Wednesday, May 30, 2007

on the flight back west

As he was loading my bags into the trunk of the car, the driver informed me that he wouldn’t mind if I sat up front. I obliged - and during the forty minute drive to JFK, through traffic, through the humidity of the waning afternoon, we discussed his daily life, his family, his job, but mostly traffic and the weather – how it is in California, how it is in New York, how it is at night, in the morning, on weekends and weekdays. Against my nature, I am slowly mastering the ability to hold down meaningful yet random conversations with random people. Going from place to place, acquaintance to acquaintance, I’ve learned to make what I can of the current company, to locate the common thread of genuine interest, be it music or girls or books or anxiety or the weather.

From the man sitting beside me on the plane I just received a half hour lecture on furthering the profit from my band’s business through shady schemes at the expense of our fans. I kept explaining that a person putting my record on their friend’s ipod is worth more to me than dollars earned in any form, especially from scamming people whose trust I’ve earned through exposing my most vulnerable, most tender pieces. In another life, he could have worked at a major label. His ideas were cut from the same cloth.

I got lunch with our manager at the Greenpoint Coffee Shop this afternoon. She asked if I was sad to leave, knowing my desire for the city, or rather, the offerings of the city. I said yes at the time, but now I’m not sure I really feel anything. I’m getting very used to being chained to nothing but my name and experiences and what I do to keep those things respectable. When asked where I live, I’m never sure of what to say. Usually I’ll respond with Oakland. I’m of course from Oakland, but if I’m not paying rent and have only spent three weeks there so far this year, I cant really say that it’s where I live. Everything I need tucks nicely into a guitar case, a backpack and a suitcase. I’m losing my desire for a physical home. Home is a feeling now - It exists wherever I can feel it. I just need a bed and a shower, and a moment or two alone. I often pay my rent with friendship, in bottles of wine and six packs and thank you notes.

I don’t know when I’ll be back in New York. I am no longer infatuated. I am comfortable nearly everywhere I go and am privy to the many flaws of the city. The question is, I guess, is it worth tolerating those flaws for the positive things it has to offer. Maybe that could be a good way to define love: A painless or even satisfying toleration of the inevitable flaws in another. Not sure if I love the city or just the things the city offers. Somehow, I doubt I’ll be gone long though.

Back to tour now, I guess.

Of course, I’ll be keeping this blog updated frequently on the road for the next month with my laments, but I will also be keeping a tour blog for SPIN.COM which I will update twice a week. I’ll probably limit the more personal stuff to this one and try to get more of the facts on that one. Should be pretty neat