Nick and I spent the afternoon giving our new washer and dryer a piggy back ride up the two flights of stairs to our apartment. The burning pavement cooked the bottoms of my feet through my flats. Although the deed was difficult and the sun was harsh, my discomfort was momentarily forgotten when I started thinking about how grateful I was that I only had to unload the trailer this one time.
I miss touring, but there are times when I'm glad I'm not spending every day loading and unloading musical equipment in extreme weather conditions, whether they are boiling asphalt in the south or below-zero blizzards in Canada.
Later on in the evening I glanced at my computer. The time in the upper right corner read 11:02 p.m. My chest was having muscle spasms from the heavy lifting, and I seriously was drooling over my soft honey-yellow bedsheets, my vintage, second-hand lamp, and a delicious stack of books on my bedside table. Tonight though, I had made a commitment to make an appearance on Red River Street downtown, to sing a song or two with a very talented front man in a band called "The American Spirit". (I'll let you listen to their track I sang on as soon as the record is ready to go)
I curled my unruly hair, smeared some plum lipstick on, and dressed comfortable yet also like I gave a damn. I knew my choice in wardrobe wouldn't quite measure up to my chic Austinite girlfriends who would be wearing the trendy waist hugger mini shorts with L.A. tall high heels, but like you are probably beginning to notice, I am a creature of comfort.
I usually don't have much trouble driving downtown, but due to the influx of recently returning college students, I was lucky if my car inched forward a few inches in ten minutes! Almost overnight, it felt as though another city of people had been stuffed in with the people who were already living in Austin. Pedestrians paid no attention to crosswalks, and stumbled with dumb grins on their faces in between slow-moving cars. Pedi-cabs joined the debacle, huffing and puffing up and down the roads, looking over to make small talk with their drunken passengers in hopes of a large tip. Pedi-cabs are like modern, mini horse-drawn carriages pulled by bikers rather than horses.
I lucked out when it came to parking. I finally found Nick and the rest of The American Spirit gang inside of the packed bar. We made our way to the top of the building where we caught a pretty good view of the band that was playing. They were fabulous by the way. I wish I would have learned who they were. They were an eight-piece musical outfit, complete with three horn players, and an occasional over-excited audience member who would vivaciously grab a percussion instrument on stage and begin flailing away.
The band had such a happy and raw rock sound, three part harmony, an old timey organ. The most impressive thing about these guys though, was how much fun they were having. They weren't nervous. They weren't tired (If they were, you couldn't tell). And maybe it was the booze jamming up their on that stage, but I doubt it. They looked like they were having the time of their lives, and the audience just ate it up, and so did I!
Tonight there was music pouring out from every bar and venue, competing with each other, drummers competing with guitarists, competing with singers, competing with crowds, seeming to shout, "Here! Come here. Tonight, THIS is the place to be!"
There you are again Austin. There you are.