“Oh my God I’m lonely; and I packed EVERYTHING for this trip. Camping supplies, board games to play with the people I met, even an extra pillow. Like Noah’s arc I brought two of everything. A magic number. Two is really One. Up/Down, In/Out, you get the picture. And why shouldn’t I bring two of everything? Aren’t there legions of kids – high school graduates on soul finding missions – traveling the country in a beat-up station wagon with just enough money for gas and crackers? Once I found them I’d be saved. God, they would love me, that much I knew. And my demo tape. That demo tape would let them know I was talented enough to eat. Of course, I was coming from the DIY town of Athens, GA, it was 1997, and, contrary to what I would have thought at the time, DIY was not as cool to the rabble as it was to my creative friends in Athens. Where I would hear pioneering honesty in improv lyric-writing, the waitresses from Pumpkin Center, Alabama heard a guy who was banging on his guitar and screeching into the mic about an Aluminum Girlfriend. It was never difficult to get them to listen (I carried headphones with me wherever I went.) “That’s nice honey. You gonna have anymore coffee or you ready for the check?” The hard part was turning that into a game of checkers and a place to sleep.
I’d made it as far as Colorado and the Continental Divide. Now my rain ran into another ocean. I was making progress.