Wednesday January 4 2012 (LEEDS)


DREAM: Exploring an old apartment building which on the outside seems abandoned and in shambles. I walk underneath a Styrofoam panel and tip toe through the hallway, peering into different rooms. Somebody lives here. A family. A stranger’s residence. Suddenly I realize I have my digital camera in my possession. Before I went to sleep I kept it by my bedside so I could check the time. At this point I’m aware that I’m dreaming and believe without any doubt that I can take photos of these rooms and have them when I wake up to look back on. I snapshot every sight I can. One room is understood to be Elliott’s room. He’s not here. I take the picture. Later I come across Elliott somewhere else in the building and show him the photo I took. What’s weird is he’s in the picture sitting in a desk chair like a ghost. Both of us find this interesting. My dream is playing tricks on me.

Around 9:30 a.m. We get a knock at the door. Van call is 10am. I had set my camera by my bedside before I went to sleep. I check to see if any photos showed up from my dream and to my disappointment there are none. Not that I actually expected any. But I had to check anyway. In the lobby indulging in the £3.75 all you can eat breakfast: Toast and Jam. Nutella Croissant. Wheaties Cereal. Orange Juice.

In the Sprinter, stuck in the middle seat with bare minimum arm room. Family Guy on the TV. I retreat to my headphone music. Another rainy day in the UK. VW’s, Mercedes, and Volvo’s dart by us. Goodbye Glasgow. Wish I could’ve gotten to know your big city Scottish ways a little better. Another time perhaps.


Napping... Music...

Pit stop. Vanilla Café Latte.

Arriving in Leeds, England. Venue: The Well. Being here on schedule for a change so we’re allotted plenty of time to sound check.

Bumming around the club...relaxing on a ripped leather couch and sipping on a Beck’s. The lead singer of Rookie of the Year approaches me and asks if I drink liquor. Not much, I say, but he offers to buy me a genuine Scotch. I accept. Immediately I’m broken into a drunken fluster, a happy state of mind. I feel incredibly loose and with the power to go, say, and do whatever I want. Chugging on more beers to keep this state of mind.

It’s time to perform. I’m jangly and satisfied. Hobbling up to the stage. Preparing the tones on my keyboards. The set goes smoothly. Feeding off the heaviness emitting from our amps and the boom of the drums...a fresh enthusiasm from the crowd...singing with zest. A fan up in the front with a beautifully huge smile painted on her face who obviously knows every song by heart and would choose to be no other place but right there where she’s standing. It’s an honor to know I’m a part of this dream of hers.

“That was the funnest set we’ve played on this tour so far!”

Afterwards, sitting down at a table by the bar with some new acquaintances and an old buddy of mine, Brian, from high school who just moved to England a few years ago. It’s been ten years since him and I graduated. He’s complete with a family now living in Harrogate.

Checking into the hotel, another Etap, same kind of room from yesterday: bunk bed and shower door right by the bed. These remind me of the compact single rooms we were accommodated with in Japan. We had planned on going to a bar down the street called Santiago’s but the rainy windstorm prevents us from even venturing outside. So we order takeaway food instead paid for by the band. Supreme Pizza and Kebabs.

Two girls we met from the show, Jodie and Claire join us. They brought a cheap Spanish red wine to share with Mark and I in the hotel room. Mark dozes off on the top bunk, so we move the social bubble to their flat, which is conveniently located just up the block. Noticing the apartment number is 111. A sign...that I’m where I should be...


There, in the lounge room sitting on the floor pulling up song after song on YouTube—karaoke style singing along to Bob Dylan, Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, and Coldplay. Conducting our own Pandora radio—sharing songs reminiscent of the previous ones. Lykke Li. Gotye. Wild Beasts. The Tower and The Fool. Eventually Claire retreats to her room for the night. It’s past 4 a.m. Jodie and I continue this musical evening just the two of us...drinking flavoured berry and ginger beers. She actually has a good singing voice—harmonizing with her and bellowing out melodies so pure. She’s disappointed with the lack of romance in England, which I don’t know if I should be surprised to hear. The seasons have been lacking in warmth and possibly affect each other’s romantic drive. “To be fair...” is the British way to say, “to be honest...” I hear this quite a lot within conversation. Mentally I had already prepared myself to be natural and use this as an opportunity to meet locals, and not consider this a sexual or romantic endeavor, even though the boys earlier had already hyped it up to be. “Oo. Are you gonna get laid tonight?” But I know how to gauge and feel if things are right or not. At any rate, I lean in to smell her hair and repeatedly nuzzle my face into her neck (because that felt right). She responds and we subtly share space. Situating ourselves on the couch lying side by side, her back to my front, spooning. Jose Gonzalez YouTube mix as the soundtrack—beautiful Spanish guitar licks. This feels nice. New. But right. Snoozing for a little bit...then...

Me: “Hey, can we sleep in your bed?”

Her: “Yeah, sure.”

Her bed is made up of dark burgundy silk sheets with a sleeping bag on top to enforce the heat to trap underneath. It’s terribly cold in this room but under here I’m warm. Not much happens from then on except a little cuddling. Within 10 minutes we’re asleep sometime before 6 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

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