Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hard Travelin', Hard Feelings

I have this odd quirk in that I go through brutal bouts of insomnia the night before I have to do anything important. Last Saturday, I had to drive up to Syracuse to pick up Sam, and tossed and turned most of the night. I think I got about five or six hours of sleep, and did the eight hour round trip in a slight fog. That had nothing on today's return trip: I had a gig last night and got home around quarter past twelve, and simply could not drop down. The first few hours were spent in that odd dreamy haze I associate more with Saturday morning, the rest in a contest of wills between my body and my mind. I think I ended up with three hours tops: the only thing keeping me going right now is sheer force of will, and the overwhelming need to write.

Even under ideal conditions the drive to Syracuse and back is physically exhausting. Eight hours of practically non-stop highway driving takes a toll on my lower back, and by the time I get to hour number six, my eyes are aching from the strain and feel like they're going to pop out of my head. Driving on three hours of sleep reminds me of being on tour, and in fact as I walked up my front steps at 6:30, I felt like Frodo or Bilbo Baggins, returning to Bagg End after adventures in Middle Earth. In other words, like I just got home from tour. Hard travelin'.

Sam kept wanting me to reach back to his car seat and hold hands as we shot up the highway, holding onto me until I had to release because my arm was falling asleep. I don't presume to speak for him, but he must have known we were parting, again, since we've driven this same route every other month since last August. I had told my co-pilot that I wouldn't be all depressed on the way back, and it was hard to suck back to the tears every time he reached out for my hand calling "Daddy Daddy" each time, but I pulled it off, all four times. It was hard knowing I'm not going to see him for another month, and it was hard to make nice to his grandparents when I handed him over, but I pulled that off too.

"I hate them," I said to Kate as they drove away with my son.

"I know," she said as we walked into the McDonalds. I ate a Big Mac and drank a Coke mixed with root beer.
Hard feelings.


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