November 16, 2004

I fell in love with the show again in West Palm Beach. The house was packed and raucous, the lights bright, the music pounding through the monitors, and I wanted to do the best I had ever done. Performing the show in Portland can be wearying — we're on eight times a week and the crowds are quite a bit smaller. By the end of the week I have a hard time focusing my eyes. All I am capable of doing is staring at a wall.

On the road, though, we get rest between the shows. And the audiences are new and surprised and numerous. They fuel me. I want to be good for them, to make them enjoy the show even more. I have probably performed this show close to two hundred times, but on the road it feels new again. I am reminded that there are still moments to discover, things to learn.

We drove into Savannah last night. I peered out of the bus windows at the moss hanging from the trees, the swamp creeping up onto the sidewalks, the long tunnel-streets, old and columned southern houses standing still under branches bowed and tendrils reaching. Savannah fashions itself as a haunted city, and I can see why. It felt spooky and earthy and eerie to roll over its streets, air sultry but not without chill, gravestones bare from years of hungry mosses and probing fingers, tracing the words over and over until they mean something.

This morning, on the way to explore the graveyard, eager to gain some insight into Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I swung the trailer right into a parked car, tearing off our fender and putting quite an impressive gouge in a Ford's bumper. Tricky ghosts, I thought. Why'd you make me do that?

And now I am somewhat over my shame and embarrassment as I write from our Virginia hotel room. We went to Häagen-Dasz tonight and got hyper and jumped all over the hotel beds, eventually settling down to watch the Amazing Race on TV (I like the grandparents the best — hooray for the underdogs). Two weeks into the tour and we're all still getting along really well. We're having a good time, and enjoying one another's company. Maybe it's the warmer weather. Maybe it's the combination of personalities. Maybe it’s the absence of overt drama. Whatever the case may be, it's really great to have no desire to, oh, push someone in front of a moving train.

New Jersey tomorrow. I hope the hotel has a hot tub.