• Travis Rosenberg

Will Life Ever Be The Same? (Nightmare or Dream)

I looked back at the clock. It was still early but I knew that Marty would be up. He had been visiting the East Coast and they were four hours ahead. But before I could reach for my phone it was already ringing. I walked over to the desk, picked it up and saw that it was Marty. As soon as I accepted the call Marty began his rant.


“Travis, Trav. Man…did you watch the election? He spoke quickly.

“Yes, everybody watched it.”

“Oh man! I can’t believe it man. Things are crazy here in New York. People are out in front of Trump Plaza protesting.”

“Really,” I replied. I was curious about what was going on but was more concerned about what was going on in my own life. “Listen Marty,” I spoke up. “We need to cancel my show tonight.”

“Cancel,” Marty replied. “Why do you need to cancel, you have never cancelled a show.”

“Ahh, yah. But we have never had damn Donald Trump as the Supreme Leader of the country! My whole bit based upon Donald Trump losing the election. Not only do I have no material, but I’m depressed. I think today should be a reverse-holiday. No. It should be Memorial Day 2.0 - the day that American died.”


“I hope you weren’t gonna use that joke, that’s terrible,” Marty replied.

“Listen Marty I’m serious. I can’t perform tonight.”

“You have to perform, we already got the payment, you don’t show up, you know that place, you miss a show, and they don’t call you back. You’re not big enough to start missing shows. How many Twitter followers do you have? It is still 3?”


“Listen, my Twitter followers don’t have anything to do with this! By the way, I lost my password and had to create a new account. That’s why my followers are so low.”

“Yah right,” Marty replied snarly. “But anyway, just rework your bit, and be ready tonight. You can’t afford to mess up this gig. This will be a regular thing if you do well tonight. Remember, my name is on the line too.”


I thought to myself. Marty was right. I had never missed a show. I was performing just enough to earn a decent salary and any type of derailment in my work would have financial consequences. I needed to perform. I had twelve hours to put together a post-Trump routine. I would just have to drown myself in the news, see what other comedians were doing, and pray to Zeus that a lightning bolt of inspiration would hit me. But even though Marty had talked me into performing, I knew that I had to tell him next. And I knew he wouldn’t like it.


“Ok. I’ll be ready,” I spoke somberly. “But there’s one more thing we gotta talk about.”

“Oh I know what this is about,” Marty replied quickly as if he had a 6th sense on what was about to be said. “Listen, you don’t have to be embarrassed about Sarah. I mean, the fact that she is sounding more and more like Sloth from the goonies, that can be natural for a girl her age, or half her age at least”


“I’m not talking about Sarah, Jackass! Well, maybe I am. I’m talking about my family.” I paused before I spoke the words. I knew that Marty would have a hard time believing me but he worked for me. He would have to take me at my words and do what I said. While it was true that he was my friend, he also worked for me. If I needed to draw that line now, then I would have to.


“Samantha and I are thinking about moving to Canada,” I spoke sternly.

“Move to Canada for what? Because of Trump? You gotta be kidding me Travis. I mean, we’re all shocked, but how bad do you think it can get?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “But I don’t me or my family to be here to find out. There’s something else.”

“What now?”

“I had a dream.”

“Ha!” Marty responded. “What are you Martin Luther King Jr. now? You know he had a dream too.”

“Marty, I’m serious. It was a nightmare of what a Trump America will look like.”

“And what did it look like.”


I sighed. It was hard to relive the horror of the night before. The images of the dream were seared in my subconscious like an embedded memory given to me by a higher power.

“Well, in the dream…it was hard to explain. But you ever seen that movie that Outsiders?”

“Stop it Travis,” Marty cut me short. I don’t wanna hear this.

“Well you need to hear it,” I replied curtly. “You’re my agent Marty and I’m dead serious. I want you to begin to look into the possibility of me moving to Canada. If that means you can no longer be my agent, I would appreciate a good referral. But I’m telling you. Things are about to get bad. I mean real bad. I mean, Pony Boy going into that burning church bad. And I don’t want to be inside the country when the whole thing collapses.”


“You really feel like that?” Marty asked. I could tell that he could sense the seriousness in my tone. He also knew that I was placing family over friendship. But with me being a comedian, he just had to be sure I wasn’t just practicing a comic bit on him. A few weeks ago, I did this whole bit with and made him believe that I actually had a lovechild with Amy Wambach.


“Yes, Marty,” I replied. “I’m serious. I need you to look into places to live, cost of living, the comic scene, all of it.”

“Yah sure Travis. I’ll email you tomorrow to see how the show went. I’ll start checking everything out this week.”

“Thank you Marty. I appreciate it. We’ll talk when you get back.”

“Ok. Talk to you soon.”


I hung up the phone and sat back down on the bed. There was so much to think about. Not only did I have to rewrite my whole routine. I also had a meeting with my therapist Dr. Jordanna. Ever since I had gotten into stand-up a few years ago, I was told by some very well-known comedians, (Carrot Top) that seeing a psychologist actually can help a comedian discover the psyche of his audience. I found Dr. Jordanna, a sharp middle-aged female Romanian therapist, to actually be very helpful. I believed that she could be extremely helpful today. I needed someone to talk to about not only my comedy, but my own anxiety, about the election and my life in general.