(Note: This is another piece I wrote before my colectomy. It’s long, but that’s because it’s a comprehensive look at the origins and purpose of the Boloby character.)
How I Became An Alter Egomaniac
By Jason Budjinski
Some people cope with chronic illness by relying on others, and I’m no exception. My “other” just happens to be an alter ego I created named Billy Boloby.
The denim-clad rocker types in the front pogoed up and down, drunkenly toasting champagne and splashing it all over the front of the stage. Some got on my white suede shoes, but I didn’t mind. The entire place was electric, and I was too busy feeding off that energy to worry about minor annoyances.
It was Dec. 31, 2003, and my band, Billy Boloby, was headlining the annual New Year’s Eve party at Palm Beach County’s premier alternative nightclub, Respectable Street. As the band’s frontman, I tried to make every performance as engaging as possible — a mix of dancing, pratfalls and general spontaneity.
That’s what Billy Boloby was known for, and Billy Boloby was what I was known for — and known as. People expected to see me fall off the stage and roll around. It was one of Boloby’s more salient characteristics, and something the local press always mentioned when writing about the band.
That was all many years ago.
When the phrase “fall precaution” was most recently written in reference to me, it wasn’t in a newspaper’s A&E section filed under “music.” Rather, it was on a hospital room dry-erase board, under “safety alerts/special needs.” And the name read “Jason Budjinski.” Because at that point, Billy Boloby was gone. Whether he was dead or on life support, I wasn’t sure. I just assumed the worst.