Stigma Fighters: Johnny Sparkles Part 1

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Stigma Fighters: Johnny Sparkles Part 1

I was asked to write this piece a couple weeks ago, and I started to write it quite a few times. I wrote some of it down here, and erased it. I wrote some elsewhere, and scrapped it. I wrote pages upon pages in my head, and tossed them aside, along with all the useless stuff that occupies much of my mind space.

It’s not that I didn’t know what to write, or how to say it. It’s more like sometimes you have too much to say, and you know how to say it, but you want to say it as succinctly as possible. And when you’re writing about the most important stranger to ever walk into your life, who then–almost overnight–becomes a huge part of your life, you want it to be almost perfect, because when you’re writing about someone who impacted your life in such flawlessly beautiful ways, you want to honor that, so I’m not sorry that I waited this long, though it wasn’t my intention.

But now, I think it’s time…

On December 12, 2012, an hour or so after performing a comedy set in Honolulu, Hawaii, I approached the exit of the venue, as I heard a voice call out. I didn’t recognize the voice, but when I turned around, I did recognize the face, but only vaguely. This was the girl who had been coming to my stand up and improv shows sporadically over the last few months. She sort of always just sat in the back, and never talked to me, but I never took it personally, because she never really talked to anybody. But she was there a lot, to the extent that it was kind of odd for her to stay basically silent all that time, but not completely out of the ordinary, as a lot of people go to shows because they appreciate talent from afar, and are too terrified to even sit close to a stage, let alone get up on one.

She introduced herself, and said she thought I was funny, and then we awkwardly uttered a few sentences back and forth to each other. Not only do I not remember much of this conversation, but I don’t think if I even did, that it would be very interesting to anybody. Knowing what I know now, I think she was nervous because she liked me, and I was nervous because a girl was talking to me, and I never really know what that means, because I’m horrible at signs. So horrible at signs that I didn’t know what it meant when a girl who had been coming to my shows for months, and not talking to anybody, suddenly approached me and mustered up a few sentences before we awkwardly parted ways. Even after a few colleagues tried to convince me that she was into me. Have I mentioned how horrible at signs I am?

A month, and change later (I’m horrible at signs!), there was a much bigger show at the same venue, and I was opening for a national headliner. I was delighted to see that Samantha had shown up for it, because in spite of my bad sign reading, I was feeling confident, and I was determined to have a more witty, and overall interesting conversation with her that night. Luckily for me, it happened, and I got to speak to her more in a half hour or so, than I had the entire time I had known her face. I don’t remember much of that conversation either, but I do remember the flirting becoming almost overly obvious, and I recall thinking it was kind of great that she didn’t have a Facebook account. (How cool is that, Rivers Cuomo!?) Before I cut the conversation short to reluctantly talk to other people (and not appear too eager, probably), I left her with my business card, and told her to call or email me anytime, which seemed to tickle her.

Within the next couple of weeks, we were emailing epic letters to each other, and within a week or two after that, we started seeing each other pretty regularly. It was the epitome of a whirlwind romance, and I had never been so happy to be caught in a gust. At first, Samantha was reluctant to see me more often, but I think by then, it was beyond her control. From what I can gather from all the emails, and texts we exchanged, not seeing me regularly was simply not an option once we started seeing more of each other.

I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted when I first met her either, but I can tell you now, that by the second or third time I had gone on a proper date with Samantha, I was madly in love with her. And I’m happy to say that by right around the same time, the feeling was mutual, although she would never say she was in love with me. The funny thing is I used to be mildly bothered by the fact that she didn’t use the words “I”, “love”, and “you”, all in the same sentence as it pertained to me, but the fact of the matter was, the things that she did say to me, and show to me, were far more meaningful than those three words. The woman was crazy about me, and once she got comfortable, she never hesitated to tell me how awesome she thought I was, and that made me feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

If my timeline memory serves me well, we’re now at about two months from the night she first approached me, and we are now a disgustingly happy couple, and though she warned me at the beginning that she wanted to take things slow, we were soon spending every free moment together, and hanging out with our friends a lot less. But there was always something a little puzzling about Samantha, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

The morning after the second or third time we spent the night together, we were lounging in bed, and I was telling Samantha how amazing she was, when she began crying. I’ll never forget how sad and beautiful she looked at the same time, as the sun shined on her glistening eyes and cheeks. I wanted to hold her and tell her everything was okay, but I was too scared to do anything. This was when she started to tell me that she couldn’t promise me anything, and that it would never be forever, or something like that. At first, I didn’t know what she meant, or I just assumed I was coming on too strong.

Over the next few days, things started to reveal themselves, and I started to worry that this storybook romance was not going to have a happy ending, but I still held onto hope, because I loved her too much to just stop. She had quickly become not just a big part of my life, but suddenly she felt like she was my life.

We still saw each other all the time, but every few days I’d get a little more info. First she mentioned that she had a tumor, and that she did not care to have it operated on. I have never heard any confirmation about whether or not that was true, but ultimately it was not that big of an issue, although some would speculate that the “tumor” was actually just a code word for crippling depression. I knew that Samantha was a depressed person, but at the beginning, I didn’t know (or chose to ignore) the full extent of it. It’s not that I didn’t think her feelings were real, I think it’s more that I sometimes ignorantly think that I can help people deal with things sometimes, and I always hold out hope for the best, even when things would seem dire to most everyone else. And the fact of the matter is I know I did help her, and maybe that’s part of why she couldn’t stay away. But when it comes to that deep, dark depression, there is of course, only so much we can do with our own, let alone someone else’s.

ok10Johnny Sparkles is a Hawaiian-born stand up comedian now based in Las Vegas. He is also a journalist for hire, as well as former editor, and staff writer for a handful of websites. His debut comedy album, ‘Homeless Romantic’, is available all over the interwebz, including iTunes, Amazon, Band Camp, and Pass Out Records.

Johnny can be found on his blog, Facebook, and Twitter

 

By | 2016-06-14T10:26:41+00:00 June 14th, 2016|Categories: Depression, Stigma Fighters|0 Comments

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