“The One-Two Punchline” | Novella | Written by McConnaughay | 13 - Mishmashers Mishmashers

“The One-Two Punchline” | Novella | Written by McConnaughay | 13

3.

Jimmy felt weightless as he arose out from his bed. Every movement felt effortless and second handed. The last thing he remembered was speaking to Elvira, but, that was the sum of it. He could not even remember laying in bed at the night’s end.

He sat on his bed with his feet on the floor. His cellphone vibrated on his nightstand. He didn’t really feel like talking to anyone at the moment. And yet, for some reason, before he could even comprehend it, the cellphone was in his hand and then, to his ear.

Hello,” Jimmy said weakly.

Good morning, Jimmy, I hope that you are well, my name is David Nix,” The voice on the other end said.

The thought took a second for Jimmy to process, but, once it did, a newfound excitement set in. “Mr. Nix, I, …, I am a huge fan of your work.”

He calmed himself, this was not the way one professional talked to another. Mr. Nix had clearly seen his last performance at The Laugh Track and was seeking him out. If he came off like some fan, that would spook him.

What can I do for you today, Mr. Nix?”

Well, you’re a very special man, do you know that?”

Why, …, why’s that?”

Everything he was, everything he would be, would come down to this moment, and Jimmy felt ready for it.

Because your friend Dalton wanted me to tell you that you’ve got this. All you had to do is hang in there and your time will come, I promise you that. I can remember when I was only starting out and there were many times when I was discouraged or down on myself, or I was not where I wanted to be. What you have to know is, if you hone your craft and you work hard for it, that success will come.” The man’s voice was soaked in condescension and self-righteousness, the man that Jimmy had wasted so much of his time idolizing.

I am not only ‘starting out’ at this. I have given years of my life to this,” Jimmy stood to his feet, grabbing something off the nightstand, and walking toward the bathroom. “I have given years of my life to this and I have watched assholes like you reward bastards like Dalton, when they don’t even know the basics of what I know. Ones that would never sacrifice what I have sacrificed. Ones that could not even imagine what I have put into this.”

Dalton told me you have episodes like this. I will go ahead and leave you to it then. Have a great morning, Jimmy, and thank you for your support.”

Episodes? I have fucking episodes?” Jimmy yelled, but, as he yelled, something else caught his attention.

The mirror.

He had no idea why he had went into the bathroom. But, no matter that, as he looked in the mirror, he realized – his lips were not moving as he yelled. And, as he realized that, he could not change that. He could not move his arms or his legs, or anything else, for that matter.

Jimmy could only listen as the line went dead on the other end. Then, watch as his cellphone was placed carefully on the bathroom counter. He watched himself turn the knobs on the bathroom sink and fill a glass of water, and watched himself twist open the lid from his medicine container.

As he took a large gulp of water and felt his medicine go down his throat, everything around him started to darken.

In the mirror, he smiled at himself, “Bye, Jimmy.”

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