By Enrique Grijalva

I’m single. Why? I need my space. Whenever I feel like a girl is getting too close I tend to react like Kobe Bryant does on the basketball court when defenders get too close: He’s forced to create space, thus driving him to fade away as he takes a turnaround jump shot. Sadly, I have mastered the emotional equivalent of that fatal move. I don’t ask for much except for some room to breathe, however, this is not an option I have at the Pine Box Rock Shop’s back room…ever. And because I do need my space, I don’t get deeply involved without an escape plan, and that’s the reason why I always try to stand by the nearest exit.

It would be an understatement to say that the back room was cramped and why wouldn’t it be? It was the one year anniversary for a free, burgeoning, live late night show known as Late Night Basement with Chris Rose. As a television writer seeking to one day write and produce for a late night show, Rose, a native Texan, whose ultimate goal has been met with dead ends, ultimately decided he’d take matters into his own hands by producing his own late night show on a monthly basis.

Late Night Basement has already featured some notable guests in its first year including Andrew W.K., NY1’s anchorman Pat Kiernan, Yael Stone of Orange is the New Black, and a few former child stars from Nickelodeon’s heyday in the 90’s (Mike Maronna of the Adventures of Pete & Pete & Jason Zimbler of Clarissa Explains It All).

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Image courtesy of Late Night Basement’s Instagram

On this night, Rose went into his usual monologue at the beginning of the show, which I have always found to be not only humorous, but educational. It keeps me updated with current events such as the recent discovery of a dog in New Mexico who tested positive for cocaine.

As more guests entered the already cramped room I was forced to stand closer to a group of strangers than I’m normally comfortable with. The lack of personal space felt like I was inadvertently involved in a massively awkward orgy, with each unwilling participant constantly apologizing as they wedged their bodies between the undiscovered and forgotten crevices of the human anatomy.

Oh, how I desperately wished that there were a few stone gargoyles decorating the wooden walls of the room, because then I could just simply perch myself on one like Batman. (It would be a pleasantly viable alternative to breathing on someone’s neck like some depraved sex offender.) And as I’d sit upon one of these stone goblins, the beaconing light behind me would dramatically cast my voyeuristic silhouette over the audience, and with the utmost intent I’d listen to Max Silvestri, a Brooklyn-based comedian and host of the free weekly stand-up comedy show Big Terrific, as he’d make a poignant argument as to why men should come together to answer this universally significant question: How do we properly measure our penis for accurate size?

Male ego aside…

Trieste Kelly Dunn of Cinemax’s newest drama-series Banshee was the first guest to be interviewed on stage. With her unassuming attitude, the 33-year-old actress sat with a beer as Rose fired off questions about Banshee, her role in the independent film Loves Her Gun (winner of the Louis Black Lone Star Award at SXSW), and the difference in intensity between acting in a television series as opposed to a film. “Go! Fast! Do it faster,” said Dunn mocking the typical direction she has been accustomed to hearing during the filming of a scene for a series.

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Image courtesy of Late Night Basement’s Instagram

It took a while for Sara Schaefer of MTV’s Nicki & Sara Live to get on stage. After a brief pause in the show, a member of Late Night Basement’s team announced that they had found her. “We have Sara here,” yelled a tall, lanky man. “We just had to get her from the bar.”

You know someone is a great comedian when they can seamlessly transition from airplane humor to vagina humor. “First, I’ll have to take off my pants and make you uncomfortable,” said Schaefer with an unnerving look in her eyes as she spoke directly to a man in the audience, who was less than enthusiastic about this portion of the show. Luckily for him, though, it didn’t last long as she began explaining to the audience how she inexplicably blew her back out turning on the bathroom sink. The life-altering injury left her immobile for four days and caused her to begin exercising.

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Image courtesy of Late Night Basement’s Instagram

As Schaefer taught the audience how to fake a pregnancy—a manipulative ploy which, according to her, can only be achieved through the refined art of walking like a duck—I noticed Dunn was standing only two feet away from me, enjoying Schaefer’s routine. With a long, black coat firmly wrapped around her body, she continued drinking the beer she had in her hand when she was being interviewed.

I could have tried talking to her, or poking at her like some disjointed weirdo with a tick, but restraining orders are not currently on my bucket list. Besides, it would have been quite rude to strike up a conversation during the interview with Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, the creators of the critically acclaimed New York-based web series High Maintenance. Not that I could tell you what they looked like, because as this point it was so crowded that I was now staring at the beads of sweat racing down the neck of the guy in front of me.

Another entertaining installment of Late Night Basement had come to an end, resulting into a few dozen Brooklynites impatiently trying to escape, in a race to get shit faced quicker than the person standing next to them.  In the hurried rush to the bar, Dunn bumped into me as she made her way through the exit before I could. Goddammit, Trieste. Don’t you know I need my space?


Featured image courtesy of Salon

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