HEF 1: IN WHICH the FOLKSINGER’S CLOTHES GET LOCKED in the LAUNDRY ROOM, the TOUR is ALMOST RUINED and HE MUST REHEARSE on the ROAD IN THE RAIN —
The intimacy for me concerns my songs themselves. There you will find me and there I can communicate to you about the incom-municable. Which means, I must be vulnerable. Not so simple. Writing the songs, even if they take years to gestate, is the easy part.
The Hip Ecstatic Frown Tour got off to a rough start. My Saturday morning departure was delayed. The laundry room of our apartment complex here in Yreka had decided to lock itself, effectively taking all of my travel clothing hostage. It was the maintenance manager’s day off so That Was That. “The tour is ruined!” said I. “He’s on his way, Clown,” said gita Lloyd, “Calm down.”
Eventually, after kissing gita goodbye, I was northbound in a rented Toyota Corolla with a nasty blind spot and the appearance of having being modeled after an Imperial Storm Trooper’s helmet. I began my mantra: It doesn’t matter. Just relax. (OK, it does matter. What are you going to do about it?) Just relax.
For some time I’ve had arthritis in my right hand and carpal tunnel in my left. As of last December, my left hand has developed what’s called a trigger finger. No, it’s not itchy. It does tend to lock in an upright position, however. So sometimes I have to shoot it up with cortisone. Three days earlier had been one of those days. The weeks before that had proved somewhat problematic when it came to practicing my instrument. Excuses! [HIP ECSTATIC FROWN, by the way, is an anagram. If interested, you’ll figure it out.]