Wednesday, 5:47 PM.  I'm so road worn already from the perpetual lack of sleep.  Never enough, compounded by multiple days is clicking my brain into Tour mode - it's just moving in sloooooow motion. 

We played our first show of the current run last night at Natura Tea and Coffee in Orlando.  Really nice little spot.  We were paid in free beverages and tips.  I personally double fisted a caramel latte and a peanut butter porter, trying my best to get my money's worth.  (Insert live TV audience laughter).  We made $11 in tips.  Already in the hole...  Merch Girl Amanda arrived in her Uber just moments before we started our first set, ripped through three butts, set up the merch and ordered a drink in three minutes and seventeen seconds, flat. 

After our set, we went over to the Steak N Shake and ate our second meal of the day.  $4 sounds about right for how little we made and how much our overhead cost for the day.  Merch Girl Amanda robbed the claw machine of its local treasure, four stuffed animals in total, while we waited for our greasy meals.   

By midnight, we finally had The Angel of Death packed and ready to rock.  We were southbound to Ft Myers, where we were planning on crashing with my buddy Scott.  What was supposed to be a two hour drive turned into three hours and more, while I got lost on the flattest roads in America.  We finally arrived sometime after 3:30 AM, pulled the van up, rolled out into the American night, and into Scott's front door.  We caught up, enjoyed a few beverages, and quickly closed the gap of the decade since we have last chilled in a similar fashion.  By 5 AM, we finally hit the guest bedroom and caught six hours of the best sleep we have had so far. 

11 AM, Scott knocks on the door.  The smell of coffee was not quite enough to get me out of bed.  With the second knock at 11:30, I finally got up.  Sam and Andy were already up and about, chilling with Scott in the kitchen, passing around a few guitars.  I was greeted with the wagging tail and a half frightened bark of Rira, Scott's pit.  I've known her through pictures and Facebook feed statuses, and was finally happy to know her in real life too.  After about five minutes of nervous sniffing, she seemed happy to know me too.   

It's amazing how quickly you can catch up with an old friend.  It feels like 2005 was the day before today.... nothing has passed except the illusion of time and experience, love and failure....  but we were in this kitchen yesterday.... or I guess 2005.  Scott has always had this ability to tell three stories at once without missing a beat of anything.  He is the real life embodiment of Dean Moriarty - unique and high on the vibrations of life that no one else seems to be able to tap into.  It's dizzying how he can weave in and out of conversations about music, life, spirituality, politics, and cooking recipes... his guitar playing is similar.... it has this tension where you think it might fall apart at any moment, but you hang on for the ride, and let it expand you, as you watch it reach and reach and reach until it lands somewhere safe, even if that was not the initial place it was intended to go.  I've never met someone as fascinated with life as Scott, and I'm damn happy to be around him again.  

So, the current plan is to enjoy the day.  Scott's wife Jen is coming home from work soon, and his daughter just got home,  (what a trip man... his daughter is almost ten and I've never met her).  I'm looking forward to enjoying their presence for the night around a meal before we head up the coast to Tampa tomorrow evening.  I'm most grateful for the experience that touring is giving me in reconnecting with the people I love who have been separated through the years, simply by geography.  

Chad GosselinComment