Friday, 9 April 2010

Philadelphia again

The open mic wasn't too bad last night. There were a lot of crazy characters. I didn't have a couchsurfing place lined up so I offered myself to the highest bidder and got a lot of offers. I went with Danny and Dana who lived 20 minutes - actually in Philadelphia where I'm playing tonight - it's a close week. They are neighbours (upstairs and downstairs) who've started up a thing and now sleep mostly downstairs so I had a place to myself.

It's funny to drop into people's lives and get a snapshot. It was strange staying with Kevin the producer and his girlfriend earlier the week while recording. They're going through problems again. It coincides with when I'm there it seems. I'm going to splash out on a motel room someday soon.

A few friends have said I should take pictures of all the couches I've slept on (I don't sleep on many couches actually as I try to choose people who have a spare bed), write about my adventures, count this and record that.

Until you've travelled like this you can't appreciate the sensory overload. Over-stimulation every day. Seeing all the different places and meeting hundreds of different people. The last thing you want to do is put it all down. And if when I did there isn't time.

Travelling on my own means I have to take care of everything. The logistics of what to do immediately: where to get good food, where to sleep comfortably and cheaply, where to get to and when takes up a large part of the day. And then there's the planning for next week. And for the month ahead. And where to be in six months and this time next year. And the search for wifi and enough time so I can take care of it all.

And when you meet new people they tell you the sights to see in their area. Museums, shops, galleries, shows. When I just want to sit in a dark room with the curtains closed. And they say join Facebook to promote shows - which is of course right - but that much communication to that many people would cause mental meltdown. I don't even have time to email the friends I had before let alone new ones. It's a better way of living if you ask me - people are too connected. They subscribe to all these sites that tell them if their friends are nearby, what they're doing, who they're with. We're surrounded by people. Are the people we've met once or twice before so much better than people we're sitting next to but don't know anything about yet? All this couchsurfing and playing shows breaks down any fears I had about meeting new people. Strangers are just friends are haven't met yet. I can meet people for a few minutes now and feel like I've known them for years.

Unlike the life had before, now I have to make an effort to avoid excitement because it leads to breakdowns. People want to hang out late and do stuff when I meet them, but for me I have to get up and do it again tomorrow, so there's no novelty. It might be different if I was on timed-tour, but I'm not, this is the life for the forseeable - there's nothing to go back to.

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