I’m in therapy. A lot of therapy. I see a therapist for my personal issues (binge drinking and rage being just two of my many problems). And the girlfriend and I see a couple’s counselor for our relationship issues (she doesn’t vocalize her feelings and I think my penis is too large). And I wonder – are my therapists legitimately interested in my problems? Most of the time when I work, I’m just going through the motions for a paycheck. I’ve had quite a few writing assignments where I cranked out uninspired genre films in order to collect my delivery money. Right now, I’m getting paid for this blog post and I couldn’t care less about it. So it’s quite conceivable that my therapists sit there, listening to me ramble on about how my parents never loved me, bored out of their minds, passing time until they can collect my fee. But the problem comes in that I’m talking about what’s wrong with me so much – to my friends, to my girlfriend, to two therapists now – that even I’m sick of my crap. I’ll find myself in the middle of a heartwrenching story about how my dad almost punched out a bus driver at LAX and my worry that I’m inheriting those same anger issues, and I’ll start to tune out. I’ll forget if I covered this in personal therapy or brought it up to my girlfriend before.
And that’s odd. I’m at least as self-centered as anyone else. It’s why I became a writer. It takes a certain amount of misplaced self-confidence (the Jews call it “chutzpah”) to believe that not only do other people want to read or watch what you scribble down, but that they should pay you for the privilege of doing so. So I’ve started making up new problems off the top of my head. I’ll go into therapy and tell my doc that I tried heroin for the first time. In recounting the latest fight my significant other and I had to my best friend, I’ll mention that I cheated on her with a Mexican transsexual. It tests my improv skills, and I can tell when people are paying attention. Plus, it’s far more interesting than my real, stale problems.
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