Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Like a shark.

Yesterday I was like a shark all day, always moving so as not to devolve into a crumbly, crying mass, curled up somewhere way too public and asking to be taken away. I hadn't slept since Dec 27th, and the holiday itself had been a veritable bloodbath.
I have a bad habit called ambition and when it manifests in a momentous year-end record release party the results can be disastrous.
For two months my life was funneling towards this night. Rehearsing, recording, mixing, mastering, and arranging the manufacturing of this epic album "Worlds" was the easy part. The feats of financing, promoting, acquiring distribution (in this case, building an entirely new web store: 100+ hours of excruciating, bug-battling coding and data entry), and arranging what we'd hoped would be an unforgettable show were the true tests of my sanity. It is the world's biggest blessing (well, no, GPS is...) that someone like Justin, bass player for Ebu Gogo, was there to match and, most of the time, surpass my dedication to the project. Without him I would not have lasted the first week. Even with his aid I was unshaven, unfed, and irritable for the month of December.
When our set was pushed back half an hour past the new year count down we were supposed to lead the crowd with, we didn't complain. When my thoroughly-notated set list disappeared just before the first note of our first song, I just cursed under my breath and smiled. When the bartender turned the lights on at 1:15 and cut the last 5 songs of our record release show set (the very same we had been rehearsing for 4 weeks) so that she and the rest of the AS220 staff could leave early to attend a party at the Dirt Palace, and had the audacity to tell us, straight-faced, that New Years Eve was actually now a 1:15 night, I quietly packed up my equipment. When the violently drunk stage manager told us that we wouldn't be paid for "a few weeks" because "that's how First Night usually goes, and I don't give an Eff because I don't work here anymore" I shook his hand and loaded out.
Once home, I took my 80 lb keyboard out of the back seat, removed the amp and merch from my trunk, and let Lu out for his three AM constitution. I went up to my bedroom, put my few remaining clean clothes in a backpack, along with a pen, a paper, a ruler (I don't know why), and a book about card tricks. At this point Lu was giving me the furry worry, and trying to lure me to bed with groans and obscene tummy posturing. I took the pillow from under his head, the old brown Mexican blanket from the chest, and my boots from the closet. I bagged my laptop, headphones, and my dictaphone. I went downstairs, put the rest of his dog food in a plastic bag, took his two bowls, and emptied the fridge (two apples, burrito wraps, and purple stuff) into another plastic bag. I put all of these things in the trunk, put Lu in the back seat, and left Rhode Island.

When I saw the sign welcoming us to New York, relief took ahold of me so suddenly that I nodded off in the middle lane of 90 West. I woke up seconds later (I hope) careening into the breakdown lane of the right side, with Lumas licking my face. I pulled over, took my sweat-soaked t-shirt off, and slept for 11 hours.

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