Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Winter Is Closing In

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Its almost bearably cold in Colorado Springs. One of those blue sky days where out the window from a warm house it looks like it could be a mild spring afternoon. I just walked out to our van for a pain killer and the chill caught me in a t-shirt. The trees are skeletal against the sky and the fallen leaves scrape along the ground in the wind. Not far in the distance snow is scattered across The Rockies.

Sarah and Al have taken us in. Yesterday we arrived in the late evening to hot lasagna and bread, pumpkin cake and movies. They handed us a bag full of candy and poetry books for the road. All of you amazingly generous people who have put us up, allowed us to tromp wearily up to your apartment and pass out on your couch... I can't express how much we appreciate it, but I have to admit, this is quite possibly the best we have ever been taken care of.

The guys are sprawled out in the living room with Sarah watching Blazing Saddles. Al will be home in a matter of minutes and we're going to go to Sarah's Record store where I plan to purchase the new Damien Rice record which comes out today! I can distinctly hear Will and Joey's laughs drifting in through the laundry room.

The glands under the sides of my jaw are swollen and just aching enough to be annoying. I have phone calls to make. Now I'm in the back of Al's car. Bryce is beside me on his Blackberry….

I drove the second shift last night and the sun set somewhere in western Kansas. The breadth of the orange strip along the horizon was greater than I think I've ever seen, save for possible Caribbean sunsets over the ocean. It stretched from somewhere behind my right eye to somewhere behind my left, silhouetting trees, barns, silos.... I was drinking coffee. Euphoria.

We're now driving back to Sarah and Al's after the show. The streets are covered with a thin layer of fresh snow and we've decided to sleep a few hours until daybreak to continue on to Salt Lake City. The heater in the van is blasting behind me and I've yet to take off my scarf or jacket. I'm savoring the warmth. I've just begun to cough.

I'm thinking about ice on the road. I'm thinking about how we opted to stay overnight at a Michigan State house party instead of driving overnight a few days back. In the morning we collected ourselves in the beer soaked living room and looked out at the snow falling into the flooded street. I'm thinking about nightmares our loved ones have had. I'm thinking about the van wrecks that become lore amongst us van and trailer bands, getting towed out of embankments, rolling over on the ice, falling asleep at the wheel.... I'm thinking about Bayside and The Exploding Hearts...

(Between the van and house with my sleeping bag and pillow bunched up in my arms it feels like a movie set. The lawn is caked in untouched powder and trembling flakes float down around me. Its still as death. Bells are lightly ringing in the wind. I'm not making this up...)

...My stomach hurts. Is it ever truly heroic to take any risk to make a show? Shows can be rescheduled and I am positive that anyone who buys a ticket to see us would rather have us alive in a few months than to lose us. What we are doing is entertainment and I don't understand how we can get caught up in thinking we are appealing to some greater good or fighting some epic battle. Let's be rational here. Let's wait until the sun is up.