Broken LinesThe blinds only blocked part of the morning flood, and the no-tell motel room caught fire in minutes. The early hour occasioned pillows over aching brains, the zips and drumming of luggage; one of the band brushing teeth too loudly, empty bottles rattling in the waste basket, and finally the distress of a banjo falling over. That final klaxon did the trick. There would be no more peace. It was time to check out and get moving!
The vehicle sputtered back to life and began warming up. All their gear was loaded except for the instruments; best to keep those warm. Sunlight flooded the small room every time the door was agape and they avoided looking at the dinge in the corners under such illumination. There was less and less to do, save for hitting the road. But not wanting to travel just yet, a string buzzed and stretched into tune, then a soft chorus of strings. No one sang, but they played while staring at the threadbare carpet. Sounded pretty good for the moment, but would undoubtedly have to retune at the next stop. That’s how it goes.
Satisfied that they still had their capacities – long hours and other pursuits hadn’t sapped their talents as much as their energy – they tossed in the instruments. They walked out into the clear winter morning and drove away to their next stage. No need to call home until afternoon. No need to talk, actually... but a joke broke the silence, and soon they were back to laughing and the impulsive spewing of ideas. They stammered over business like it was alien to them, reviewing the plan like it was being written as they went.
As they merged into traffic to re-emerge later at the next show, they marveled at a world that appeared at once sameness and discontinuity:
We often dream of a home that seems to lie ever out of reach; lost in the past, somewhere in the future, or a ways down the road in Corinth, KY. Seems we have more tools to talk to each other and less to agree on. Seems the world gets smaller and we grow farther apart. Seems the notion of “togetherness” has been altogether broken. Seems authorities would want us confined in the name of order and safety – stay in your lane, mind the lines, follow the signs…
at least it seems. But if you meet enough people, travel to enough places, sing your song enough times, this world appears beautifully sewn together. Those breaks are only just seams in a canvas that is dyed in many colors and patterns. And the boundary-lines are of our own fabrication.