So tonight wasn’t like any other nights of the tour. I literally had every bad thing that can happen on a trip all in one night… I guess we begin with me finishing up my show at the Derailed Saloon in Durango. ::insert harp music and blur screen::
I finished my set, packed the car, changed into my pj’s (that I totally stole from Ruby… I’m sorry, Ruby!!!!) And started driving to Denver. It’s incredibly hard to see the street lines, so I put on my brights and drive like an old woman, hunched over the steering wheel, trying to figure out the turns in the road and follow my Garmin’s directions.
Up the road, I see a Durango Police Car. I think, “hmmmm… They are slowing down… Oh shoot! My brights are on!!!” So I turn them off. The police car slows down even more, gets behind me and pulls me over. “Ugh… What did I do? I was going the speed limit… And they can’t pull me over for driving with my brights on… Can they?”
I pull off the street and into the Home Depot parking lot. I turn off my engine and wait for my ticket. (Which makes me 0 for 2 on my goals for this tour. 1- not to lose anything. 2-no tickets. Sigh…)
The officer walks up and says, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” I reply, “No, sir.”
“Well your license plate light is out.”
“Oh…. Wow… I’m sorry.”
“Not a problem, can I just check your license and registration?”
“Well sir, I’ll tell you now, I don’t have my license on me, I’m a singer/songwriter, and I’m on tour, and lost it in Oregon. They found it, and they’re mailing it to me in Denver.” ::hands him registration::
“Okay, but you do have a license?”
“Yes. My license is….”
“This is your registration, but do you have your proof of insurance?”
“What? I always keep them there… Oh wait… I was robbed… And I took it out to call Allstate… I’m sorry…”
“Not a problem. I’ll be back.”
“Great…” I think, “Now I’m gonna get two tickets…”
He comes back and says, “Sir, can I have you step out of the car?”
“Oh God… I’m going to jail… Colorado Police take citations seriously…” I think to myself.
I get out of my car, in the pouring rain, and walk towards him in the pajamas that don’t really cover my “manlies” all that much. (THANKS A LOT, RUBY…)
“Do you have any weapons on you?”
“No sir, I don’t even have underwear…”
“Ha… Okay. You played at a bar tonight, were you drinking?”
“Are you okay with doing a few random tests?”
“Do you have any injuries that would stop you from being able to perform these tests?”
“A torn ACL, from college, but I should be able to do it… I work out.”
“Ha. Okay sir, I need you to…”
So I did everything he asked, in the rain, and he says.
“Here’s your registration sir. Get that light fixed. Oh, and what kind of music do you play?”
“Uh.. I’m a singer/songwriter… John Mayer, Jason Mraz stuff?”
“John Mayer… Jason Mraz… Uhm… Jim Croce?”
“Never heard of them.”
“What???!!! ::I point to the other officers and say:: Guys… Help me out here… ‘Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown’, ‘Time in a Bottle’, ‘I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song”, “Don’t Mess Around with Jim”, “Operator”???”
“Oh, I guess I knew those songs…”
“Ah…yes… Well… It was nice meeting you guys, have a good night…”
I get in my car and still shaking from the rain, turn on my heater and start back on my 6 hour drive.
I’m going up a hill, when it feels like my engine “pops” and a huge light surge from my front lights scares the bejesus out of me. I notice my car is having a hard time getting up the mountain and I figure my transmission just blew. (In the next two days, my 2007 Dodge Caliber will hit 150,000 miles….) It still feels like it’s pulling, and I’m struggling to get it to 30mph when I realize the ground is frozen… I’m driving on ice, and the hard rain/thunder is actually snow…
I start having a harder time. I get down to 20, then 15, then 10… And I literally think I’m going to be stuck in the snow tonight. I get my phone to dial AAA- and no luck. No signal. I haven’t seen a car in miles, and the only cars I’ve seen coming my way are trucks… And truckers make me nervous….
Finally after what seems like an eternity, I get up the hill. But then, my car jolts, and I start down the hill. I step on the brakes and fish tail into the oncoming lane… I see lights ahead, and I manage to get back into my lane just before a truck passes me and I swerve back into his lane behind him…. I’m literally lucky to be alive…
My heart is beating out of my chest. “I’m stopping at the next rest stop…”
Before I get there, I fight more rain, more street lines that I can’t see and pass the creepiest hotels on the planet… All the stereotypes are true. The blinking flourescent sign. The lady looking through her window…
So I finally stop at the Shaw Creek Rest Area. (Right outside of the Shaw Shank Redemption memorial??? I hope not…) I go in to use the restroom, and someone has decided to put halloween costumes up everywhere…. Blieeechhh… My body is shivering still.
I use the unusually loud toilet and every creek is making me jump. I wash my hands and walk right into a trucker. I “peep” and say, “my bad foo.” Then walk away. I get to my car and now I’m here, typing to you.
Well. My night is over. I’m gonna go to sleep and hope I don’t get murdered…
See you in Denver tomorrow! (I hope….)