After a show one night I drove five hours to the next town, all dark highway in front of me. My headlights were lances breaking through upstate New York. Everything that was quiet during the show was starting to make its voice heard: hot sweat to cold, loose neck to stiff, contention to bitterness, sensibility to the absurd. I white washed every word. Only an overload of frustration could've kept me awake that long. I could have either turned us into traffic or turned this into song.
I was bearing down on the road with two fists up high on the wheel, bitching out everyone in my head, bitterness caking over bitterness; unsalvageablem, soured career focused into this sober night stare - in such a bad Hollywood way the pitch-black I was ripping through was so obviously a metaphor for despair.
I started thinking I'd be a driver for life, I'd learn to steer in my sleep. All the fuel pumps in all the truck stops on all the highways would whisper my name. Me: Crosser of Double Yellow Lines, Liberator of Two Lanes.
If my thoughts had been typed out they would have read like the minutes of a tourette's convention. My passengers wouldn't be sleeping so soundly if they new what kind of thoughts were banging around in the front seat. I was taking offense at the slightest bathroom stop.
I had all my captors profiled and mapped out. Nobody could surprise me. Everything anyone did they were pre-destined to do: Nothing Shocking. Nothing new.
This was 90 East and we were far from home. It was the most dangerous way to travel – after a show, with your best friends asleep, and nothing but surrender and yellow lines to keep you company.
I searched the cel phone for long distance relief. What's the number for the dysfunctional band hotline? Is this what an abused wife sounds like when she won't leave her man? Redundant, relapsacle, hollow, resolved. My girl was out of town – couldn't get a softy on the phone, so I camped out in the bus and hoped that everyone would leave me alone... wished someone would ask me what was wrong.
Sometimes what is actually an attempt to spread the grief thin will appear to be an effort to bring a crowd in. Of course, I don't have enough friends to make my grief sound minuscule, and I'm not in an emo band so I can't make whining sound cool.
My girl's good about it. She let's me complain and retell the same frustrations manifesting in different situations over and over and over. I have enough torment for the both of us – it's some skewed sexist relationship – instead of bacon I provide chafing.
Only an angel would open the door to let an earthquake in.
Only an earthquake would expect the world to listen.