Hindershot "Moustache" T-shirt
It takes a while to get everyone moving this morning. We have a few hours off, and that's confusing. We don't know what to do with ourselves. We wander the Haight and find some breakfast. Lucas and Emily have gone to a festival in Golden Gate Park. Everyone else is thinking of going shopping.
DIANA: "Well, we should make a decision and just do it instead of sitting around."
STUART: "That's how we roll: sluggish."
DIANA: [to Patrick] "Can I have some of your toast?"
ME: "You can have a whole piece of mine."
DIANA: "I don't like that kind."
STUART: "You can say, No, thank you."
PATRICK: "Yeah, jesus, Diana! You're a little brat!"
DIANA: [starts to push Patrick's plate onto his lap]
PATRICK: [sits calmly, daring her to do it]
DIANA: [pulls the plate back]
PATRICK: "See, I would have so much more respect for you if you just did it."
We walk down Haight Street and stop in at various shops. There's clothing stores, music stores, bric-a-brac stores, and some that have all three.
ME: "I like this shirt. I'm gonna get it for my brother. Are you gonna get that one?"
SPENCER: "This one's too for girls much."
ME: "Sarah Wells would love that jigsaw puzzle. She loves otters."
SPENCER: [angrily] "Everyone loves otters!"
People with dogs are everywhere, walking past.
DIANA: "I wish we could have brought Virgil with us."
SPENCER: "Do you know how wiggly Virgil would get in the van?"
In one of the stores, a woman is shopping with her daughter. She approaches the counter.
WOMAN: "My daughter wants this shirt, but I'm not sure. What does 'Grand Daddy Purp' mean?"
CASHIER: "It's a strain of weed."
WOMAN: "Oh, that's fine. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't something obscene."
We stop at a sidewalk sale and find a box full of free shirts. Patrick discovers the most amazing and beautiful vintage N.A.S.A. shirt. It's blue with the N.A.S.A. logo on it. I think about murdering him for it and hiding his body in a rosebush, but it just looks too good on him. I can't destroy something that perfect. Plus, he's not feeling well.
PATRICK: "Well, I feel like death."
STUART: "I got a regular rock tumbler in my colon. If we ever get a contemporary art show at one of these galleries, we should just film buttholes pooping, 'cause that's the only thing that'll make people care about anything anymore."
I fail to notice that we have reached Diana's house and keep going.
STUART: "Bye, Jesse! Text you later! Have fun walking into the mist!"
Inside, we start packing up. Stuart has kindly done everyone's laundry. Someone has pulled out an iPad. I think it belongs to Bev Best. Stuart plays with it for a little bit.
STUART: [bringing it toward his mouth] "Why am I always compelled to bite these things?"
MICHAELA: "Stuart, I got your ten dollars back from my roommate. I'm really sorry about that. He gets weird when he's high."
STUART: "Did you actually get the ten dollars from him, or are you just giving me ten dollars to make up for it?"
MICHAELA: "Well, yeah. I'm giving you ten dollars. But I'll get it back from him later."
We decide to head for the beach to try and catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. We're all squeezed in Michaela's car. Spencer is in the back, facing away from everyone.
SPENCER: "I better not be missing anything good, you bastards."
PATRICK: "Oo! Look at all the beautiful boats!"
We're driving down one of the streets that's really steep. Spencer can't see where we're going. At every stoplight, the street becomes level for a few feet before dropping off again suddenly.
ALL: "AAAAAAAA!!!!—oh, thank Christ, it's over."
PATRICK: "That was scary! I'm really glad there's no more hill—AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!"
SPENCER: "YOU SONS OF BITCHES!!"
PATRICK: "Oh, man, I didn't see that coming at all! Thank god it's all smooth sailing from now—AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!"
It turns out to be so foggy that you can only see the bottom of one pylon of the bridge. It's bizarre knowing that one of the most beautiful landmarks in the world is right in front of us, and all we can see is a grey sky. We walk down to the beach anyway.
STUART: [cocking an imaginary gun] "Ch-ch! Ch-ch! Ch-ch!"
PATRICK: "I'm pretty sure you can't cock a gun three times in a row."
STUART: "It's three guns." [shoots Diana in the face three times] "BSSCHH! BSSCHH! BSSCHH!"
DIANA: "Thank youuuuu!"
STUART: "You're welcome! I love you!"
We reach the water and take our shoes off to wade around. It's freezing.
STUART: "Remember in Olympia when Spencer's heart kept stopping? That was intense."
PATRICK: "Anybody wanna throw a quarter in the ocean? I just want some money to be gone from the world for a while."
MICHAELA: "I'd love to be flying a kite right now."
SPENCER: "But, Michaela! You're a young... vivacious... lady parts! You should be out dancin' and twistin' and carryin' on! Don't fly no kite."
MICHAELA: "You're right, Spencer. Thanks for reminding me."
Walking back to the car, Spencer tells tales of tours past.
SPENCER: "When I was on tour with the Jim Jims, we played Philly right after Brooklyn, and it was really disappointing, just because we'd been in Brooklyn the night before. If we'd come straight to Philly, we'd've been like, 'Yeah!!' But as it was, I didn't even want to run up the steps like Rocky. And we were right there. That's how you know a person's sad."
STUART: "At that party last night, I had at least a half-hour conversation about baseball, and I had no idea what I was talking about."
PATRICK: [checking his watch] "It's five o'clock! We're late!"
STUART: "Well, guess what: we lived our lives."
DIANA: "We'll just have to curse Michaela for driving us around and taking band photos and..."
STUART: "Wait. I can't tell if you're being sarcastic right now."
MICHAELA: [pointing] "I wanna live in that house."
STUART: "I've got $40,000 in my pocket, if that helps. 'Course, I do owe your roommate $40,000."
JOHN: "Yeah, he's cutting you a deal at this point."
PATRICK: "All right, Spencer just told Lucas we'd be there in five minutes. So, let's make some time travel happen."
JOHN: "The iPhone map's been pretty fucked up since we got to California."
PATRICK: "Which is ironic, since this is their homeworld."
We make it back to Bev's house, load up, and say goodbye. It's about a two hour drive south to Merced for the final show tonight. The highway is gorgeous. Everything is gorgeous in San Francisco.
DIANA: "I feel like The City chewed me up and spit me out."
LUCAS: "I'm gonna wanna make a vanwich pretty soon."
SPENCER: "I'm right by the cooler. I'll make it for you. You want vannaise on it?"
DIANA: "Spencer, what did Casey say when she saw that photo of your new shoes?"
SPENCER: "She said all kinds of nasty things I won't repeat."
ME: "Spennncerrrr, will you make me a vanwich?"
SPENCER: "I'd love to."
LUCAS: "Look at these photos from last night!"
SPENCER: "I wanna put them in my face-window!" [hands me a sammich]
ME: "Spencer, I love you. I want you to know that."
SPENCER: "I know it!"
We get to Merced and pull up in back of the venue. Inside, it's all wood panelling and Christmas lights. Fuckin' classy! I feel like we're playing at the Roadhouse in Twin Peaks. The opening band, Kid Mud, is really nice, and also talented. They're from Modesto, so we try to refrain from asking them, "Do you know GRANDADDY?!?!?" It's loud and drunken in the bar. We feel a wild sense of abandon, now that the tour is so close to being over. Diana sits in a corner by the merch trunk, looking like she may fall over at any moment.
SPENCER: [yelling in my ear over the noise] "I'm gonna go jam on a goose!" (?!)
Our gear's all loaded in and ready, so we hang out in the back room for a bit. Spencer and Stuart play a game of pool.
ME: "I don't think that shot's gonna work."
STUART: "Well, it should mathematically make it."
It's a close game, but Spencer finally knocks the eight ball in.
SPENCER: "Yep, there it is."
STUART: "You didn't call a pocket, though, so I won. Thanks!"
Playing the final set is really fun. People are in front of the stage, dancing. We get down and dance with them whenever we can. Stuart does tell me later that he was in a strange frame of mind, imagining that everyone in the bar hated him the whole time he was singing. I think it's a good thing we're heading home soon.
After the show, we load up the van for the last time, and then hang around with the guys from Kid Mud for a while. Patrick and I find some party snaps in the merch trunk and hatch a plan to frighten Spencer. We both grab a handful of snaps and approach him nonchalantly.
ME: "Hey, Spencer, we wanted to ask you a question."
PATRICK: "We were wondering if—WILDCARD!!!!"
We throw the snaps at his feet. They explode. We run away.
Outside, Stuart is smoking with Kid Mud.
STUART: "Hey, you guys wanna be best friends for twenty minutes?"
KID MUD: "Sure!"
When the bar finally locks the back door, we figure it's time to head out. We all get in the van, but Stuart and Spencer are nowhere to be found. After a few minutes, they appear, apparently having taken several shots with the bartenders before the final closedown.
I'm anticipating a lovely, calm drive back to Denver, with everyone basking in the glow of a successful tour. But what follows is utter madness. I won't sugar-coat it. It's as though all the energy and stress of the trip has finally been released and is ricocheting around the van. Half the people want to sleep, the other half want to stay up and shoot fireworks out the window. Everyone is in an exhausted, drunken daze, save John, who has valiantly remained sober so he can drive. For some reason, the windows are all open. People are shouting at each other through the freezing wind that rushes through the interior. Diana will later perfectly describe this span of time as "barreling through Hell." It may last hours, it may last a million sunless days. There is no way to know.
After a while, things calm down. We stop at a gas station, and Stuart 'n' Spencer run over to a vacant field to launch their bottle rockets. This seems to help. We get some Burger King. This also seems to help. We get back on the road. Stuart is really impressed with the quality of the Buffalo sauce on the hot wings.
STUART: [laughing desperately to himself] "Man, they really nailed this sauce!"
SPENCER: "Yeahh, they... they did."
STUART: "Hey, Spencerr. I... I wanna open the... the door and roll outta thiss van. Right out onto th' highway."
SPENCER: "Naww, don't do that. That'll hurt."
STUART: "Naw... Naw, I think it'd be all right."
PATRICK: "Can I have some of your sauce?"
STUART: "Yess! Of course you can!"
SPENCER: "You've got yer ownn sauce! Why you wanna... you wanna take hiss?"
STUART: "Spencerr, stop it! I'm tryna tell Patrick inna weird way that I.... I love him."
To be continued...............................
PROCEED TO DAY NINE