L.A., Hollywood.

The hotel manager told Marirose that she could see the “Hollywood” sign from the room window. Neither of us could see it, however, no matter how hard we looked. It was then that I noticed the tell-tale slats of white sign board through the leaves and branches of a huge tree on the other side of the parking lot.

Story of my life.

It took about five hours for my mother-in-law, a friend of hers and I to drive out here from Riverbank. I was so happy not to have been asked to drive. I was feeling pretty loopy after the night before and was looking forward to the 24 hours being up, so I could take more migraine meds.

We made it past Merced, about an hour and a half away from home when, looking at a paisley bag sitting next to me on the car seat, I suddenly remembered Marirose calling me not too long after I’d fallen asleep. She gave me a sitrep on how things went after arriving yesterday. Turns out there was a minor crisis as the drummer and/or she misinterpreted the Awards Committee’s instructions and had left not only the drums behind, as they were supposed to, but the cymbals as well, which he was NOT supposed to do. She was trying to hook up with a source for cymbals through one of her band members who had a brother who played for Elton John and Santana. As we were talking, she suddenly remembered her son’s old and beat up set out in the garage.

(indent)“Hey! Jason has cymbals and you are going to get here long before the show starts!”

(indent)“Excellent idea!”

So the plan was for me to bring the cymbals in a paisley bag she described that was sitting on the food board next to the dinning room table. The same paisley bag that was still there, for the cymbals that were still in the garage…an hour and a half back in the other direction.

Oh, no I thought as my heart sunk to the floor. If I hadn’t seen that paisley bag sitting next to me in the car, I would never have been reminded of the conversation and what I had said I would do. I quickly texted Marirose and told her what I done.

(indent)“Oh, well” she replied.

(indent)Shit.

I spent the remaining time of the ride trying to get my mind off the situation. I mean there was nothing I could do about it. I read my latest issue of “Poets and Writers” and then tried to write. Ever tried to write in the car? Especially down Hwy 99 and later a bumpy 5. I got about a page and a half by the time we got to Hollywood.

I hooked up with Marirose and crew and apologized again for being a dork and forgetting. They were all very understanding and told me not to worry about it, that I’d had a head ache and was “elsewhere” and did I feel any better? They treat band-widows like we’re some sort of bomb that might go off without warning. I got a kiss hello and good-bye as they all trooped down to the Avalon for a sound check. I thought about taking a nap as my head still hurt, but I figured it would be a toss and turn affair, so I cracked open old faithful, fired her up and began wrestling with my three uncooperative protagonists.

They should be back anytime now and we’ll start getting ready. On the weekend earlier, Marirose showed me her dresses for the evening. God, my wife is so beautiful; it makes me want to weep. I tell her so, but, as the faithful hound, my compliments are suspected as being subject to bias and don’t count as much as do the observations of others. When she’s all dolled up and ready to roll, I have no doubt the compliments will fall like snow from others. I hope it helps temper the nervousness I can tell she’s feeling. Sound check is taking way too long and I know her…the longer it takes beyond the already long time it’s expected to, the more nervous the whole band will become.

I wonder if book award readings and ceremonies are anything like this.

Originally posted in The Salamander’s Quill 1.0 now deleted.