Our van delivered us an uneasy omen today. We were rumbling up a modest sized hill in upstate New York, and suddenly the gear started slipping and the nasty stench of burnt engine filled our nostrils. We pulled off to the side, opened up the hood, and looked down into baffling machinery. Called triple A. Luckily, Cole’s old membership is still on file. We waited for shit to cool down. We flipped on the hazard lights and crept our way to a service station down the road where Darwin and Greg slid under the van upon a flattened cardboard box laid out on the dirty snowy parking lot. It was bitter cold. I wore lotsa layers: a t-shirt, a sweater vest, a spring jacket, long underwear, a thick sweater, a heavy winter jacket, a scarf, gloves, and a hat, and I STILL was freezing. Only hours from New York City, the locals are already substantially redneckier/hickier (what’s the PC adjective? more rural?). There was a semi truck sporting a massive confederate flag across its face. They don’t seem to be affected by the cold weather. They are walking around in shirts and no gloves and merrily chit chatting. I feel quite useless with absolutely no car savvy. We eventually shifted all the heavy amps over to the Friends van, and now we are proceeding cautiously west on I-90, Rochester bound.
How are we ever gonna drive the 4000 some odd miles clockwise around these vast United States, when the van’s already giving out on Day 2? God only knows.
But on the ups, there’s lots to be happy about. Cole made it to the show on time, and now we are a proper foursome once more.
I was predicting that I wouldn’t feel like taking any photos in America, that everything would look too plain, that I’d be too used to everything. But I’m looking at these rolling farmland sunset hills, the brown toothpick trees porcupining wintry white mountains, and I’m feeling excited about the US. It’s been 3 years since I’ve traced such a big circle round this country, and today I know that every time you do it, it’s like new. New context, new circumstances, new me, new us, new it. I like my new haircut. It’s a bowl-cut, a mushroom-cut, like I had back in 1993. Super fresh. 2 months ago, Greg and Cole and I concocted a plan for this tour to make Darwin look like the most normal dude in the band. Cole said he would get a girl’s bob cut and wear a dress. Greg said he would wear an outfit made entirely of garbage bags and rope. So far, neither pledge has been fulfilled. Take note, ya’ll.