HT Tour Journal Entry 2.
I am writing this to document this disastrous road trip in the event anything terrible happens. Of course, this is truly a kidnapping, but I would never oust my friends to the authorities. They’re musicians, so naturally they’re the strange, DIY-type…I suppose if I look at from a different perspective, I’m just a part of their DIY-plan. If I play my cards right, I should be able to make it off this tour in one piece.
For most of ride on day one I was smushed in the back with all the gear with a pair of headphones forced over my ears. With my head pressed against the cold windowpane, I could see miles and miles of vast empty fields, rolling hills that went on as far as I could see, and snowy-capped mountains that resembled the movie theater candy. After a short while, I felt like I was hallucinating, and the croon of the old man speaking in my headphones turned into background noise. He would speak for 15-20 minutes, and then his speech would restart. By the time we stopped, I had memorized the entirety of it.
At what I assumed was the halfway point I was taken out of the back of the van and unrestrained. They even took the headphones off of me, sure that I wouldn’t run away.
“I’m taking the ‘back seat’ now,” The singer, Dee, told me as he dove headfirst into the back of the van. The group slammed the doors shut behind him and took me to the passenger seat.
“So what does this all me?” I asked the bassist, Brandon, as he escorted me to the front.
From the inside of the van, third row down, I could hear James, the guitarist, shout: “What did the old man tell you?”
I pondered for a moment, but only one line came to me as a true answer.
“He told me I’m one of you now,” I answered confidently. “I understand the urgency of my current-state – the way the world eats each other…”
Brandon gave me a hard slap on the back and pushed me into the passenger seat.
“You’re High-Tolerance is gaining…” a burly voice in the back of the van announced.
I peaked behind me and saw the giant American and his tiny companion seating in the second seat. They stared at me with wide black eyes. I still wasn’t sure who he was or the little woman next to him. My relationship with the band, Dee, James, and Brandon, was solid, and I was sure they would never hurt me. The giant, though, I wasn’t so sure. Those big black eyes and bushy beard screamed violence…
The first stop was San Francisco at a locale I had a previous play-experience at. The Knockout made me feel welcome, the first time on the trip, and I oddly felt at calm transporting my gear to and from the van. In fact, I felt rather happy – joyous even. I kept waiting for the urge to runaway, escape in some grand fashion, but the urge never came. The desire to play was much stronger, so much so that I helped other bands with their gear. Playing San Francisco on a Wednesday night was not where I was supposed to be, yet here I was. The foreboding of work, relationships back home, the everyday grind that is life suddenly didn’t seem to matter, only playing mattered.
At some point in the evening I went outside for a smoke. Some time to clear my head would surely erase these silly ideas of playing music for fun.
“I’m an adult,” I thought. “I need to do adult things…”
I didn’t take long for the giant American to find me outside. We stared at each other with wide-eyes before he approached me with a beer in each hand.
“You look troubled,” he said to me calmly. His voice appeared restrained, as if the same odd calm that overtook me had overtaken him.
“I don’t know what I’m doing here,” I admitted to him. “I think I’m supposed to be home doing something else, but I’m…here doing this.”
The giant opened both beers in his hand and handed me one. With a hefty swig and dripping lips he told me,
“This is a test of your high-tolerance, friend. You either have it, or you don’t.”
“And what if I don’t,” I said lowly while sipping my beer.
The giant bent at the waist so our eyes met at the same level. With his hands on his hips he said,
“Are you gonna try and find out, or are you gonna sit out here all night and wonder?”
Music began to blare from inside. The first band, Mommy Mommy, had started playing. I was familiar with the group because I had played with them at this very same venue the year prior, and I knew how amazing they were. Suddenly, I couldn’t remember what the giant and I were talking about. I only raised my beer to meet his in the middle of us.
“I want to find out,” I told him.