Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Coast To Coast #9: Crawling Back To You

Several years ago, one of my favorite bands released one of my all-time favorite live albums: Pearl Jam, Live On Two Legs.  The title's clever, because sections of a tour are called "legs," and because that specific tour was billed as something of a "comeback" for the band.  So, they were literally "live, on two legs" of their tour, and figuratively back on their feet. 

After one leg of the tour, you could continue the joke that a fatigued band only has "one leg left."  And now, back in Memphis, after 6,300 miles in a month, I've got no legs left.  I'm home, and I'm crawling.

But before taking a Van Winkle-sized nap, I should cap off the spring tour blog.  First, here's the final tally for the month of April:
--6,362 miles
--91.5 hours driving (give or take a minute)
--38 Fruit Roll-Ups eaten
--37 Fruit Roll-Ups enjoyed
--27 gas stops
--16 states
--14 5 Hour Energy shots
--4 days off
--4 time zones
--3.5 books read
--3 BBQ dinners (all in the same night)
--2 all-nighters
--2 tires replaced
--1 Dr. Pepper accidentally shoplifted
--1 trip to the laundromat
--1 minor car accident
--0 salads eaten
--0 strings broken (miraculous)

Also, I tried to keep count of these things and went cross-eyed:
1) Number of rest areas visited
2) Number of Cokes/coffees/waters consumed (see #1)
3) Number of fine new friends/fans I made on the road
4) Number of songs I sang

For those of you curious, the books I read this month, complete with a seven-word review for each:
1) Keith Richards, Life.  Twenty-two percent better than I expected. 
2) Steve Martin, Shopgirl.  Sad happy story or happy sad story? 
3) Bob Dylan, Chronicles Volume 1.   I re-read this, impatient for Volume 2.
3.5) Malcolm Gladwell, What the Dog Saw.  Proof he was awesome last millennium, too.

All month long, it seemed I was one day ahead of bad weather.  It stormed in Denver the day after I left; the same system became a blizzard hours after I left Omaha.  It rained for days in middle Tennessee right before--and right after--my shows in Nashville and Knoxville.  Not long after my last show in Memphis Saturday night, it started raining.  I'm typing this Tuesday afternoon, and the rain just stopped.  There's flooding all over West Tennessee.  The weather caught up to me, and it hit hard. 

So did the news.  One friend went Houston for a very specific and very scary health reason.  Two dear friends--married last year--happily discovered this month that they're pregnant.  Two more were married the first weekend of April.  And, sure, why not: the Memphis Basketball Grizzlies keep winning playoff games.  To bookend things, this happened May 1.  I came home to a stack of mail and a loaded DVR and a thousand little fires to put out.

It feels like I've been gone 15 minutes.  It feels like I've been gone six months.  I went off somewhere, and the earth spun without me (the nerve!).  If you look close, sometimes you can see it spin, and sometimes you can hear it.  I see it now--calls to return, mail to read, work to do, plans to make.  It's spinning alright.  But I'm back home and standing still, on two legs, or one leg, maybe none, or maybe just lying down for a while....

Soon, soon, soon,

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