The Missile

Genre: Family, Fantasy
92 min

It's five years ago and I'm in Walla Walla Washington. I'm lying in bed at Las Quinta inn, I'm googling myself eating a pizza and watching the news all at the same time, and I have a dream that there's a guided missile headed towards my room and I jump out of bed and say "what's the plan?" And they say "the missile coordinates are set directionally on you.". So I'm my dream and as it turns out in my life I decide to jump through the window. So as to detonate outside the window for the sake of the platoon. In my dreams I'm a hero, and there are two important details, one I was on the second floor and two, the window was closed. It was January so I jumped through a window like the hulk. I say that because that's how I described it in the ER because it is a difficult thing to explain when one has jumped through a window. I was like "you know the hulk? You know how he kinda just jumps through stuff? Yeah, that's like me.". I have this habit of preemptively shouting whenever something traumatic is about to happen. If somebody were to come up to me after the show and go to pick me in the face I would just go like "ahhhh!" Thinking maybe he would be like "this is wired, I'm outta here.""I'm not punching the shouting guy.". So I jumped through a window and it was remarkable because I landed on the front lawn. I took a fall, I got up, and I kept running. I'm running and I'm slowly realizing that I'm on the front lawn of la Quinta inn in Walla Walla Washington in my underwear bleeding and I'm like "oh no!" but in that moment I was relieved because at least I wasn't hit by the missile! I remember thinking that would've been a disaster at least I'm still in the game. So I found myself at the ultimate moment in my life and in retrospect I'm like "what the hell!?" At the time I'm like "I gets I'll walk to the front desk and explain what happened!". Fortunately the person working the front desk was mildly retarded, and I say fortunately because he was completely unfazed by what happened. It's there in the morning phones are ringing off the hook from people staying at the hotel who just saw a guy jump out the window screaming, I'm bleeding in my underwear, and I say "hello" because you have to start somewhere. "I was staying at the hotel, I had an incident wherein I jumped through a window. I'm bleeding and I need to go to the hospital." I'll never forget his reaction because he just goes "alright" I'm like that is the best possible reaction I could receive at this juncture. So I drove myself to the hospital. I don't see a lot of other options. I couldn't go knocking on people's doors asking"hey did you hear that guy screaming?""that was me. I need a ride." you know that because goes well. So I drive myself to the hospital. It was like that scene in reservoir dogs. I was bleeding, and shouting. When I got there, I had to explain what happened three times, to the receptionist, the nurse and the doctor "I'm the hulk I'm the hulk, I'm the hulk." One guy corrected me, he was like "no you're Bruce Banner" I was like "point taken nerd!". I'm lying in the hospital bed, and they've cut open my clothes and I can see the glass coming out of my legs. It was the most pain I've ever felt because it was the physical pain of glass coming out of my legs, combined with the emotional pain of there is glass coming out of my legs. How did I get to a point where there is glass coming out of my legs? I'm shivering, it's January and I keep asking for warm fuzzy blankets because I'm afraid that if I move too much the glass will work itself deeper into my legs. After a while I say to the nurse, "if you don't mind me asking, if the doctor could come by that would be amazing. I don't know what else you got going on but I'm willing to put this head to head with whatever you got.". Eventually the doctor came in and starts removing the glass out of my legs. While he's doing this he points out that he's right near my femoral artery, and if I hit that I would've bled to death he said "ya know, you should be dead." and I said "no you should.". I zinged him because I'm a comedian. Two hours later he finishes putting 33 stitches in my legs, and I flew back to New York. I did what I should've done in the first place when I saw the jackal, when I was in the dust buster Olympics, and when I threw a chest of drawers in front of Brad Pitt. I went to a doctor and I was diagnosed with R.E.M. behavior disorder. Now when I go to bed I take medication and I'm not joking when I say that I sleep in a sleeping bag up to my neck, and I wear mittens so that if I can't open the sleeping bag if I ever have the same dream again I'll just squirm around and scream. So that's the story... But there's one more thing. About for months after this happens, I go back out in the road, and the only difference is that now my agent would call ahead and say "Mike has to stay on the first floor." inevitably they would ask why and he would cover for me. He would say "BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT MIKE BIRBIGLIA WANTS!". Whenever I showed up to these places the people would hate me, just a little bit before we met because I had these insane requests that didn't make any sense. So I started to feel the slightest distance between me and everyone I met. One night I was booked at a college in Boston. I drove 4.5 hours from New York to Boston. When I went to check into my hotel before the show I found out that they had me booked on the seventeenth floor, and it set my off. I'm setting with anger, and I drive to the show I come off stage and I'm still angry. Some students come up to me and say "that was great you know. Me and some other students were going to take you out for dinner." I was like"no" he looks confused and I explain "that I have to drive two hours to my parents house to sleep! because you didn't book me on the first floor! I HAD ONE GODDAMN REQUEST, I HAD ONE THING THAT I ASKED FOR AND YOU MESSED UP!". I storm out, and I'm driving home and it hits me. I just had my first goddammit I'm eating pretzels moment. I walk into my parents house and it's five a.m. my dad is sitting in his big puffy arm chair, and I unload on him what just happened and he listens to me and he says"how have you been feeling since the incident?" And it took me if guard I say "I've been feeling the strangest thing. I feel the sights distance between me and others." He says "that's what happens when you get older." And I get him. You know I was twenty eight years old, my dad was sixty five and he was sharing with me a truth that he experienced and I experienced, and he knew and I knew, and in that moment we both knew stuff. I start telling all these stories that I told you tonight and that leads to all these other stories that I never thought I'd be able to tell my dad at the end he gets up and walks over to me and puts his hand on my leg and says "you know you're going to have to deal with this. Your gonna have to see a doctor, and take time off the road, and you're gonna have to deal with this because it isn't going to deal with itself.". He's going to go to bed and before he closes the door, he turns around and says "Michael, whatever you do, don't tell anyone.".

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Mike Birbiglia

Mike Birbiglia (born June 20, 1978) is an American comedian, actor, and filmmaker. He is a frequent contributor to This American Life and The Moth, and has released several comedy albums and television specials. His feature-length directorial debut Sleepwalk with Me (2012), based on his one-man show of the same name and in which he also starred, won awards at the Sundance and Nantucket film festivals. He also wrote, directed, and starred in the comedy-drama Don't Think Twice (2016). His 2010 book Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Birbiglia has appeared in films such as Your Sister's Sister (2011), Cedar Rapids (2011), and Trainwreck (2015), played a recurring role in Orange Is the New Black, and has guest starred in episodes of Girls, Inside Amy Schumer, and Broad City. more…

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Submitted on October 05, 2017


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"The Missile" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Apr. 2020. <>.

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