The sun shines as usual as we leave L.A. This has been our home. We stayed the last two nights at Ray’s house in Huntington Beach. Nice place, nice area. Hanging out with Ray is always a blast. Our show last night was in this dodgy area of L.A. by skid row. There were no indications outside the venue that it was a venue. We parked the vans in the back and watched twitching, growling homeless guys watch us. One of them was paid by the venue to guard the band’s vans (though he asked us for payment directly).
I thought it strange how we sat in the middle of downtown, yet once night fell, the streets transformed into a shanty town of begging, howling, braying vagrants and cardboard box tent tenement cities. I couldn’t comprehend how the LAPD allowed this civilization of the homeless to erect their shoddy edifices, given that the police of the northeast cities would surely batter down such transient domiciles. I don’t imagine the LAPD being more compassionate.
I enjoyed the show. A lot of kids danced and sang along. During LGS’ set, Jamie threw his guitar. Apparently it’s given him constant grief. I watched as the instrument soared far up into the air and sailed in an arc into the blackness at the back of the venue. He strapped on another guitar before the first met its demise on the floor.
I finally washed my clothes at Ray’s, staying up until 4 or so in the AM. We watched Chappelle show DVDs in the morn and then embarked for Santa Barbara, ahhhhhh, utopian Santa Barbara. 19 shows down, 21 to go.
Sometimes I do this thing where I ask myself: if I could be anywhere in the world right now, where would I be? If I could do anything right now, what would I do? At the moment, I want to be right here doing this: driving up the Pacific Coast to play another show in California. I am content. In a week we will be driving back east, through the dreary, soul-crushing Midwest. The good times never last.
We’re driving up 101 and I’m thinking how amazing it is here. We all seem to loathe where we’re from. Grass is greener on the other side, in another place. If I grew up outside San Diego or Santa Barbara, I’d probably have plenty to complain about and perhaps yearn to flee for the east coast, New York City maybe. I think I enjoy living in Philadelphia, but maybe not. I don’t go out. I have no urge to live it up and be social. It’s all work, band and girlfriend. That is fine. And I love right now. Traveling and performing. That is a temporary optimism. I have no desire to return to my job. I feel sick and suffocated having to work the routine job. Would I just play music if it’d pay the bills? Sometimes I say yes, other times no. My girlfriend wouldn’t want me spending half the year away. Would I? When we return to the backwards/backwoods towns of middle America, I will be pining for home.