Please, Laugh at Me


Source: Public Domain

“Marco Scott: the brilliant stand up comedian whose name has grown to be an inspiration to all,” he reads aloud from the front cover of the AQ Magazine in the front seat of his car parked in the garage of the concert building.

He lights up a cigarette.

He continues: “He has become a rising phenomenon; his stories have been featured on numerous advertisements, posts on Facebook, posters hung on walls, and simply everywhere. He is ranked as one of the best stand-ups to ever exist and is acclaimed as ‘one of a kind’, telling personal stories in a whole new perspective. It makes the world truly wonder what impact his next performances will make on the world.”

He inhales the smoke deeply and says sarcastically, “Now I’ll become the president of America and save the world.” He giggles and blows the smoke in my direction. A small tear rolls down his cheek onto his chin, and he looks out.

His performance is about to start. I know that because I’ve been a part of Marco’s life since he first bought this car and me, his rear-view mirror, and I know how he acts when he has a performance coming up. Eight years ago, when he had his first performance in his senior year of high school, he was obviously nervous to stand in front of his entire school, but it was a good sort of nervousness. It kept him alert, awake, and excited. And in the recent months, even if the anxiousness has gotten a bit more intense as his audience has grown, it remained a good sort of nervousness.

But in the nine years with him, I have never seen this intensity of anxiousness and sadness.

I see him trying to contain a flood of tears screaming to be released, taking one smoke in at a time, and keeping his eyes tightly shut. “Don’t think about it. It’ll be all good just as it always has been.” He opens his eyes and turns up the radio to the maximum volume. While the harmonic and delightful notes flow into Marco’s mind, disharmonic and dull sighs flow out of his lips.

“Song’s not helping today,” he says as he turns off the radio, and just as he does, he receives a phone call. He clicks a button and says, “Hello? Yeah, the performance starts in around 10 minutes. Yes, I did take both pills, and I’m feeling fine, I promise. You don’t need to check up on me constantly; you’re my doctor, not my mom. And I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to the therapy meeting we set today. Is that okay? Alright, thanks.”

He clicks the end call button.

He inhales the smoke once again.

He looks right at the seat where his bag is sitting. He reaches out, grabs it, opens it, and pulls out a small, plastic box.

It is labelled “Anti-Depressants”, and inside, there are two blue pills.

He drops the two pills into his palm. He stares at them for a while. He crushes them under his hard palms, throwing them out the window.

The tears have been rolling down for a long time, and now I see him calling someone on the phone. With a trembling voice, he starts out, “Hello? Yes, it’s me, Marco.”

I hear a young woman on the other side screaming into the phone, “Marco I was trying to get to you for so long. Why don’t you pick up your phone!? You have to come immediately to get ready. The performance is going to start in less than 5 minutes. Thousands and thousands of people are waiting for you. You’ll bring them down if you don’t get there in time.”

I see Marco trying to calm down, inhaling more smoke, trying to stop his tears.

“I know, I know, and I’ll be there in a second. I just need some time to…”

“Marco, you do understand that this is the biggest performance you will ever have?”

I see Marco’s expression change. His face is flushed with a tint of red, as if he will explode any minute now.

“I do understand, but Miss…I don’t know your name, you have to understand that I have my own problems I need to deal with, and if you don’t respect that, I won’t be…”

“But right now, your priority should be the performance! Marco, you need to get here now, or else I-“


Marco rages, “Or else, what? What’s going to happen? This is my performance, and the audience can wait five minutes, can’t they? But guess what, I was going to call you to tell you that I might be late because I am currently having an enormous breakdown, which, I might say, I have before every performance, panicking every single time I have a show even if I had practiced the entire three-hour long rehearsal in the car five times the night before. What do you know about meeting an audience’s expectations?”

“Marco, I’m not trying to demean your performance, but if you really want to continue your successful career, you have to get here! This is the greatest opportunity for you to match up to all the respect and expectations everybody has towards you!”

“When did my passion and interest turn into something that I use to please others? When did I do this for the money? I’ve been called ‘brilliant’ and ‘one of a kind’, and I’m grateful for that, but once it starts to become a pressure and an undesired force, it’s now a burden on my back, heavier than I can manage. You can consider this concert cancelled.”

It’s now a burden on my back, heavier than I can manage.

— Jenny Lee

Faintly, I hear an introducer saying, “And last but not least, here comes our final guest, Marco Scott!”

“Marco, I need you t-“

He hangs up his phone. He turns on the engine, backs the car, and quickly leaves the garage.

On the street, as his eyes pour tears, he repeats, “It’s my life. It’s my life, it’s my life…”

Then I see Marco’s glittered eyes widen. Just as he screams “No!” I shatter into pieces.