attempting normal-marc maron

the dedication: For everyone who is successfully defying their wiring

“Comedy saved my life but also destroyed it in many ways. That is the precarious balance of our craft and some of us don’t survive.” (204)

“That is really all I know. No real stories behind them, just information that I could enter into my emotional abacus. I’m always moving the beads around trying to figure out who I am.” (43)

“Of course, anything can be backloaded with meaning. That’s how we explain things away when we don’t want to take full responsibility for actions that are frightening and disastrous. It’s the core of mysticism.” (87)

so the thing with the perfect book at the perfect time is that sometimes, it comes as a complete surprise. this lovely one that i easily devoured on a tuesday unexpectedly sang my life with its words. this holiday season was the best one that i’ve had in a long time, and i have to express love and appreciation for everyone who has showed up (or not) to affirm exactly where i need to be. i salute marc maron for his accomplishments, but also for his honesty about his shortcomings-honesty is courageous, and shows that you’re willing to learn and evolve and make a positive difference in the world, that you have something to offer other than utter and complete bullshit.

“My father needs to have an effect on people. He needs to either drag them down to his level or blast through them with his anger.” (40)

“You wanted to be around him but you didn’t want to get too close, leave him alone with your stuff, or owe him anything.” (14)

“My mother always told me that I was a diaphragm baby. Which in my mind means I have an innate ability to overcome obstacles. In a race of 400 million, I was the winner. And /then/ I had to bust through a diaphragm. God, I was ambitious when I had a tail. I had a biological imperative then, a goal. It was my job to propel bipolarity and a slight underbite into the next generation.” (74)

“I kept finding myself at that horrible moment when you are about to say something hurtful to someone you love and you know you shouldn’t but can’t seem to stop it. You just watch it leave your mouth, hang in the air, and mold itself into a rock that plows into your lover’s face.” (51)

“I was a half-impotent premature ejaculator who was now representing my gender with a bisexual woman who was fresh out of a lesbian relationship. I was not open-minded at the time. I just wanted to win.” (118)

“She was angry and I think in her mind blowing me would be easier than talking to me. Have you ever had a spiteful, detached blowjob?” (97)

“That shouldn’t be part of my process-decoding my own writing-but it has been for my entire life. What doest that say about me? Why can’t I make it easy? I need to complicate everything to protect myself from success and to remain complicated and overwhelmed.” (xv)

aren’t we all in the process of understanding and curating our relationships? no matter who we are, there are patterns and reasons behind how we interact with others. as we become award of them, we can commit (or not) to making the changes necessary to grow our spirits and help more than we hinder.

“The truth is, I can’t read anything with any distance. Every book is a self-help book to me. Just having them makes me feel better. I underline profusely but I don’t retain much. Reading is like a drug. When I am reading from these books it feels like I am thinking what is being read, and that gives me a rush. That is enough. I glean what I can. I finish some of the unfinished thoughts lingering around in my head by adding the thoughts of geniuses and I build from there.” (xiv)

“Bad bar bands killed the blues for many people for many years, which is a shame.” (64)

“That’s what your heroes do for you-lift you victoriously above the dirty work of life and conjure a different way of being.
This is what music was to me, magic. But it was a kind of magic I wanted to actually touch myself. It’s the irony or maybe the tragedy of being a fan that it’s not enough to let the music enter you like a drug or define and shape the world for you. You also want to somehow touch it and have it affirm you in more direct ways, whether you’re playing a riff like Chuck Berry or singing like Buddy Holly or buying Keith Richards’ guitar-or actually meeting your idols.” (71-2)

“Don’t boycott Whole Foods-steal from them.” (168)

i appreciate the parallels in this man’s career and mine, and i can completely identify with his experiences with comedy, music writing, and natural food. it just goes to show that for all that we invest into “proving” that we’re different, it is possible to understand anyone and see yourself in another. thank you, mister maron, for this book.


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