I’m gazing out upon the mountains of northern California or southern Oregon. Last night was a much needed kick ass show. Santa Cruz was an atomic bomb of a disaster and Goleta was forgettable. My girlfriend made a surprise visit from the east coast. She showed up in Santa Cruz. I had no idea she arranged this, apparently quite meticulously with everyone behind my back. We left that show with Jamie, his wife Heather and a guy named Mike. They left us in Berkeley.
My girlfriend rented a room at a hotel on Durant, just up from Telegraph. The room left much to be desired. It was narrow and claustrophobic. The shower sprayed water in a wide circumference that managed to almost entirely miss the body beneath it. When I opened the curtains, I found a panoramic view of a brick wall with a bear painted on it. The next morning we happened upon a cozy (though more expensive) bed and breakfast down the street.
Wandering the streets of Berkeley brought back past illusions of wanting to go to grad school to study Political Science. Yeah, as if I could have gotten into a school that is routinely ranked in the top five.
Jamie and Heather retrieved us later that day. We hit up a bookstore before the show. I made the mistake of reading one of those household medical books, in particular the entry on Lyme’s disease. Let’s see, soar neck? Yes. Cough? Yes. Irritation at the tick bite? Yes. I am fucked. Less than three weeks left of tour. Last night was Gilman. Always a fun time. Went to sleep at 3 and woke up at 6. My girlfriend flew home and the band got me. That leaves us back on the road en route to Portland. I enjoy the Bay Area, actually California from there south is all cool to me. But the good times are behind us. 340 miles to Portland.
I just devoured left over seitan like a savage. The spicy juices dribbled in thick, brown gobs down my chin and fingers. I tore at it like a lion just upon an impala. My body craved a quick protein fix. Touring reduces you to the primal basics. Your concerns are eating, sleeping, shitting, showering and of course, rocking. Josh was right: after the first week and a half, everything begins to fall into place. The cavalcade of pain begins to subside, the appetite disintegrates and sleep upon a steel floor suddenly feels like a tempurepedic mattress. I’ve never been gone this long and I am not homesick. Despite sporadic and reliable bouts of despair, I love this. Shit shows and weird moods threaten to subvert it all, but when I evaluate the forest and not just the trees, I see what makes me happy, excited, alive. Sitting at home chained to a routine, a job, a schedule robs me of joy. I rot there.
I don’t know how long I can hang on to my job. We’re planning a ten-day tour of Canada in July, a six-week tour of Europe in the fall, a two-week tour in November and another with our friends Transistor Transistor in December. That leaves barely three months of wage slavery for the rest of the year. Too bad the band won’t pay the bills. And kids call us sellouts? Hee-haw hee-haw.