honey, they’re playing our hold music

We stopped the van for the night in front of an old vacant house that had been overtaken by plant life and checked the address. The guy at the club who told us about it said bands stay there all the time, and nobody bothers them. I guess because there’s a chain link fence around the property. I was in front so I got out to open the gate, then Matt pulled into the driveway, stopping a few feet shy of the garage, which had collapsed under the weight of all these thick, ropy vines. I put our own lock on the gate after pulling it closed behind him. Everything looked red in the brake lights and I was already tired, so I didn’t get it on the first try. The exterior of this place was covered with ivy that hung heavy enough to cave in the roof in a couple of places besides the garage. Working on the place from the outside in, with time as its greatest ally. Boa constrictor. The front door was unlocked, so we went in and after we put down our sleeping bags in the living room, someone said we should have made sure nobody else was staying here first. Nobody was, though. The moonlight shone through a big hole in the roof into the middle of the room, and we huddled around it like a campfire.
We turned off our flashlights. I told Jared I’d give him one of my drink tickets tomorrow night for a cigarette. All he has is menthols, which I think is a strategic maneuver designed to keep me from bumming that many. Then after I lit it he reminded me that the last three places we played- two skate parks and an all ages club run by this bugging out Christian guy- didn’t offer us drink tickets. Fine, next time we get them, then. I’ve never considered myself a smoker, not because I don’t consume cigarettes, but because I don’t buy them. Same with Pringles. Not super happy with our dietary choices as a group at that time. When we first started years back, I figured we would be eating better by now instead of still having to pool our change occasionally. Four pack of canned ham salad and a box of Wheat Thins. Nobody liked it anymore. We were all sick of how the van smelled, plus the last couple of years I had started getting weirdly bloated every time we went on the road, so I tried to get like baby carrots occasionally.
It was on this tour that we realized that it wasn’t just “industry politics” that was keeping us from achieving our potential. When we spoke with friends we had made in some towns, we started talking openly about things winding down and taking a break when we got back. No hard feelings. Maybe the peak audience for fifty-year-old-divorced-men-playing-traditional-Chinese-music-in-the-style-of-Def-Leppard really is only six people per town. A few years from now, I thought, we’ll only remember the good parts. We’ll wonder why we gave up. I borrowed someone’s water bottle and washed down a Centrum Silver and a glucosamine chondroiton tablet.


1 Response to “honey, they’re playing our hold music”

  1. June 15, 2012 at 1:07 am

    How do I leave a YouTube of Social Distortion’s “Story of my Life” as a blog tweet?

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June 2012
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