Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Scott Gould (my good friend in elementary school and an occasional aquaintance in high school) and I are on tour. It is just he and I traveling in a black 4-door sports car. We have a day off in a dark town full of tourists in the middle of nowhere. We eat at a restaurant that has a great jukebox and candles in the bathroom--- the kind of bathroom that's more like a closet, only 1 person can go in at a time and it has the little metal loop-lock nailed into the wooden, painted door. We decide to go swimming next door to the restaurant when we're done but before we get there, we pass a little window that is selling crappy trinkets. One thing they have is an old, 1960s-looking, beat-up box of magic potions that are in little vials. It looks like food coloring but it's supposed to make you look younger. We each buy it and drink the whole potion right there, then we find our bodies have been physcially transformed into 9- or 10-year-old versions of ourselves. This doesn't really phase us, we just go right into the pool-place. A bunch of families are there and some little kids, and we kind of forget that we look like little kids, too, and wonder why these kids are swimming when it's so dark outside.

I have to go to the bathroom again, and on my way there, where the bathrooms are at the back of the room, there is water above the pool. The area above the pool is dry on the other end of the room, where the entrance is, but for some reason down here you are pretty much still swimming even when you get out of the pool, because the water is out of the pool and gets higher and higher the closer you get to the bathroom. It's at your neck once you're in the bathroom, and I open up a stall and wonder whether pee will go where you point it if you're swimming. At first I think, "I guess it must," but then I think about how gross it is to be standing where a bunch of other people have peed in the water. Then I think that since this water connects to the pool water, everyone must be swimming in some amount of pee. I get grossed out and leave.

The next day, we make it to the little college where we're playing. There are 4 or 5 bands and things are running late so we're rushed on stage after watching some crappy unsigned bands. We still have 10-year-old bodies. Scott sets up his guitar and I set up a keyboard, but decide I will play guitar tonight, too. I set up his other guitar and we play a song, it's really pretty, instrumental post-rock, like Mogwai or Tarentel or something. There's no stage, we're just playing at the back of a commons-room-type room with a red carpet. Our song is pretty much just improvised, but we try and make it look like it's not improvised at all and I think we suceed. We play another song where Scott stands at the other end of the room and I stand behind the keyboard, but I just sing on this one. Then I decide that we should set up some pedals for me and Scott starts configuring some weird effects pedal system that has way more buttons than I thought it would, but seems to be designed pretty intuitively. He's very careful about setting it up, so it's taking a while. I realize, while watching over his shoulder, that I'm standing with both feet on his guitar, which he has set down. I get off of it and hope he doesn't notice, then tell him he should just play a song by himself for a second while I finish setting up these pedals. He does, he plays a song where the only lyrics are, "All these marigolds all over the ground, ________(something something)." I can't remember the second part, but it was really catchy and all the kids are singing along by the end. I abandon setting up the pedals to sing along and lead clapping, but Scott keeps looking at me like the clapping isn't exactly in time. After the song is over, all the kids start leaving like we're done. I tell some girl that we're going to play at least one more and the kid who set up the show says we have to stop because the last band just got here and we're almost past the sound curfew. I'm bummed, but we start taking our stuff down and go to the car in the parking lot. We're parked under a big tree that has huge white blossoms on it, and these two girls run ahead of us and get in the car before we do-- one in the front passenger seat, the other in the rear seat behind the driver. I make a joke to them about how that tree is a pillow tree and they agree that it's a weird tree. Then I remember that we have 10-year old bodies and I ask them if they noticed. The girls say yes. I ask them if they thought it made the show better and they say yes. Scott finished putting one of his guitars in the trunk and gets in the driver seat. I tell him we should drive the car right up to the door of the place we played so we can load out into the trunk and leave. We see the other band getting out of there big white van and they are white dreads, kind of crusty looking, but definitely don't look like they're going to be a very good band. I'm worried kids came to see us and are bummed because we only played 3 songs.