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Photos: And I Am Not Lying @ Black Cat (NSFW)
December 11, 2012 | 10:30AM

All words: Travis Andrews

There is a certain relief to storytelling. That’s the basic premise behind And I Am Not Lying, a show that’s a collection of burlesque dancing (both male and female), stand- up comedy and storytelling. Everyone’s got a story to tell, and everyone does.

Rather than tell you their stories, let me tell you mine, and why I’m wincing in pain, nearly crying in my PBR while the rest of the room simultaneously laughs and salivates over hardbodies.

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I promised a friend, about six months ago, that I’d run a half-marathon with him. I’d run one before, and he’d made a New Year’s resolution to do so. Now, make no mistake: he’s in far, far better shape than I am. I was no coach, more just company. Nonetheless, we set out to do just that.

Well, I quickly decided that “sitting around drinking beer and watching Treme” equated to “training,” a viewpoint he did not share. Angry(ish), he told me he was signing up for one in December, and I could come or not. I felt disloyal, so I went ahead and signed up with him.

Sunday morning, I dragged my ass out of bed in the Bible-black pre-dawn, and we headed out on that everlasting highway, speeding through forests and over hills and to the half-marathon we go. The world was grey, mist everywhere. The puddles splashed onto the side of our trusted Accord as we ventured onward.

Finally, we’d reached the general area of our race, though we couldn’t seem to find the race. A young woman hailing from Great Britain pulled up next to us in her own chariot. “Friend or foe?” she didn’t ask.

After conversing, we learned she, too, had an outdated map and needed to execute her cartographer for treason. So together we sought the DC Runners’ tent, and finally, there we stood, victory in our wanting hands.

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That’s when it occurred to me.

“Mook,” I said to my friend, whose name is not Mook but is essentially Mook for all practical purposes here. “Where is the path?”

The British ambassador pointed the way. It was … in the woods. Wait, what the hell?

As it turns out, my buddy put the amount of time into reading the race packet as I had put into training for it. We are at a 13.1 mile trail run after a night of storming, and I was beyond unprepared.

That was the morning. This is the evening. I’m sitting in the back of the Black Cat, rubbing my aching thighs and nursing a PBR while a woman jumps up and down to shake the tassels attached to ample breasts. I am extremely well aware what everyone, particularly those who cannot see under this table, think is happening back here. I’ve considered taking an ice packet and laying this package on my own, as a signal that no, I’m not that guy. But then again, I am here alone.

The room’s full of seats, and the stage is an ever-changing display of various folks telling various stories about religious upbringings, trying to make it as an actress, battling cancer, drawing well, etc. All are funny, and all over some insight into the teller (as stories often do). Most importantly, all are clearly an emotional bloodletting of sorts.

If you want to hear them, you can follow the show and go see them. I recommend it. If not for their stories (though they are worth the listen), then to sit and think back on your own.

How did you get here?

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