Kicking it at The Grand Hotel in Bisbee Arizona. Day Three. I threw myself out here on this tour knowing anything could happen and so it has. My friend Matt decided he would like to join me on this leg. After all, it begins and ends in Northern Arizona where he lives and this is a good season for him to take a trip. Whipple’s Vagabond Adventures has a new client. I was stoked because my journey into Texas was, for me, a high risk and low rewards. No solid guarantees and a lot of miles. If my truck decided to give out in the vast wasteland of West Texas I would be fucked. I was leaning towards canceling the whole lot of them in the interest of saving my skin but now Matt was offering to drive his newer, more comfortable and reliable truck.

Texas is on.

Or is it?

Launch day. Matt’s son is having severe abdominal pains. It sounds like appendicitis. He is headed to the hospital. For whatever reason, Matt has decided that he needs to stay with his family as his son goes through surgery rather than fuck around with me on the road. I plead with him to get his priorities straight. 

Well… No. I don’t. Boys needs his father and Matt is a good one. Boy goes into surgery. He is recovering now.

 I head to Phoenix alone in my trusty little Toyota. We make it. I play an acoustic gig. I am rusty and it is a bit rough. Something only I would really notice. I had been focused on moving out of my great little space in Flag and trying to get some work in at the last minute. I hadn’t touched my guitars in weeks.

The next morning me and the Toyota hit the freeway. Neither of us like it much. The truck doesn’t really do the 75 MPH superhighway well. It’s a little shaky. No cruise control. No reclining bucket seats. It coughs and sputters a little. Southern Arizona is dull and monotonous. It is pure mercy when we finally reach our exit leading to Tombstone and Bisbee. I am a lover of the divided highway myself. Give me a road that slows down for the little towns on the way. I love the little offerings of the places on the way. The burger joints. The quirky cafes. The antique shops. The churches. I like to think about the lives I am passing by. It gives me hope.

 It gets me down the road.

I arrive in the quirky town of Bisbee in the early afternoon. I am trying to scrounge up some more gigs. Matt is talking about joining me here in a couple of days. I have to improvise. Find a place to stay or least a shower or something. I busk out on Main for a little while. I make one dollar. I stop. I need to save my strength.

I am playing at a hotel but they offered me a choice between money and a room. I took the money. I need the money… any money… desperately. Some folks offer me a space down the street. I get a shower and try to wash off the high desert sun. I am worn out from the drive… the sun… the stress… the lack of sleep the night before… I want to take a nap but there is no time. I have work to do.

I play and because I don’t know any better, I kill myself doing it. I always do. I know I am going to pay for it after the endorphins wear off. I know I am going to be sore in the morning. I am going to be a wreck but, like I said, I don’t know any better. When I perform I give you fucking everything. You should really appreciate that more than you do.

My performance changes things. I get the room upstairs and the money. I make some new friends and get closer to connecting to more gigs in town. In the morning the owners of The Grand Hotel come out to greet their guests personally while we are treated with a “made from scratch” breakfast. The owners heard good things about my performance. They offer to put me up the rest of the weekend.

It pays to be good… sort of anyway.

So for the rest of the weekend I am going to wing it. Sing for my meals wherever I can. It’s going to work out. Somehow. I’m just putting this out there to Great Goddess of Fate. If my truck is to break down let it be in a quirky artist colony like Bisbee.

I could live here.

for awhile anyway….

 

 

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