E/E

It hasn’t felt like – well, yes It has.

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I was thinking it wouldn’t feel like tour til we left the state, but it felt like tour the night of our first show in Greesboro. “It’s your mentality,” Jiha told me this morning, standing on the porch in Richmond, sweeping dirt onto the sidewalk from the tall, tall stoop. “You’re ready to go. You’re ready to take on the world.” She made a swooping motion with her hands.

The momentous kickoff at NYP swept us and engulfed us and folded us and swallowed us whole, and shit us out the next morning on our best friend’s bed, tired, sleep deprived, and maybe even still a little drunk. Duke Energy had shut our electricity off a day early, and without light or water, the house we were leaving behind felt clotted and odd. We opted to spend the night in town, with the luxuries of amenities and the hope contained within watts on the ceiling. I used to live in abandoned buildings, squatting farm houses on the New Mexico border, without hide nor hair of hot water or electric light. I loved it, then; it was my pride; now, with a family, this sentiment has shifted. The cheap protection of outlets and light switches has fooled me into the temporary allure of security.

Lio woke bright and chirpy, “Hiya, Mama! Hiya, Dada! Mayo, outside!” (‘Mayo’ is what he calls our Australian Shepherd Chamero). We piled in the van and drove to our old home, snatching articles of clothing, tossing trash, hauling items to the curb that were garnered by pulling-over passerby almost as soon as we could move them out there. We had yet to finish moving. This was our reality: months before, we’d gained the gnarled practice of slow-cooked giving away, exuding, delivering, shedding, excavating, unfurling, cracking off, chipping, pulling away, all of it, our home, our stupid earthly possessions. We kept practically every drawing Lio ever made. We kept rocks he’d collected on trips to the trails or the city park, leaves and acorns – he’d held those cherished treasures to his chest from such an early age. It was the reason he discovered what pockets are, and still, at two years of age, the only purpose he has for them.

A bag containing peanut beginnings he’d chewed on at a seed exchange in Winston-Salem – kept. A raisin box he once held for days on our passage through upstate New York in the middle of a cold winter – kept. His first pair of tiny shoes, the first time he drew a circle, letters from his great grandma – these are the things we put in boxes and drove halfway across the country to our friend’s garage prior to tour. These are the things in the V-M’s basement, stacked to the ceiling, waiting, riddling with age.

We continued to scrape, pry, toss, exile, shove, push, pull, and devour every last “thing” in the house. We gave our album to the world!!! We had an album release party. We kept working and dreaming and purging ourselves of everything that wouldn’t, couldn’t, fit into our van. We are okay at this. We have done this before.

Our day jobs ended. We stepped out of them lightly, nimbly, but still, their residual scenarios worked themselves out in our nightly dreams. One day went by, one flustered and celebratory and nervous day, and then, the next morning, we drove to the airport and picked up our band.

That was the beginning.

The beginning continues.

Photos: Durham, NC; Raleigh, NC; Charlottesville, VA.

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