Last night, Daddy Wrall and I traveled to Maine for a rehearsal with Todd and Trick. We don’t get to play together nearly often enough, so it’s always a treat. We’re usually squeezing a bit of music in between studio work, promotion, day jobs and travel and last night was no exception. We arrived around 2 o’clock, played for a few hours, and split early, with a mind toward catching our new friends Sevi D & The Wilds at T.T. the Bear’s Place. They weren’t playing until after ten, so even though we were traveling in three states, we should have had plenty of time for all of this.

Of course, that timing doesn’t take into account my own mental inadequacies.

Okay, before I get into all that, rewind to earlier in the day, before I picked up Wrall at the airport. I was dropping off my brother Seth* and remembered that I had lent him some money. 

*You know him from such testimonials as “Airport Water Tax” and “The Loss of Childhood Innocence”.

Seth, do you have that twenty bucks you owe me?”

“No, but I can get it at the ATM.”

“I don’t have time. Can you give it to me on Friday?”

“Yeah. Here: take ten now.”

I tried not to take the sawbuck, but he insisted and I relented. I’ve intended to carry cash lately, but haven’t always succeeded on that front. I’m pretty reliant on plastic on a moment to moment basis. That might be the result of working at a grocery store and seeing how much easier it is to use a card, even for orders of less than a dollar. As you may have guessed, that ten dollar bill was the only cash I was carrying from that point forward.

Now let’s fast forward to after rehearsal. Wrall and I were on our way to Boston to catch Sevi D, making decent time, though not as good as the trip to Maine. Suddenly, the engine stopped doing its thing and we began to slow down. I hit the gas, but it was clear to me what had happened:

I had forgotten to fill the gas tank.

Yep, the simplest possible thing. I knew before we left that we wouldn’t have enough gas for the trip. I was rushing to my brother to his destination, and pick up Wrall at the airport, and be at rehearsal on time, and I just plum forgot. I’d never done that before. Maybe I have a good temporal memory, or maybe a good parietal one. I can tell you my best friend’s phone number from kindergarten and the SKU for lemongrass. I remember where I was standing when I had the idea for “Kept Woman” five years ago. I remember one of my first meetings with Wrall, when I was in 6th grade. I did, however, forget to fill up the gas in the van yesterday, and we ran out of gas.

We were traveling pretty fast, and the road was pretty flat, so I figured I’d coast a ways before I pulled over. You never know, I might make it all the way to a gas station. We were approaching a toll plaza, so I coasted through the toll. There was an exit up a ways, and it had a sign for gas, but I knew I couldn’t make it. Instead, I pulled over just past the tolls…

I called AAA and they said it wouldn’t long before someone would bring us some gas. In the meantime, I made the above film and Wrall gave me a birthday present. Keeping with the musical theme of late, it was The Muddy Waters Woodstock Record, which contains memorable performances by Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band. I can’t wait to listen to it. 

Eventually, the man came. He only took cash, and thank goodness I had some–I wouldn’t have if Seth hadn’t forced that tenspot on me earlier. Thanks, Seth.

The Van started. I filled the tank at a nearby station and we got back on the road to Boston. We went to T.T.’s, but Sevi D and the Wilds had already performed. The headlining band was called Sex and they were already on stage. 

We decided not to stick around, because in Miss Fairchild we have a strict policy never to pay for Sex.

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