Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘roadtrip’

81 south

In blogging, travel, travel writing, Writing on July 30, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Leaving town can make you nostalgic, and whether you’re looking back fondly or no, you won’t be looking back long.  As the highway rises in front of you what can you do but punch it, forward and move-go.  1,483 miles to Austin.  2 and a half days in sleepy Shepherds Town in our belt.  Ben driving, jamming some Dylan covers record, and me beside, writing this.  Boss in the back strapped in with all our gear.  We’re driving into a panorama of large, lush trees.  I feel fine but I could do better.  Been juicing on the road, before coffee and smokes.  Found a Sheetz in Shetown that sells Black Spirits for $6 a pack.  These last 15 days, 10 states and over 2,000 miles have been a trial of sobriety, a wits-end, raw-nerved, white-knuckled keeping it together, and knowing that there’s nothing that can ever help you with the road. It starts to get into your bones and then you’re done for, just surrender, let it pass through you, bore you out and wear you down-exhaust you in the middle of a god foraken nowhere town somewhere in America and only taking solace in the fact that as bad as it gets out here it’s better than being back home. People are dumb everywhere, stuck in their own ruts, trying to survive in a cruel and dark world. But back home they know you. And there’s hardly any wiggle room in their perception of you. The streets sting, there’s nothing new around every corner, it’s familiar and staid. It’s the same out here, you can never outrun your demons-but you can try and exhaustion and frustration and the countless tests of dealing with people in their own arenas of dysfunction will have you reaching for it-sex, booze, cigarettes, sleep (if only you could!). You must bear down. There is no escape. The more I stay sober the more I realize that life is a series of jobs to do. You could fall off the grid for awhile, like I did for a sleazy decade in Philly, but there is a job to do and you might as well saddle up and get to it. Otherwise you’ll lay in bed thinking about it. Don’t do that to yourself. Jam that fucker until you have nothing left. Pack your gear. Load up your shit. Do the miles. The road awaits…you’ll sleep better at night and nothing helps cut through the bullshit more than a clock winding down, the sword of time. You’ll sleep better and your life will be your own.

Thank you for joining me out here in America. See you in Texas motherfucker.

A Thousand Down

In alcoholism, TOUR, travel on July 17, 2015 at 8:27 am

We pulled into the Crown Plaza Louisville at 8, or what I thought was 8.  We had just spent the last 10 hours in the van burning through Arkansas (thank Christ), Mississippi, Tennessee and a 1/4 of Kentucky.  The trees gave way to the hills, the hills to rock and then finally back to the hot and flat sprawl of downtown Louisville.  Last night at the Quality Inn we had to walk through 2 police officers and an African American gentleman in his PJs.  There were 8 shots fired outside my window just after 11, but I slept soundly and we were back on the road by 10:15 the next day.  The contrast between these two hotels is stark, but I’ll take the squalor of the Quality Inn in the ghettos of Benton, AK over the many floored splendor of the Crown Plaza any day.  Know why?  Cause I’m from Philly and I find most ghettos laughable or at least very doable for a 6’2 Italian-American with an anger problem.  But also because, despite the police, we were able to slide in to our rooms at the Quality nice and sleazy.  No problem.  In the lobby of the Crown Plaza there was a line to the front desk.  Me and the Boss waited the length of an Aerosmith song.  And then we waited some more.  When we finally got to the desk the clerk asked us where we were from, then regaled us with the story of his roadtrip, when he was younger, and was bestowed an ’88 Bronco on the condition that he drive it all the way from Big Sur to Louisville, but of course he broke down…he broke down in Vegas and
“You ever been to Vegas?”
We got our room keys.  Flagged a bellhop.  Loaded the cart.  With Ben’s bags, my bags and git, and the assorted necessaries of a quadripilegic’s bedroom.  Unloaded Blair.  Unloaded Ben.  But when we set up the baby monitors for a test, all Ben could hear at his end, around the corner and down the hall, was static.  This wouldn’t do.  We went back down to find the line had quadrupled.  Flights out of Louisville had been cancelled due to weather and the line was full of anger and pouting children.  Our man Chris (the bellhop) was able to butt in line, but not for long.  He got us a new room for Blair and we headed up.  Loaded Blair onto the cart again.  Loaded Ben.  Went to our new rooms.  Repeat.  When we finally got to my room I had lost the key.    Me and Chris went down AGAIN, got a new key and unloaded me and a $20 into the palm of his hand.  I looked at my phone.
“9:30?!”
We’d lost an hour.  Eastern Standard.  We’d already lost a half hour looking for the place and God knows how long doing the Hotel Shuffle.  Now it was 9:30, I’d been up since 8 and drove five hundred miles through 3 states.

Now I’m in my room.  It’s quiet here.  A far cry from the Quality Inn.  Loading in here was a CF of the highest order.  I would’ve thought a room over twice the price would’ve been easier to get into but that’s the road for you.  Today was the day the universe wanted me to drink.  It REALLY did.  But I said no.  Had a shortrib.  7 seltzers with lime.  Dessert.  Some smokes.  I should really get to bed.  We’re doing this whole thing again tomorrow.  I really can’t complain.  I’ve been on tours where something terrible happened EVERY SINGLE DAY.  No exaggeration. These things can happen when the band you’re driving has blown their tour support on coke, and the manager is a jilted X-member on psychotropic drugs that he should under no circumstance drink on. Which of course he does and wakes you at 2 in the morning, kicking your bed for yelling at the girls you hung out with earlier about the war in Iraq.  This fuckaround?  This little snag?  Ha.

800 to go.
Trainer
Louisville, KY