar Ball as my sub coach dad in high school would’ve been the greatest.

            “He’d throw me house parties at home and only invite stuck-up Jenny from down the block. Two minutes into the party, he’d get in stuck-up Jenny’s ear and bark, “The Yoo-Hoo bottle doesn’t spin itself, bitch.”

            Now Josh takes a final glance at Julio on the sideline, who gives an encouraging fist pump,  signaling, You can do this, champ.

            Josh does his best to run fast toward the hoop before blastoff, yet he starts running faster than he was accustomed to, which was far outside of his comfort zone, before slowing down a tad before liftoff. This stripped him of all forward momentous lift, resulting in him barely grazing the ball on the rim.

            It was impossible for Josh to conceal his dejected embarrassment, knowing that fear prevented him from flying high again.

            Julio approaches Josh as his head hangs low in an excessively worrisome, ‘I’m such a worthless putz’, deflated state, and says, “You slowed down. You can’t be afraid to fly, B.”

            Now, at 45, what was keeping Do It All Dad from flying high with the angels?  Assuming ownership of his original birth name, Michael, instead of his middle name Joshua (knowing that Michael was considered partially Godlike, in the sense that he packed enough firepower to kick Lucifer’s ass out of heaven) wasn’t adding any extra flying lift to his anemic vertical jump.

            Do It All Dad loved his IPAs, yet, after getting divorced for cheating on his wife with a kid’s salon hairdresser who worked on his son’s cut (which most would say was done in extreme poor taste), he began to question the intrinsic value his cherished IPAs had to offer his rapidly-depleting, voided world without his three beamish wonder kids in his life, anymore, after being so immersed in their lives as a podcast stay-at-home comedian for years, writing one more self-published book with even more anemic sales to match, after the next.  

            Do It All Dad always liked to read quotes on Goodreads to get his brain going when writing about a new topic, to see what fresh point of view hadn’t been expressed yet, because his definition of failure was giving up on being your most unapologetic, genuine, original self in the service of showing blatant disregard for so-called ideals of appropriate, pre-determined labeling behavior.

            One quote which always weighed heavily on his guilt-plagued consciousness was the one from famed novelist Toni Morrison stating, “If you wanna fly, you got to give up shit that weighs you down.”

            Now Josh was divorced from what had descended into a loveless marriage of convenience, where he was treated like hired help more so than a true lifetime partner in love or the patriarch of the family, so he was free of that constant negative nagging energy in his life; yet that wasn’t enough to free him to fly.

            On a less psychic mumbo jumbo level, if Josh was brutally honest with himself, it was the mini-beer belly which prevented him from reaching sustained dunking-out glory where he had life in a perpetual ball death grip for good.

            The shit Josh needed to give up was the ironically named hop juice.  

            Now, Josh needed a change of location where alcohol wasn’t in your face and such a dominant aspect of nightlife like at two-drink minimum comedy clubs in NYC, for starters.

             After a killer set at The Comedy Cellar, who doesn’t want a beer or two, to enjoy the post-kill rush among a sea of new touchy-feely female fans?

            Josh was tired of hiding behind a computer from the real world, now that the comedy clubs were closed indefinitely in a post-COVID-controlled universe gone wild.

            If he was going to give up beer and actually write his new book concept into an actual novel already, Do It All Dad Does Mormonism, he needed to embrace the Mormon lifestyle by giving up his precious espresso pods and IPAs. He needed to focus on shedding the extra twenty pounds holding him back from flying with rock-powered authority like Eddie Vedder off the stacks of amps at the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony, so he could prove to himself that he was capable of being a better man, after all, who can snag a smoking hot babe similar to Pearl Jam’s front man’s wife. Chances are, he didn’t meet her at a Seattle coffee shop.
            But what would Josh do for money, to pay child support and avoid jail time for failure to contribute?

            Nobody picked up the phone anymore, so working as an IT recruiter was out, and would only lead to him drinking again to take the edge off from feeling like such a predictable, ineffectual, powerless, indentured servant jerkoff again and again.

            No, Josh had to move outside his comfort zone, more so than going on a permanent detoxification, this time. He needed to put his handsome mug to good use, especially once he started dropping weight at an accelerated rate again, which would make him look like Vince Vaughn during his pubescent prime pre-insomniac years.

            Josh was blessed with a booming motor mouth, too, and was a Do It All Dad Coach Dad who got his youngest into fencing, his second oldest in swimming, and his third into volleyball; all on the verge of scoring respective sports scholarships for each.

            So, how could Josh use his power to motivate, stimulate, and entertain while making enough to bread to keep those child support payments up?  Because getting another 50K sales rep job for a media software sales monitoring company at age 45 wasn’t going to get the job done, either.

            Finally, one night after Josh was done pulverizing the vagina of his new kid stylist girlfriend, Julia, a striking, tall, muscular, stacked, 50-year-old divorced blonde mom in tight ripped jeans (normally, who was caught staring at his swollen package the first time he gave her the green light to give him his spikey-haired, lean, mean machine makeover, an idea emerged.

            Josh says to the chesty, sweat-drenched, perfect-feet-manicured Julie, in bed, “I can’t make a living as a working comedian or as an author, yet, but I could say fuck writing for the time being, which is a major time-suck on my life (which I don’t have the luxury to blow through anymore, as my Do It All Dad schtick is wearing thin if I don’t start earning for my family tomorrow).

            “So I’m going to throw my ball sack on the line and audition to become the next star Peloton riding instructor, because they all bore me to freaking death.

            “I don’t care how tan, ripped, and solid they look. I’m also ranking high on the leader board every time, without completely coughing out a lung, either.

            “Plus, my motivation is to avoid getting anal AIDS in prison, in addition to becoming a star provider for my family (after all, this is what I pray to God for every morning, anyway).

            “The most popular Peloton instructors make 300K a year. No wonder they smiling so fucking much, because it’s not their witty asides on the bike that’s making their cheeks hurt from extended grinning.

            “Also, I’m gay enough to be a male instructor who can look stylish and be cheeky and bitchy without sounding like a permanent bottom bitch, while also possessing enough manly, grizzly chest hair to arouse all the Peloton moms and younger millennial mousketeers getting their efficient remote work groove from home, too.

            “Plus, I wrote the entire script for VHL Classic’s America’s Hard 100, so I’m more than capable of crafting more kickass riding playlists than playing the same generic GNR songs all the time.

            “And, I know enough about hard rock to know that Foreigner kicks way more ass than the fucking Black Keys or Kings of Leon ever could. Hey, why don’t we move to Utah together?”

            Julia says, “What the fuck is in Utah?”

            Josh says, “Mormon moms. They’ll love me. In Utah, they have the most amount of plastic surgeon offices per square foot in the US—even more than Beverly Hills.

            “I’ll be flush with primo new fantasy bang material, assuming that I get tired of bursting with joy between your gorgeous lobes of perfection on top, come rain or shine.”

            Julia says, “Look, Josh, I like you plenty. You make me laugh constantly and dent my pussy for weeks (which I’m not complaining about one iota, either), but let’s be honest. I’m your divorce rebound lay—nothing more, nothing less.

            “Although, sometimes, a divorce rebound lay can help arouse what you’re most passionate about doing next.”

            Josh says, “My son Arthur keeps asking me if he’s going to take a picture of me dunking a basketball while slamming an empty IPA, for the back cover pic.

            “I think I finally found a way to do it—on top of some basketball court overlooking Zion National Park. The Lion Of Judah will conquer his white man’s disease after all, like a true Duppy Conqueror. Bob Marely lives, holla; thank you very much.

            “Do It All Dad Does Mormonism can be sold as a self-help, midlife crisis reinvention novel about a divorced dad who decides that the best way to fly is to give up the shit that weighs him down—that being beer and a nagging ex-wife who always insisted I was more of a writer than a performer (which is bullshit all the way).

            “This would prove her wrong, and I could become the star provider for my family after all.”          Julia says, “Yeah, but are you really going to give up everything for this part, like way Rodney’s character does for Easy Money?”

            Joshua says, “I could get a medical prescription for some stink-free edibles, claiming PTSD after learning that my mother-in-law forced Eucharist on my three kids behind my back.

            “The Church of Later Day of Saints will eat up that shit like polygamy Jello-wresting wife night.    “I’ll make up some line about me converting to Mormonism because you can achieve salvation through good works similar to the act of Mitzvah in the Jewish faith, doing good for the sake doing it.

            “I could throw in a line about how becoming a Jew for Jesus is tempting, yet I could never get past the rule allowing entry into heaven if you’re a sanctuary city mayor who asks for forgiveness before his final judgment, despite being guilty of using their power to block the deportation of child rapists who don’t belong in our country in the first place.

            “Ban ICE because homeland security was so weapons-of-mass-destruction-years, my chest.”        Julia laughs and says, “When you become a big-time, Peloton instructor, maybe I’ll fly to visit you.”

            Joshua leans closer to his divorce rebound lay, career-revitalizing muse, of sorts, with steamy, inhalatory glee and says, “But the book isn’t called Do It All Dad Does Italian Hairdressers From Yonkers, NY.

            “Still, I need to get into tip top shape for this audition.

            “So, how about I pump up your box one more time for the road, instead.”

            Julia grabs Joshua’s throbbing man meat underneath the sheets and he says, “I’ll take that as a hard yes.”

Michael Kornbluth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s