I am not built for strength or speed. Strength and speed are the business of Olympians and the physically-gifted. However, I am built to last—-that is, I can play numerous shows in a row on an empty stomach with little time to rest my precious vocal cords. Lack of sleep is a problem, but not as big a problem as one might expect.
Because I am built to last, I will take the opportunity to play a show at 6 p.m. in Durham, N.C., and then another in Raleigh, N.C. at 10 p.m., and then a third in Jacksonville, Fla. at 2 p.m. of the following day. This absurd itinerary allows less than five hours for sleep and demands seven-plus hours of overnight driving time as well as the ability to consume only potato chips and Coca-Cola. In addition, there’s no time to blog!
“Three shows, 24 hours” is a harsh itinerary. However, because I am built to last, I endorse this itinerary. This may be an error on my part. However, to err is human, and I myself am human. Thus, I err.
Fortunately, North Carolina proved kind this weekend, so this “three shows, 24 hours” itinerary was endurable. First, the Durham “instore” (an informal performance in a record shop) was set up by a very gentlemanly Southerner named “Chaz.” Not many citizens attended the instore, but the quality of the audience (Chaz, some N.C. friends, and a few D.C. transplants) more than made up for its small size.
Four hours later, I played with this good band in Raleigh at this club. Many people came, some because the club is closing to make way for a gentrified downtown. This is nature of clubs and people—-people don’t always go to a club but, when the club closes, bemoan its closing and attend farewell celebrations. Strange.
Still, the large audience warmed my heart when, five hours after the show, I argued at length about the price of a room with the owner of a run-down motel in Summerton, South Carolina. My heart was not in the argument—-when bargaining for less than five hours of sleep and a lukewarm shower, weariness trumps thrift. So, I paid $51 to the owner, and he provided less than five hours of sleep and a lukewarm shower.
When our bargain was struck, the motel owner said, “My friend, I am not trying to rip you off.” Perhaps he was my friend. After all, he provided commodities necessary for sleep and showering (beds, water, etc.). However, I thought these commodities were worth $40, not $51.
Perhaps my friend make up the difference and buy me an $11 lunch if I return to Summerton, S.C.—-that is, if an $11 lunch is available there.