Brock About Town: Anxiety

Illustration by Lev Cantoral

As a comedian, I try to stay up to date on the latest trends and issues. If I’m going to make people laugh, I need to know what they care about (and, more importantly, what they hate. When the fickle tide of public opinion turns against someone or something, from a celebrity accused of sexual misconduct to those tiny ’90s sunglasses people were wearing for a while, comedians are the sharks circling below.)

Unfortunately, as a person, I am terrible at knowing what’s going on. At any given moment, I’m at best 25 percent in actual, physical reality. I cannot name a single movie that’s out right now. I know there’s nothing more irritating than someone who’s proud of their utter self-absorption, and I’m not. I’m just way too lazy to do anything about it.

That said, I’m very excited to get in on the latest hot trend sweeping the nation: anxiety. Actually, not to sound like a hipster, but I’m glad the rest of you are getting in on it with me. All my life I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. If I have a cough, it’s cancer. If I start dating a great guy, he secretly finds me repellent and just can’t find a good way to tell me. If something’s good, no it’s not. This used to be considered a bad thing. People would tell me I was “cynical” or “a good candidate for therapy.”

Now, all that’s considered more or less normal. My mother called me last week, asking if I knew where she could buy surgical masks, because she’s worried about getting coronavirus. On Caucus Night, people I went to high school with, who couldn’t have named three world leaders then, posted pictures from their caucus locations with captions like, “Just doing my part to repair our hobbled democracy.” I know a woman who has a Google alert for “global warming.” Can you even imagine? I sure am glad to be so well-adjusted. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Sephora. I had to get rid of most of my makeup, because it all had parabens in it. They’re the silent killer, you know.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 279.

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