E/E

virginia (takes the lead) // k

The bowl of dollar bills for toll roads, the change spilled all over the floor. We pass a sandwich back and forth. A ‘Yes, we’re Open’ sign along the highway implies a lot of people would think the place is closed at first glance; or would drive by. It would not be apparent. Lio coos in the backseat.

This trip to UBE has really done something for me. Peace of mind. Assurance. Can’t wait to do what we are going to do. Comfortable. Relaxed. Like, we are going to find a really amazing place to live, because there is always this place. You don’t have to be anybody, you are exactly you. Our home is going to be fucking amazing. It has to be perfect now, because there is no other time it is going to be perfect.

Saturday, waking up in Maryland. We found the last campsite and began to watch Harold and Maude. Lio screamed part of the morning. He was sad and then I picked him up and told him about how we are always around him, except that once when we went to the childhood home and Ringing Rocks and left him with Patty, but that was pre-arranged, and for not long. And it was pouring rain. He was better off at home. And he had loved it, being watched by Patty. But other than that, I said, didn’t you notice we’re always around? We’re not going anywhere. And all Lio really wanted was this hug. He calmed, smiled, and stood off my chest. Earlier ten Chinhooks had flown overhead. Ten Chinhooks, and an airplane.

Hawk dances, singing while adding oil in the morning: ‘Food not bombs wouldn’t get arrested,’ gyrating wildly at the gas pump.

An Escalade pulled up to us at a red light after our first show in Baltimore, motioned to roll the window down. Every interaction we’d witnessed in Baltimore seemed to be a drug deal, and we hesitantly leaned forward to receive the message. “Are you part of the movement? A possible Black Panthers recruit shouted. “Which?” Hawk asked. Like, you define it, so we know we’re talking about the same thing, and then we’ll say Yes or No. “Guess not,” the man said angrily, dismissively, and sped away, his pre-adolescent son in the passenger’s seat. Had he meant the same, we would’ve stayed stopped at a green light to talk about it.

Had a dream last night I was sure to remember, but didn’t, and I didn’t write it down. Sadly, it was important – the event, then solving the problem.

11/26 Leaving Virginia, now I feel free. Like the shell of the last many years of life broke off, six weeks in, setting us free. A hardboiled eggshell snakeskin. Like every single story that everybody is living makes sense, is an epitome. Like everybody’s hardship could’ve happened to me.

Now we are in a Charlottesville diner making jovial small talk with the family at the next table – the father sarcastic and wry, Lio making eyes at their daughter. “She’s too old for you,” her father says. We laugh. Then another father follows his son over, the little wobbler. Lio turns and grins from ear to ear at the prospect of so many new friends in one place.

If each show were an invitation by the town’s secret ambassadors who understood we wanted to make us a home, and were thus trying to get us to stay there, Charlottesville would be the clear winner. It was as if the town was secretly on showcase, offering us the cream of the crop: we had the best breakfast, the strangest random encounters, saw the craziest sites, the weirdest people in action doing strange things we felt akin to. The parks were always right around the corner, with special areas for unleashed dogs; the weather sunny and warm, the sun just right so it wasn’t in your eyes, and welcoming; the breeze temperate enough to only just not wear a sweater.

I think Charlottesville was trying to marry us. I think Charlottesville was trying to lure us to stay. It’s like the Truman Show, or some relevant United States reality program where we are traveling around, searching for a place to live, and everyone flubs it and missteps and fumbles toward Charlottesville, and Charlottesville runs it, vying for the lead.

This is what I imaged tour would be like. This is the feeling I thought I’d feel. We drop a friend off at Twin Oaks, the nation’s oldest functioning intentional community/commune. We take a bunch of scenic, curvy, no shoulder roads to the city. We play an amazing show in a giant performing arts warehouse where we identify with all of the guests, speak in real language, stay tuned, and juxtapose in a beautiful, mysterious space in a big old Pink building with a history. We would live there, and I would feel pressure to do something amazing.

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2 Comments»

  Cowboy wrote @

Miss you and love you.

  sarah johnson wrote @

Happy Holidays Adam, Katey and Lio! Warmest hugs from omaha! I am in love with your stories. Thank you for sharing.


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