After the Costa Mesa Massacre, Tricia and I sat in the back of the bus and talked about everything that went wrong and how frustrating it was for her to try to undo the damage and slip past security at the same time. It’s gotta be tough being a woman and a front of house engineer. I personally saw more than one occasion where some crusty local sound guy, with a ponytail and an extra 150 pounds on him, condescended to her over something like microphone choices. Idiotic, but it’s the way of the rock and roll world. When a guy’s only interactions with women are looking at them in pornography, I suppose it’s a real challenge to deal with a woman who has actual opinions and skills.
We got to the hotel next to LAX and checked all of our gear in with the bell captain. Oddly, the lobby of the hotel was PACKED with young high school aged kids speaking Spanish with a Castillian accent. Or, I should say, thwarming with thudents thpeaking Thpanish. I am guessing they were on some sort of high school trip and their flight had been delayed or canceled. They all still had their luggage and were clearly just waiting on SOMETHING (or… “thomething”…) to happen…
Tricia and I went looking for a convenience store within walking distance…. “Walking,” you say? In LA? Ha ha ha! (Yes, I know…) We actually had to take a taxi to the nearest Ralph’s, where we discovered it was too late in the day for T to get a couple of Boddington’s. Costa Mesa was the crap day that would never end…
When we got back to the hotel, the lobby was still swarming with Madrilenos. I finally got back to my room after some elevator wrangling and I sat on the bed, thinking long and hard about what I could have done different when all the sound went (as Tricia likes to say) pear-shaped. On reflection, I think we all did the best we could.
Years ago, my father came to Athens to see me after learning that my first wife and I were splitting up. I was kind of a mess, and he and I went hiking in the woods to have some time alone. He listened patiently to me as I vented and I was going over all the things I thought I should have maybe done differently, and finally he said “Son, did you do most things the best that you could?” and I could honestly answer that Yes, I had. “Then it’s time to decide that it’s ok and to not waste too much time trying to fix the past.”
With that in mind, the Costa Mesa show now lives on the shelf in my mind marked “Fuck it.”
The next morning, even though I had a later departure time than most of the rest of the band, I decided to go down early and help with check-out in any way I could. Unfortunately, the lobby was STILL thwamped with thudents, so I was unable to buy coffee or breakfast. Without coffee, I was no help. Mostly my contribution to loading up all our gear and getting everyone and their guitars to the airport was standing dumbly ALMOST out of the way. My friend Christopher once remarked that my personality isn’t dependent on having two cups of coffee in the morning, my personality IS two cups of coffee in the morning. Leave that out and you get the Madame Tussaud’s version of Patrick.
Tour manager Bob (who is my personal hero for the tour, btw) procured a bus for us, and we shuttled to LAX, then he checked everyone in at once, sent bags to the right planes and then he and I went to find our own flight (we’re the only two Southerners on the tour, and both were flying into Hartsfield) and some breakfast.
I skipped an EIGHT DOLLAR(!!!) sandwich at Starbucks and we each had a hotdog instead. Ah, the glamourous life.
The flight was uneventful, for which I am thankful, because I don’t much care for flying.
My lovely wife met me at the airport, and we went and had a late, late supper at our favorite Korean place in Atlanta before driving home.
Later, after she had fallen asleep, I found myself sitting up in bed, with my dogs around me and her sleeping peacefully at my side, thinking “Well…….. that was interesting.”