So, the drive itself was really long, and really boring. Though, we got the most bizarre call about halfway through the ride. Randy (my ex-step dad) was all animated on the phone, I couldn’t totally hear him, my ear hadn’t cleared up yet. He just sounded really excited, and he never gets excited about anything, except for maybe when a new kind of beer gets invented. After he ended the call, we pulled into a gas station, he turned toward me and said, “Okay, we’re going to have backstage passes, and we’ll get to hang-out with the band.” He may have followed up with, “Oh, also, birds are eating your face.” I don’t know, I was already a freaking out about getting to meet Aimee for the second time. This time, with a little plastic tube in my throat. This time, everything I’d say would be in text. My first thought, at least I won’t be as likely to blurt out anything stupid. Still, I was nervous, and I had until the next evening to be more nervous. Now, many may wonder HOW Randy scored backstage… everything. Well, I wonder too, even now. He won’t say, it’s a total mystery.
Anyway, we got to the hotel, a really nice downtown Hilton; art deco, French influences, really chic, early Tuesday evening. We got upstairs, the room was nice, a little old, but really nice. I had a big cozy bed, which I promptly got aboard. We got my forty-seven devices plugged-in; two vents, MacBook Pro, iPod Touch, iPad mini, NeuroSwitch, various batteries, particle accelerator, Time Machine, freeze-ray, mini death-ray (the original is mounted on a classified roof-top), I don’t really travel light.
At this point, I was worn, I was comfortable, I didn’t want to move, at all, ever again.. So, an hour later, we went to get me a tattoo. Whenever I go out of town, I try to get a new tattoo, and I knew if I didn’t go that first night, I wouldn’t go at all. I knew I’d want to sleep in the next morning, I wouldn’t want to follow any kind of schedule the day of the concert aside from getting TO the concert.
I always just try to google and pick the highest rated place nearest to my hotel, a system that hasn’t let me down so far.
Enter Deja Vu Tattoo…
In my experience, it’s not so easy finding artists willing to even TRY tattooing smallish lettering, and SOMETIMES people can be a little taken aback by me at first glance, my hoses and tubes and what-not. The latter being way less true than the former, tattoo/goth people are generally the most welcoming people I’ve ever met. The girl I met that night in Baton Rouge was neither scared of small lettering, or my various hoses. Jessica at Deja Vu was totally cool and impressively skilled, she did a really spectacular tattoo on my leg.
This tattoo, lyrics from Aimee Mann’s fifth studio record, The Forgotten Arm, from the song, I Can’t Get My Head Around It, is one of my favorites.
This one had been on my list awhile, but it felt particularly appropriate that evening…
“…kicking is hard, but the bottom’s harder…”
I’ve always said, since I died but didn’t, that if I felt too exhausted, or too scared, or too both, to go do something, then I should absolutely go do it. I fail sometimes, but mostly I don’t. Mostly I go and do and have a blast. Kicking is hard, but hitting bottom, not fighting back, feels so much worse. I’ve done it, it’s awful. It’s terrifying. It’s terrifying because you’re not just lying down on purpose, you don’t hit whatever bottom you hit because it’s oh so cozy, it’s that you genuinely don’t have the energy, the will to get back up. You feel like maybe this time, you’re out of time. I kick because it’s Hell to sink.
I felt really pretty sick when we got to Baton Rouge. By the time Jessica was etching in the finishing touches on her beautiful work, I’m pretty certain I had a fever. I was freezing cold, but we weren’t anywhere cold. I basically ate dinner asleep, covered in six blankets. Everything just caught up with me; two trach changes, the ear tube, almost no sleep, the drive… I pushed until my batteries died… and I’d do it all again right now. I had an awesome night in a cool new city, I met a badass tattoo artist, I got a gorgeous tattoo. I’d rather drop dead on some adventure than in some hospital. That night I had a blast, and I didn’t die… score!
The next night, well, it would be better than anything I could imagine.4 comments
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