4:18 PM Wednesday 18 April 2012 Nunhead Heights
Did you read about the newborn deer and the leopard in South Africa? How the leopard played with the fawn for 45 minutes – even letting the baby try to get milk from her. Was the leopard being maternal to the fawn?
I read it on the Daily Mail Online. I read the Daily Mail and I subscribe to the Guardian. I can pick and choose which newspapers I read because I wasn’t raised here so I am not bound by English class prejudices.
The fawn’s mother ran from the leopard. The fawn was too young to be afraid. The mother knew which battles to fight which is something that is hard to figure out and hard to live with once you do figure it out. As I have often sung: You gotta know when to walk away and know when to run ‘cause you never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table, there’ll be time enough for counting when the dealin’ done.
I was up thinking about the cute fawn when I get a call from a punter who’d been to Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous at the Source Below last night. He had left his bag under the chair with his company’s computer and iPhone.
My first thought: I didn’t take it. Please don’t think I took it. Then: I hope the new barman didn’t take it. Was it the lone punter who was sitting behind him who took it? He seemed a bit weird and he did leave right before the end. What about the people from the kebab place upstairs? Was it even taken?
I felt for the dude. He was an American from Kingston, New York. At least I believe what he told me. With English people you can’t be too sure. You ask an English person where they’re from and they’ll tell you where they stayed last night, even if they just moved in the day before.
Nothing we can do right now, I told him. We’ll know tomorrow. Now, I thought, I have yet another reason for not sleeping. Add that to not having an Edinburgh show title, not having a show, not filing my taxes, not designing a poster for outside the club, not having enough gigs, going over my overdraft without realizing it, and fighting with everyone important to me. The list can go on and on.
So all night I am worried about this dude’s bag and the computer and iPhone and how messed up his life is going to be if he doesn’t get it back. And how guilty I am going to feel.
In the morning he texts that he got into the club early and the bag was there under the chair. I felt a rush of relief – like the way I felt when the Judge ruled that Dr. Tusch had no claim against me after thinking I was going to have to give $2000 to the Dr. Mengele of laser surgery.
Relief is the best feeling in the entire world. Even more than victory, or sex, or laughter. What is more joyous than the feeling that something bad could’ve happened but didn’t happen?
I always anticipate the worst so when the worst doesn’t happen you feel amazing. Salvation.
People who think they are going to win you feel bad when they lose and they don’t feel very good when they win, either, cause they anticipated it.
Yes, I am miserable most of the time in my worried state but I also reach levels of ecstasy that an optimist can never achieve. And when the bad things happen – like when the leopard ate the cute little Bambi in front of Bambi’s mom – I don’t feel that bad, because I expected it. At least the dude got his computer and iPhone back. What a relief.
Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio
See Lewis Schaffer live every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Source Below. Free admission. Reserve at bit.ly/londonfreeshow