It takes so long to find the good people. It takes forever, really. You're never done. You spend years being the new kid, then you make mistakes and lose friends, then you're too old almost before you get started. But sometimes you get where you're supposed to be, when you're supposed to be.
I'm setting up a tour for this summer. It's nothing special, a week or so of dates that will give me a chance to scorch my way through the deep south in the hottest part of August, swilling beers and eating up miles with my friends in the crannies of cool people who thrive like bathtub mildew in the hotbox of the south's worst excesses.
Tonight I talked to a new friend who owns a record store in Birmingham, where we're doing one of the dates. It was nice to go in as someone to be listened to, someone with a record out and posters on the way and good friends who'll vouch that I'll show up when I say I will and get the job done. I found another good person. The skein of kindness and camaraderie stretched across the map has one more stick-pin, one more oasis against the gray foam of indifference that swells when you wanna go do shit.
This weekend I do a contest where I try to convince bookers of more traditional venues that I'm someone they should work with. I hope that works too. I'm confident it will. I'm not the best and I have a long way to go, but I work hard, I travel hard and I can make sense of the world in 30-45 minute intervals while talking into a microphone. I can do it when the show is ideal and I can throw down from an unlit corner next to the gumball machine. I have worked, and I keep working, to make sure that's the case.
I have to try the hardest because I want so much. I want the road, and the friends, and the diners and bars, and the experiences. I want the hotel rooms and half-assed itineraries and the lobby waffles and the gas station coffee. I want to write and I want you to hear it. This sounds silly and grandiose but I love doing this so much, and I'm gonna flow like water into where I can go, until I wear down the gates barring the places I can't go.
Where I write about the stuff I do when I'm out doing the stuff I do.