The shower soothed my scorched stomach, while I laid in the motel tub, contemplating. A strange pulse occurred in my brain, I had provoked it and now it was doling out a beating. The water had gone cold, but again, it’s eased my discomfort. Last night, that morning, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Today we prepared to ride along unfamiliar patches of road to Wichita, and then further onward. Riding in the van is not treacherous at all. I liked the views, the evolving landscape, the animals and the rest of the people on wheels. One day our trailer will hit the perfect bump and unhitch, farewell instruments. Not too many people seemed to care last night, about six kids dug our set, we never were a big draw. They knew the songs, shouted lyrics back at me, that was a bit reassuring. Those six people were enough.
We went on early. We are the opening band and opening bands tend to do that. We could have been a little tighter but the intensity was present. “The show was bad but the drinks are free,” to quote someone with ingenuity. I know exactly what city I am in. It is always a reminder just how far from home I am. I normally want that. I usually want to be as far away as possible. This morning was different, my head killed and my mind wandered back home, that hurt something else deep inside me. Home and all its luggage can wait, it had to. That is Rock n’ Roll. That is Metal! That is Punk-Rock. Hard-Core. Post-Hard-Core. Indie-Rock. Black. Death. Thrash. Heavy Metal. Music. Whatever the fuck it is. Whatever the fuck you labeled it. Our relatives who think we are too old for this sort of thing call our sound noise or better, garbage. There is a humanistic urge to catagorize everything, to stick a specific label on all of it. I do it, too, but that doesn’t make it meaningful.
“Why do you have to scream?”
I thought it was a matter of conveying an emotion. Be careful with that word. It wasn’t just screaming, it was about the words I was screaming, the words made the difference. Read the lyrics on the insert. Learn them. Some people don’t get close enough or bother to take the initiative.
“You guys were awesome, man.”
That was what Trevor said to me at the bar of the venue. I thanked him. We talked about music for a while and hung like old friends. I didn’t treat Trevor like some others might. I am no better than anyone else, I am no rock star, I am no one at all. I like interesting people. That is how I discover new music and books to read. He loved Carcass, and I said me too. A good tune can usually get me through this funk, these dumps.
If I kick the lever the drain will cease to gulp this icy bath water, and it will rise over my face. How would that feel? I wonder if anyone ever died in our room? The spotty stainless steel lever feels odd against my pruny toes.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
“Come on, Geert. We have to shove off! It’s always you, man.” said Brody, as he banged on the door. Brody, my best friend and roadie and tour manager and purchaser of Germanic alcoholic beverages. He has a penchant for denim vests and argyle socks.
“I just got in.”
“Liar. Get out of the shower now!”
“Alright, get out of the tub. Now!”
When we are playing I never think about home. It is only these sporadic murky mornings that sneak up on me. It is so pathetic how lost I feel without the company of a woman. Will I have any friends when I return. Forty-three days is a long time, everything could change. I want to fall alseep in this frigid tub, pretending it is a remote lake in Finland. That is how far away I feel right now. I will close my eyes, my hair becoming one with my face, wondering who else had the nerve to lie in this disgusting bathtub. The mildew bred black as tuberculosis lungs on display in some bacteria exhibition. Sibelius was inside my head, maybe Christian Ferras is with him. They play his Violin Concerto in D minor, I can hear it so clearly, as it cradles my sadness. I can no longer hear the fuzzy noise of the shower. I can no longer hear Brody’s hirsute knuckles meeting the hollow of the bathroom door. I can not hear the footsteps of all those people I crave walking away from me. I only hear the consoling voice of the violin.
Then I thought of the six people waiting in Wichita, immediately stood up, turned off the water, and peeked out from behind the patternless curtain.
“Brody, can I have a towel? Please.”
Leave a Reply