Here & Now with S Sorrensen

Saturday, 8.40pm:

I've had a good day. And I'm still having it.

This thought jets into my headspace and then quickly jets off again, leaving only a pleasant afterburn hanging like a chemtrail in the atmosphere of this concert room in the Casino RSM Club.

I can't focus too long on that thought (as pleasant as it is) because I'm busy. I'm onstage. With a microphone in my hand and a spotlight in my eyes I'm in a strange, bright world where what I need for survival is not oxygen, but laughter. There's a few hundred people seated in front of me. I can't see them because of the spotlight, but I hear them as I finish the joke. They laugh. That's a good sign for a comedian.

I've had a good day. And I'm still having it.

I reckon I appear pretty relaxed. That's my onstage demeanour. But inside my head there's a little bloke racing around like a harried storeman choosing gags and ideas from my mental shelf, plotting the best routes to the punchline, and figuring which turns to take in this 20-minute journey through blah blah blah land to comic gratification and pay cheque. He's like a little navigator. (Except this Nav-man doesn't have an annoying American accent.)

Yep, I'm enjoying myself. Right now. Sometimes I forget to take notice when I'm enjoying myself. It's about being in the here and now, as the hippies say.

My day, my good day, started with poetry. Perfect.

People in my village wrote and performed poetry about where we live. Lubricated by lattes and flat whites, the words dappled a late summer morning with a sense of place that was reinforced by children running about noisily and elders looking at them with serious eyes and holding a single finger to their lips.

Every day should start with poetry. Maybe I'll add a poem to my morning ritual - wake, walk, wash, coffee, poem.

Then after a short drive through the hills of my home turf, I'm at a pool party near Nimbin.

Ah, Nimbin. Where once we would sit under a tarp on a newly rescued block of land while the kids splashed about in a muddy creek, a pot of rice and vegies cooked on an open fire, a pipe passed around, and a guitar jammed Bob Marley with a bamboo flute, we are now gathered around an inground pool, sipping from bubbling flutes and cursing that we won't catch up with Paul in Paris because we'll be in Burma.

Introduced by a poet with a stylish homburg hat and no pants, a young woman with fishnets, heavy mascara and accordion sang songs across the pool in which some paddled and some swam. Another woman, with a smile you could dive into, sang up the good vibes with acoustic help from her guitar man as the sun kicked off its sandals and leaned back into the mountain.

At one point, with pool water pooling under my seat and a woman I haven't seen for ages talking to me about something or other, I thought: I'm having a good day.

And I'm still having it, waiting to deliver the punchline to another little joke about life in Casino. I thought of it while bumping through Kyogle in a van full of people on the way to the gig.

The set-up for the joke is complete. There's expectant silence. If a pin was to drop I'd hear it. The little bloke in my head is counting out the seconds with his fingers for me to perfectly time the punchline. Waiting, waiting...

(I trust him. Tonight he's in the groove.)

Yes. I've had a good day. And I'm still having it.

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