don't you tell me how i feel.


White Birds Tour: Day 7 by don't you tell me how i feel.
September 30, 2011, 8:38 pm
Filed under: white birds tour

In which White Birds head home to gear up for their final shows—and feast on T-Bone steak.

THE DAY OFF
The night before, I had collapsed on Katie’s (blessedly) carpeted floor like a man freshly executed, and I woke up in the same facedown position. I didn’t want to open my eyes yet. I could hear Farzad listening to a Rosetta Stone lecture for the Farsi language. It was a funny thing to hear first thing in the morning. Everyone was chuckling to themselves on their patch of floor.

I fell back asleep for a bit. When I woke up again, Mike was on a phone call outside, James was trying to find Internet (no luck) and Farzad, as he had every morning after brushing his teeth, was gargling in ascending pitches. Chris was out feeding the meter (the only parking we could find on the Penn State campus) for the second time that morning.

There was a knock at the door. Farzad answered it, and let Mike back inside. His shoulders were a bit slumped. Dude had just found out his favorite pet, a golden retriever named Fred, had cancer. He showed me a picture of Fred on his cell phone. It was actually the background picture, which made it the first thing Mike sees whenever he looks at his phone. I felt for the guy.

We took showers, and folded up the blankets Katie had let us borrow. She was gone at class, so Farzad wrote her a thank you note, signed it “White Birds,” and we headed for the parking garage.

There was no show that night, so White Birds had the day off. The plan was to drive back to the house in Doylestown (it wasn’t far from Penn State), reunite with the forgotten gear bag and double-check everything before the final two shows: Connecticut (Friday) and New York (Saturday).

Our first stop was a UniMart near the Penn State campus. It had free wifi, so James seized the opportunity to update the White Birds Tumblr page.

That done, we left Penn State behind us. Mike had the first driving shift. “Watch out — there are more deaths on this road than anywhere else in Pennsylvania,” said James, who was riding shotgun.

“Really?” Chris asked.

James nodded. “Either the most accidents or the most deaths.”

The road went up and down over thickly treed terrain. At one point, for a good 10 miles or so, falling leaves rippled past us in sharp yellows and surreal greens. “This is beautiful,” Mike said.

White Birds had to make two stops before returning to the nest. First was Guitar Center, so Farzad could return the gear bought in Cincinnati. It just hadn’t worked out. We sat in the parking lot and waited. I took some pictures in the late afternoon sunlight.

Then we swung by Chris’s parents house for a drum repair. The housing was stripped off one of the three legs for Mike’s floor tom. It couldn’t be tightened, and therefore stood crooked — no good. However, Mr. Radwanski had the skill and tools to fix it. While he worked on the drum, Chris and Farzad carried a busted 250-275 pound Swinger organ out the house and down to the curb.

James, meanwhile, had found an old wooden table leg among the things getting thrown out. It was a heavy, solid piece, with a baseball bat shape to it. He said it felt incredibly good to hold, so I tried it out, and immediately agreed. “If this were a role-playing game,” I said, “this would be a rare weapon, with a name like ‘Jimmy’s Bludgeoner.'”

We thanked Mr. Radwanski, said goodbye, and then Chris drove the final stretch back to Doylestown. It was dark by the time we got there.

We unloaded our bags and James leaned the table leg against a wall in the kitchen. Then Chris, myself and Farzad drove to the grocery store to get food for dinner—T-bone steaks. Farzad broiled them, Delmonico style, in the oven at the White Birds house. We feasted, and I quickly began a music war with Mike. We took turns with our iPhones, showing each other songs.

The conversation stretched long into the night—it was beyond good company. Farzad and I nerded out on music for hours. The last selection? The ill soundtrack to L.A. Noir, which Farzad played while I typed on the couch.

By the time I finished, Farzad was asleep. The house was quiet. I passed out, dead to the world.

– Lehtola

Tomorrow: Connecticut.

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