Thursday, February 02, 2012

Franny's Last Ride

'WTF' is a podcast where comedian Marc Maron mixes a wide variety of topics like humor, religion, comedy, anger, philosophy and speaks with guests such as Jonathan Ames, Louis CK, Ira Glass and Conan O'Brien. The show has kept me entertained throughout numerous trips but i've still got a long way to go in terms of catching up on all the episodes (approximately 249 to date). I recently listened to to episode #130 where Marc sat down with the late Mike DeStefano to discuss the extraordinary circumstances that led to Mike becoming a comic. It's a really interesting piece to listen to, DeStefano led a life that some people makes movies about. However amongst the tales of growing up in the Bronx, his dealings with mafia 'wise guys', heroin addiction and resulting AIDS diagnosis; the part that really stood out was when he talked about his wife Fran and her death from AIDS (taken from part of his routine).

"...During her last days, she was in the hospice, and I had just gotten a Harley, my first Harley...So now she wants to see [the Harley]. I take her out; she wants to sit on it. I put her on it. She wants to start it up. Now she’s wearing a paper dress, she’s got her freakin’ morphine pole next to her, and she’s sitting on this Harley, and I’m worried about her burning her freakin’ leg off.

So she says (pleading voice), “Can you just take me for a little ride around the parking lot?” And I’m like, no, I can’t — I’m thinking, get the hell-And then it just hit me: I’m like, no, you have to, you’re in this moment, you have to do this motorcycle ride. You know? And it’s dangerous, and what if she falls? And what if one day I’m telling this story: “Yeah, my wife, she almost died of AIDS, but then I killed her on my Harley. She fell off and banged her freakin’ head.” That’s a messed-up story.

Then I pass the front door, and all these nurses are standing out front, and they’re all crying. They’re watching us, and they’re crying. And I didn’t know why they were crying. I was like, Why are they crying? I didn’t get what they were seeing. I didn’t know. Because I was just in it; I was living it. I knew my wife who had suffered, she was a prostitute, she was a freakin’ heroin addict, she was beaten by pimps — this was her past — and then she ends up with AIDS, and she’s dying, and all she wants is a goddamn ride on my motorcycle.

So the next thing you know we’re on I-95, because women, it’s never enough for them. We’re on I-95, and she unhooks the pole, and she’s holding the morphine bag over her head with her gown that’s flying up in the air so you could see her entire naked, bony body with the morphine bag whipping in the wind, and we’re passing by these guys in their Lamborghinis, and I’m looking at them like, What the hell kind of life are you living? Look at me, I’m on top of the world here. And that was the last thing I did with her. And I feel so blessed and lucky, you know what I mean? You can’t ask for a better moment and memory than that."

                       You can listen to the episode here on the WTF site (and access the other 248!)

Watch 'Franny's Last Ride' by Mike DeStefano below

Marc Maron Image: Seth Olenick
Mike DeStefano Image: Unknown

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