Is It Any Wonder?
It’s Iowa State Fair time in Des Moines: humidity, corndogs, pork on a stick, funnel cake, cold beer, tractor pulls, beauty pageants, butter sculpture, fireworks, and rock ‘n roll. So I sent a note to my pals in The Nadas.
Thinking of you this State Fair season. Wish i could be there with you. Missin’ ya’ll tons this summer (excepting the sore lungs and crushing hangovers).
Jason wrote back:
That’s nice of you. Wish you were here. It’s not too late. Hop a plane, stay in your room, bring your lady. see you tomorrow.
I looked into it. It is too late. Plane tickets are $800.
It was, of course, roughly a year ago that I was on tour and in the studio with the guys. It was more than a two week rock ‘n roll fantasy camp. It was a glimpse into an alternate universe. It was a a long look down The Road Not Taken. And I don’t just mean the bus and the amps and the groupies. I’m talking about neighborhoods, lawns, guest bedrooms, and two car garages. I’m talking about intimacy, community, and a less-harried lifestyle. Not that the guys aren’t busy. Mike and Jason hustle like nobody’s business. But streets aren’t logjammed. It’s all about cicadas, not cabs.
A terrific thunderstorm rolled in from the west last night. I sat in my office, twenty-nine stories above Times Square, and watched the sky turn from blue to brown to black. Lightning flashed from the smoked glass towers. Thunder shook the concrete canyons. Black sheets of rain glowed amidst the neon.
When the rain stopped, I descended into the subway to find thousands of tourists and commuters crowded on the platform. An empty 1 train was being inspected by police. The 3 arrived, and was immediately evacuated. I made haste for the street, then began walking the forty blocks to my apartment. Traffic was thick. Streetcorners were three deep with business men and women, arms raised to the street hoping against hope for a vacant cab. I listened to Keane on repeat.
Is it any wonder I’m tired
Is it any wonder I feel uptight
Is it any wonder I don’t know
These days after all the misery made
Is it any wonder that I feel afraid?
Is it any wonder that I feel betrayed?
This morning’s inbox was empty save for an email from Mary in Des Moines.
“Notice Mike’s t-shirt?”