It's 5 am. I'm standing in the kitchen slicing cucumbers, wiping phantom germs of speckled red apples, and dropping tiny red sweet peppers into Ziplock bags. By 6:30 we are on the road. The car packed with 3 days worth of work (3 months if you count the hours it took to pay for all of it); 5 loads of laundry, 2 trips to the grocery store, 1 drug store stop, and 3 rounds of repacking.
The car itself is loaded with mother-think perfection. A box of tissues placed in a neutral range of the both the front and the back seats. The cooler packed with sliced vegetables, yogurt, pepper jack cheese, and fruit- the opening side facing in. A car bag with coloring books, pencils, mad libs, Uno & Go Fish cards, gum, and a Bad Kitty Book on the back seat floor. The snack bag; an assortment of bagels, beef jerky, red vines, tiny oranges, apples, pretzels, and smart food popcorn, floating on top of a sea of luggage in the far back.
Grips and comp leos.
Warm-ups; jacket and pants.
Glasses and contacts.
Blankets with gym meet logos stitched on them.
I am not a Gym Mom. I am Roadie. I work for the band.
Well, that's what it feel likes right now. Hours of driving the highway embedded within the army of semi trucks lacing the country together like the whale bones on a corset.
Mornings searching out coffee in strange cities. Visits to the AMT that leave you wondering what exactly did I do last night? Deep friendships that last the length of the queue for the ladies' room. Seeking places to eat, to work, to crash. Ushering sequined clad performers with spectacular set hairdos about. Schedules and big shows. Crowds, wristbands, seats in the backs, & if we are lucky a contraband cup of booze to share.
4 days later, 7 PM I sleep 10 hrs in my own bed. I wake to a thin line of blood tracing down my chin. It's from biting through my lip in the night. I wipe it off and get going. There is a lot to do before we have to leave again.
Like most Roadies I'm not in it for the money or the fame. The truth is I am love in the band. I would follow those little rockstars anywhere and get up and do it all again.
We all would. And that's a good thing because the Band isn't quite old enough to drive itself.