The Packing Dilemma

July 29, 2012

Packing for this particular circumstance presents yet another challenge. Before the stringent suitcase weight restrictions and the TSA, the life of a touring musician was a little less complex. Now, ok, here it is.

I left Germany with the unavoidable expansion of contents. Everything, including myself, put on at least two inches in the month or so that I was away. I left Nashville, home, that in itself is a phenomenon. You leave for the road, everything fits nicely. After removing the coat I probably won’t’s summer...”but it never gets hot here” rings in my head from countless trips to Europe in the summer. They don’t believe in air conditioning because “it never gets hot here”. Except everytime I’ve gone to Europe in the summer, as in most places, it gets #%! hot. So coat goes out. Knowing better than to listen to that litany, but I am going first to Woodstock, New York where it may chill at night...oh well, I have a shawl, and I won’t be doing much outdoors.

Ok, arrival by plane after de-shoeing, they don’t make people take off their shoes leaving Europe, it’s just harassment believe me. Tame them, tame them. If they’ll just take off their shoes, we’ll put more fluoride in the water and make them strip down. It’s for national security. There are as many targets for terrorism over there in Europe, but they keep their shoes on. Well, they’re already pretty tame. They don’t need the shoe thing. How many flights have been missed, how much stress added to that poor man about to have a heart attack rushing to put on his shoes? How many parasites absorbed through the soles of the feet? From this stupid shoe thing, that man with the explosives in his shoe that one time was probably a plant. Let’s get real. If one is willing to die to make a point for terrorism, explosives can be implanted and then it will be, “everybody strip down for national security!”

Off on a tangent, I know, but relevant to the packing dilemma. Nashville to Woodstock. Woodstock to Frankfurt. Then, change of packing technique because now it’s car travel, checking into, checking out of hotels, daily sometimes. So the carry-on that isn’t allowed liquids, the bags with cosmetics, big bottles of liquids, coffee-making supplies, hair iron, hair dryer, makeup bag with scissor, nail kit, pointy dangerous objects, books, office supplies, envelopes for receipts, paper for journal entries (yes, I write with a pen and paper), any bedtime things--Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now” meditation cards, my Gohonzon, earplugs, eye-shades, supplements, high dose vitamin C, kavinace, and little poopy pills just in case, Zrii, juice packs, clock, cellphone and charger, energy bars in case jet-lag hunger strikes, water of course, and my pillow..oh, let me tell you about my pillow. (Oh to be Christiane Amanpour.) Slippers, sandals...oh how energy efficient...they double as shoes...and the concert kit. Knowing where everything is, so it can be accessed when needed, is essential when moving in and out fast.

End of Germany. On plane. Shoes stay on but carry-on is now de-liquitized, de-pointyized, no I can’t take the honey from Anskar, the roadie guy who is really by day a beekeeper...oh #$%, I forgot. But look, it’s solid. “Sorry. Not.” I don’t bother to explain. Someone can have an explosive implanted. I’m not an explosive expert but I know, with the knowingness of what I know, that if someone wants to blow up a plane, the billions of dollars worth of equipment used to scan, and all the de-shoeing (and by the way, who sold all those machines to the airports? Seems highly profitable. That in itself motivation for harassment..) they’ll blow up the goddamn #$%& plane. Oh speaking of taming, have you checked out the propaganda campaign going on with migration? It’s national health, and in the name of national health and security my dear ones, let’s just keep our shoes on and unleash that part of our brain that is probably the biggest threat to national security...thinking.

I’m on my way to Oklahoma, Woodyfest. A hundred years old. It’s a far cry from pastures of plenty, Woody. You are brilliant. I’m going to sing you “Pretty Boy Floyd”...some are gonna rob you with a six-gun, some will do it with a fountain pen. Some are gonna make you take your shoes off and put ‘em in a bin. Barefoot on the runway, put them on again.

Eureka Springs was the first stop after Germany. Two hours from the airport to Eureka Springs, a must-see magical place for the misplaced. Chicken parmesan at Emilio’s, the Devito fettuccine, burritos at Oasis, the MJ-inspired concert at the Aud, me and Beau, mysterious dancer girl Melissa, the prettiest dressing room sign painted by MJ, with glitter too. It’s an American Hobbit village. Everyone says I should move here, I’d fit in. That’s what I’m afraid of as I picture the estranged father of Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights. They’re out at Applebees after his ex wife does a short monologue about how nice it is and how they should do this once a week, etc., perfect. He gets up and walks away for another 10 years.

I pack my bag. It’s a car trip. I have liquids in my carry-on. I’ve eaten leftover dressing room food. I got up at six...jet lag...and put on my shoes. Beau said during the show he was watching his hands as if they were attached to someone else...who’s that playing guitar? Jet lag watching his fingers out of body. Me watching Beau. Who is that? What song is this? Who’s making that noise in my head? Jet lag. It’s a whole other story my dear ones, a whole other tale from The Roadburn Cafe.