Well alright, welcome to the airport, yes I have my boarding pass, no I have no gels or liquids, yes I have my ID, 2 bags to check. Not only that, I would like you to know that I am already prepared to make sure my seat back is fully in the upright position for take off and landing. This is important because we all know that when a jet plummets into the earth at 600 miles an hour, having that seat 2 inches farther into the most uncomfortable upright position will clearly be the key to survival. In fact, I am surprised that the tens and tens of post plane crash survivors don't get together each year and celebrate how lucky they were to have their seat so far forward as their airplane splattered into a fireball of jet fuel.
Since inadvertently leaving a cell phone, GameBoy or iPod powered up is capable of screwing with the airplane's ability to avoid falling out of the sky, I am fully comforted now by the precautionary 'seat forward' and 'no toothpaste' measures taken. As many have told me to have a safe flight over the years, I come fully prepared to do my part by occupying my seat at the proper angle.
As long as someone, somewhere is having a good laugh at the 100,000 or so humans a day immersed in the ludicrous belief that somehow these funny little games truly matter, I am all good with playing along.
I can honestly say that the plane flight sucked, but not for me. When the initial announcement that there are three bathrooms on the plane but one was not operational, I am thinking, no biggie. Then when they said that he broken bathroom was in the main cabin and FAA rules state that 'main cabin humans' can not venture into the front of the plane where the other working bathroom is, I began to think that it may turn into an issue. The second announcement that screeched through was; "I am sorry to say that we will be experiencing turbulence for a good portion of the flight and the seat belt sign will be on shortly, so take that into account if you need to use the restroom." Then the line to the restroom grew and grew till it was half way up the plane at which point the plane began bouncing all over the place and we were graced with announcement number three "I apologize but we are hitting the rough air earlier than expected. Please take your seat immediately." Nothing like a plane full of urine loaded passengers bouncing around in rough air to spread the joy.
Fortunately, in an flash of preemptive brilliance I had previously remembered not to forget and I had used powers within my grasp to arrange a front cabin seat several weeks ago. So the misery of the flight only effected me only in the form of compassion for the down trodden. Further fortunate-ness occurred in the form of my fellow roadies all being on other flights and missing the aerial leg crossed roller coaster.
Upon arriving at the hotel, 10:45 pm, I proceed to stand at the front desk looking like an idiot, feeling perplexingly anxious and wanting my room as I watch Mr. Annoying and Miss Snailpace effortlessly ignore me for a full 12 minutes. Finally snapping, and grindingly ask for my room key which he whisks out in a single motion from the little alphabet box. Off to my room and starving. Mind blurring dizzy hungry as I listen to ring after ring after ring of the unanswered room service phone. Oh look! It is 10:58 and quick call to the "Service Promise Help Desk" confirms the expected. I am sorry sir, room service just closed at 11PM. But, but .... Ah forget it, is there anywhere to eat? Valerie was a sweetheart and actually spent 20 minutes seeking out an open place that delivers. Many thank you's and click.
Pizza is like dog food for roadies and the pizza box it just a glorified doggy dish. And whom amongst us does not at sometime envy a dog's life? If I had a tail I wonder if it would be wagging right now.
The promising to bring a bit happiness and cheer in some form or another tomorrow,
Combo clean the house and pack for tour day. One of the mini projects is to toss left over foreign cash in the cash baggie box. Don't under estimate the happiness of showing up in each country with enough money for coffee and some food with out hunting for a cash machine:
**** Begin Mind Spiral ****
In the midst I ran around with a mild mental meltdown for several hours realizing my wallet had escaped me. Starting the tour knocked off balance and wallet-less was not high on my list of adventures. Fortunately, the wallet decided to return on it's own accord and hide in my backpack right where I put it yesterday. Bad wallet, no more hiding from Dave. As a somewhat reformed "lose everything aholic" I am both mentally durable enough to deal with losing just about anything while also fully in tune with the impacts associated with each specific loss.
Anyway, even now with the vanishing wallet gloom cloud illusion lifted, my mind still resonates with echo's of my past mishaps. Looking backwards into my past it still amazes me how my perception is so entirely biased by my present state of mind. And again I think of water. Swimming in a flowing river of water and when thing are going well in my world it is a wonderful day as I float on top and see clearly the sunshine in all directions. The trees on the river banks float by like a movie. Speeding and slowing in the winding current. My work is to swim up or down stream and around the obstacles. Then, when I take the river for granted, snoozing through the rapids or not paying enough attention to swim around a whirlpool. I find myself submersed , struggling for air, vision blurred in the thick panic drown. The cinema of trees is now just silvery flashes of distant light and deeper is darker and everywhere I look into my past and future all I can see is confusion and I become fully connected with all my past traumas and every bad idea I have ever had. As if my life has always been this way as I can see nothing else. And at some point I inadvertently float in the right direction or clear my mind enough to end up at the surface again. With the gasp of fresh air happiness returns and hey, look around, trees and sunshine and furry critters rather than slippery ones and how silly was I to think my life ever was full of blurry confusion.
.**** End Mind Spiral ****
Good night and tomorrow we fly to Boston and start up another three week US tour, hey, lets go do rock shows!
The smiling at the thought of not having to clean up the house while I live in hotel rooms,
Once upon a time there were two old friends, both the same age as I. One desired to live and for reasons beyond his control, his body blew out and his life jumped away. The other friend has choosen spend his life dimantling his own body with drugs and collapsing the trust and friendships of those that surround him. I saw them both today. One in spirit and the other showed up a harrowing shell of the shining eyes I once knew.
Quebec in all it's less than optimum-ness loaded out in an hour and 50 minutes. I hear that is one of the fastest load outs yet. Very cool and in the face of challenge, inspiration and motivation so often prevail.
**** Highlight of the Day ****
Today there were two highlights and they both came from JF.
First we have the ear to ear smiles of John playing the song "Your Pussy is Glued to a Building on Fire" from the roadies that have been around since Californication. Things have changed a lot since then and YPGTABOF brings back wonderful memories and realizations of the long road traveled.
Secondly, a huge and heartfelt "thank you" from JF to the road crew was really cool. On a tour of this size, even for the lengths of time we travel, meeting everyone is tough and with the work schedules and mixed with times that the band is at the gig, there are quite a few people with us that have little or no exposure to the band. The public appreciation is cool.
**** End Highlight of the Day ****
**** Issue of the Day ****
Man Down. Or more like "Soundman Down"
About a week ago soundman roadie Ronnie, phoned me and informed me that another friend roadie Hatter, is in the hospital. He had gone to he doctor for back pains and after a week or so of no improvement from pain killers, was scanned to find inflamed lymph nodes. Blood test showed cancer and he was admitted. Two weeks later he was dead. Surreal shock and perplexing confusion of exactly to react to something so unexpected. Distant and removed as it has been a while since I have seen him yet so close to home as it seems so natural that we would be crossing paths at another rock show that will never happen.