1 Chevy milk truck, 1 5-member punk rock band, 3 roadies(?), assorted other tag-a-longs some for a while, some for the long haul, some socks that stink like death. cheese death. we hang them from the outside mirror and the smell still wafts in through the open windows.
having to warn people not to lean against the right side of the van because sometimes when we’re hurtling down the highway, the boys just lean out, hanging with one hand onto the suicide bar, and just piss into the wind. most of it blows back to spatter against the side, streaking it with thick yellow smears.
skateboarding off the top of the damn thing.sleeping on a wooden platform six inches from the roof over all the gear and clothes for two months. punks can make 2 pairs of black jeans, 1 pair of underwear and 2 t-shirts last for well over 60 days but it ain’t pretty.
getting busy under the blanket even though we’re wedged together on the seat with three other people who either don’t know or pretend they don’t know what we’re doing with our sticky fingers inside our grime-stiffened jeans.
hiding drugs inside the shells of cassette tapes. getting busted anyway for having flyers portraying the Queen in a negative light, and leather bracelets with too sharp studs. talking our way across the border northwards, and then doing it again southwards.
hearing the same songs over and over again, same set list, in dozens of clubs and it never getting old. the energy ramped up by the bodies in the pit, all flailing arms, jerking legs, big boots. being fed, offered beds, sex and free beer from kids we never met before who just like the music and want nothing more from us than what we’re eager to give.
changing our hairstyles on a whim.shaving my head.shaving his head.
coming to know the individual smell of each city- different concentrations of diesel, urine, smoke, ripe garbage, summertime stink, so many people all packed together exuding odor. street vents blowing hot air into the hotter air.
being so slicked with sweat you can rake your fingernails along your arms and gunk them up. eyeliner melting. smelling like soap only because we use it to spike our hair. the animal fat soap, greasy with lanolin, hardening to a shell, the only kind that works.
driving all night through the desert with the windows rolled down, the warm winds blowing through, silence, then watching the moon rise, orange, impossibly large, all fat and squishy like it’s made of jello.
Going from Philadelphia back to Oakland in less than 2 days and never seeing the sun.and talking all night.and never being bored. feeling like we owned it all. everything we could see with our own two eyes.