Noveller Tour week 2: More friends, long drives, and shooting stars.
Day 8: Austin: Elaine Joins Us Finally!
Our friend Chris lost his wallet in Houston, and despite our truly best efforts, we could not find it. Chris ended up back at the Police Department until nearly 5am, where he was challenged by the on-duty-officer on why his lost wallet was her problem. In spite of this, she took it upon herself to go back to the venue to search for it and ended up finding it. The whole situation really solidified our collective trust in humanity and we spent a good few minutes being floored before realizing we were very hungry and had to search for a specific hotdog stand on the very, very busy streets of Austin. We had our friend Elaine with us finally, who would be accompanying us on the remainder of the tour. We tried to psych ourselves up for a 15-hour drive from Austin to Tempe.
Day 9: Somewhere in Texas: Many Weird Ghost Towns
It was a Sunday. We had no idea where we were beyond “somewhere in Texas.” Every restaurant we found on the Internet turned out to be boarded up and closed, and probably had been for months, if not years. Plus, we had just sprung forward and then lost an hour with the going-west thing and none of us knew exactly what time it was. We found a bodega-looking place advertising burritos, but when Chris inquired about them he was told, “no burritos on Sunday.” We found a sandwich shop and then kept driving. It was Elaine’s first shift, and she ran over a curb pulling out of the parking lot.
We had given ourselves a 2am cut-off for driving and figured we’d just try to find a motel when we got tired. I was doing the late-night driving shift, and pretty much as soon as I got behind the wheel I saw a big, bright shooting star very close to the horizon. The sky is completely black in that part of the country. I was also kind of delirious and got really confused at a border checkpoint. I very nearly ran us off the road. I pulled it together enough to get us to a tiny town somewhere in New Mexico, where we found the last motel on earth and had to smuggle Elaine in.
Day 11: Tucson: Crushed Coins and Haunted Hotels
There were train tracks behind the venue, so Chris and Angela from Xiu Xiu put many coins on them. Trains came through twice during Sarah’s set, and afterwards, they found their smashed money. I got jealous and put some out as we were leaving, but no trains came then. I vowed to come back in the morning to look for them.
Also, it was Sarah’s birthday! We stayed at the Hotel Congress, which is haunted! Elaine was convinced that if she kept her computer on all night with the mic on, she would hear some heavy breathing or electromagnetic frequencies or something, but really all she heard was the sound of me waking up at 4am to the bright light of the screen and sleep-yelling at her to turn off her computer. Also, I did go back to the tracks and I found my quarter and even someone else’s quarter. Maybe it belonged to a ghost.
Day 13: Los Angeles: I Liked it This Time
We stayed at Sarah’s friend Carla’s house, which was incredibly beautiful. It’s a Spanish craftsman in a really cute neighborhood, the sort of place you walk into and immediately feel cared-for. Carla told us amazing stories about her cat, Runaway, who is basically the very definition of nine lives.
The show was at the Echo, and it was packed. Afterwards Carla took us to a taco stand in a supermarket parking lot and I ate the best $1.75 taco I’ve ever had in my life. My sleeping nook was a tiny wood-paneled room with a tiny bed which enveloped me in cozy warmth. I decided I could handle LA, if it was Carla-shaped.
Day 15: San Francisco: The End
How can I express our sadness that tour was almost over? Let me count the ways: Sarah and Elaine were driving straight back to LA after the SF show so Sarah could play a show with Carla, and then they had to hightail it back to Austin so Elaine could catch a flight back to NYC. Chris and I stayed behind in San Francisco, where I would stay for another day and Chris would be for another 2 days. And Xiu Xiu would head north and then back across country to finish their tour, so we tearfully bequeathed them our beloved goodluck and godspeed talisman, Neighveller. She is keeping them out of trouble, I’m sure.