Why can't I open my eyes? What is this goop gluing them together? Why does my throat feel scratchy? How come my head hurts? I need a tissue for my nose! Oh no...
I'm sick on tour!
Why is it so bad to be sick on tour you ask? First of all, because there are no mothers or roommates around to turn cartoons on and feed me chicken noodle soup. There are no medicine cabinets filled with nutritious vitamins. There are no fireplaces to warm my hands.
This is tour in February. There is only cold, dirt, and noise.
I didn't sleep well, not because of my stuffy nose, or my migraines, but because Rob, our guitar tech, sleeps in the bunk below mine, and he snores like a fog horn. Carlo sleeps in the bunk across from mine. I'm basically the ham in a "snore" sandwich!
I roll out of my bunk and reach out to the side walls to steady myself. I hear Dia's voice float back through the bus in an accusing tone, "There are more than the acceptable two pairs of shoes for each person in the shoe pile!" Ugh oh, first thing in the morning I'm going to be in trouble. Andre, our merch guy, filters through the shoe mountain with Dia, "Well, these are Meg's tall boots, and here are those new tennis shoes she just bought." I'm two for three. They are bound to find the other pair soon… "And wait. Here's one more pair…"
Before Andre can finish that last sentence, I grab my toothbrush and a bottle of water and book it off the bus. One brushes one's teeth on tour the same way one brushes on a camping trip. Simply dump a bit of bottled water on the toothbrush to dampen, brush teeth, and rinse both mouth and toothbrush with bottled water. All of this takes place in whatever parking lot the bus happens to pull up in.
As enticing as Nick's breakfast of left over chips and salsa from our rider from two weeks ago sounds, I opt to skip food and spend the entire afternoon hibernating in my bunk with my electric blanket turned on full blast.
|Sick in my bunk. I'm glad I listened to my mother and packed an electric blanket!|
I pull myself together for the show, both mentally and physically.
|Mmmm...I love me some dirty green rooms. Yuck! (And yes, I am using Nick's drum practice pad as a table for my laptop.)|
I heard a traveling business person say that "Traveling is hard. People who say it is not hard don't travel."
The only event keeping me from hopping on a plane back to Austin is the one hour of playing music that finally comes at the end of my tough day. During our set, I see a couple rocking back and forth, looking into each other's eyes before they steal a kiss in public. I forget about my runny nose. I see three sisters right behind the barricade at the front of the stage, arms linked behind each other's waists, mouthing every word. I forget about the intense hurricane happening behind my left temple and eyebrow. I see a parent nodding in acceptance of these young crazy musicians on stage. I forget about my scratchy throat.
I see a little girl looking up at Dia and deciding then and there in her heart, someday she will sing like that. You know what?
It's all worth it.