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One-Man Show

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On the desk I see a pile of note cards. At my request, he picks up the top one. “People are selfish,” he reads, explaining, “This is some stuff I’ve been working at onstage.” On the next he’s written, “I used to live with Hitler.” He glances up. “That’s something I probably can’t do. It was funny when I said it out loud.” Another: “Stocking is nigger brown.” He explains it comes from a stage bit about an elderly aunt who called Brazil nuts “nigger toes”—“and these are people that we love, and they say ‘nigger brown’ and ‘nigger toes,’ and what are you gonna do?” He reads a few more: “Gray’s Papaya” (“they’re very cinematic, and I want to shoot in one”), “I love you” (“That’s for my daughter”), “Anal Sex,” “Planetarium,” “Mom’s Rape,” “Flabby Action Dad,” “Upstate Limo Driver,” “Thomas Jefferson,” and “Scaled” (“I stole many scales from my junior-high school and sold them for pot”).

Finally, Louis picks up a longer card, with sentences printed in black marker. “Human kindness has no reward,” he reads. “You should give to others in every way you see. You should expect absolutely nothing from anyone. It should be your goal to love every human you encounter. All human suffering that you’re aware of and continues without your effort to stop it becomes your crime. Humans are always evolving. If you do one thing that if done by every human would destroy the world, that makes you Hitler.’”

“There’s Hitler again!” he says, then slaps the card down. “I don’t live by any of those. But I believe them all very strongly.”


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