Downtime is good. Downtime is bad.

There’s nothing like downtime on a bus tour. The band is at a hotel in upstate New York near where several of the guys in the Furs live. We’ve got the rest of today and tomorrow before we have to be in Buffalo for our next gig.

We have done laundry. We have had lunch. We have had mid-afternoon snacks. I have washed in the sink the gig shirt I forgot to wash at the laundromat. (It was pretty funky.) I have called my lovely wife. I have called my best friend. I have stared out the window (there’s a really big rabbit out there under a spruce tree and he’s been there eating clover for an hour or so). It is now 7:30. Nap? Supper? Movie?

Days off on bus tours mean a lot of hanging out in one’s hotel room. It’s not terribly interesting, especially if you’re like me and you find tv to be way too manipulative and exploitative. (Manipulative: commercials- “you’re too fat, you’re too short, your armpits stink, your breath stinks, your feet stink, your hair shouldn’t be gray or people will think you’re old…” or you get the same message in a thousand more subtle ways from the shows. Exploitative: reality tv- “look at how FUCKED UP these people are! Aren’t you glad you’re not them?? By the way, YOU’RE TOO FAT! and your life is BORING!”)

This has given me some opportunity to sort of meditate on what boredom IS.  My father always used to tell me that only boring people get bored. An old friend of mine from the rooms used to tell me that boredom was a form of anger. (I am *still* puzzling over that one… Maybe he meant when people announce that they’re bored in relationships? i dunno…) Either way, I am now regretting that I wasn’t more aggressive about buying books yesterday at the Baltimore Harbor Barnes & Noble.

I see now how rock and roll musicians get into trouble. The 19-year-old me would have found a way to do something profoundly stupid with this down time. A day off in a hotel room in a hotel with a pool? No adult supervision? Add drugs and/or alcohol into that mix and shake…. Oh, the horror.

Mostly I have been reading the news and other commentary on the internet and doing some work by checking in at my day job and making sure that nothing’s on fire there. I probably should have slept more, since there are people in the band who are fighting off colds. Your two best antibiotics are sleep and water. I should have been pounding both.

6 Comments

  1. dmac

    patrick—-pleaaase remove/delete my many rant comments, pretty please…..

    too many stella artois beers…….

    thanks,
    take care

  2. Sleep. water, and EMERGEN-C packets! If you aren’t hip to EMERGEN-C yet, you should be…it makes a great little pick-me-up right before you hit the stage, and it’s good for you! If you feel like you’re coming down with something, you can take up to 3 a day, and it will knock out anything you have.

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