Posted by: normanlgreen | September 30, 2011

Dream, September 30, 2011 travelling band


Home, 5:08 am

I walk toward Bergenjehm, a shared family cabin off of the Mt. Baker Highway. The area is only partially developed, with many lots still filled with second or  third growth trees, but the occasional cabin peeks through a partially cleared lot. The roads have no curbs, but peter out on the edges into pea gravel. A woman with a white beehive hairdo stands before the picture window of her family room. She looks worried as she sees me moving through the half light of evening. I had hoped not to be spotted.

A band has played in Bellingham and needed a place to sleep, so I have offered these men the cabin as a place to stay between gigs in the States and Canada. The band arrived at  the place ahead of me, and some of their personal gear is spread around the floor of the main room. They travel as a four piece with the drummer bringing his nine year old son.”Not that anyone here would be so foolish.” I clarify. The bass player tells me that he is making an audio recording of the evening, as he tapes everything. I say that I do not mind.

I am glad to see that they are here to get some rest, not to have some party. They spread out sleeping bags on the open floor. The singer puts on a cassette tape of an African band performing a cover of Elvis Costello “Watching the Detectives” — only the melody is the same, the chord progression has been stretched in unfamiliar directions and the lyrics are in Swahili (I am told). I chip in with a few of the original lyrics,. The bass player says “We recognized you as the kind of guy who gets things done – and speaking of which, can you give us a hand with these?” He hands me a stack of weirdly cut and perforated thank you letters to fans of the band. I sit on the floor beside one of the wall mounted electric heaters and experiment with folding these self-mailers before hitting on the correct formula so that the pre-printed addresses face out. Eventually I am addressing backpacks and wrapped toothbrushes, while the men settle down to sleep.  The floor has become cluttered with socks, paperbacks, what-have-you.  I fold and hum along as the debris grows deeper around me.

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