Give and Take

The band took a well-earned month off to rest up and recuperate.

The first weekend off was great. I didn’t think about the band once.

The second weekend off was fine. I thought about the band, but it was a working weekend for me, went and made the world safe for wine consumption.

The third weekend off I wasn’t supposed to have off – I was supposed to be filling in for my brother’s band but their gig fell through at the last minute. I took the opportunity to teach another wine class, made some money. I’d have rather been singing.

By the fourth weekend off, I was losing my goddamn mind. I hadn’t realized how much I grown to depend on performing to keep my mental equilibrium. I said as much to the crew when we finally got together a week later – I need the band. The band keeps me from needing to go weekly to counseling.


This is why I’m not on antidepressants.

I’ve been telling people for the last six months all I needed was one bit of luck to fall into place, then my life would be coming up roses and daffodils – I think that bit of luck may have finally fallen my way. My temp agency sent me out on a couple of gigs that must have reported on me favorably ’cause my handler set up a phone interview for a potential long-term gig on the other side of the world – phoner went swimmingly, I started the following Monday. Been there two weeks so far, and I have to admit I’m liking it – the folks are pros and have been around the block a time or two, so they know what they’re doing; more importantly, they know what to expect from the new guy when he shows up. I’ve been meeting or exceeding expectations easily so far because the expectations have been rooted in reality and not best case scenarios or wish fulfillment. Technically, the job is only until the end of the year, but the last temp this job brought onboard was finally offered a full-time job after being onsite for over two years – I’d love to have a repeat of that action.

The only setback from this new windfall is its unexpectedness. I’d fully prepared myself to freelance from the house during the day, teach my wine classes at night, then work my band weekends – having a 50-hour a week making the right kind of bucks wasn’t in the plan, but wasn’t something I could pass up. Been doing this just eight working days, already pulled two fifteen hour shifts working all three of my jobs – worse, both times were on school nights, when I had to be up in a few hours to head back out to the full-time gig. I’ve had to put the wine shop on hold until after New Year’s so I don’t burn completely out – I don’t mind working seven days a week, but I’ve got to be able to get my sleep in when I do, can’t do that if my bed is an hour drive away.

The band’s last rehearsal tanked – no percussion. The guitarists jammed for a while, then threw me a bone and let me sing a couple of songs so I didn’t feel like I’d wasted my day. Just got word we don’t know who’s drumming for rehearsal today or if we have a drummer for rehearsal tomorrow. I want to rehearse – we have a big show in just 30 days now, we have got to get back into the groove. I need to rehearse – this is what I want to be doing with all my time, I’m working all the other jobs so I can keep doing this until it can go full-time. Got a bad feeling I’m not going to get what I want or need.

The Universe is testing me – I just don’t know if it’s testing the rest of the band, too.


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