Solitude Along the SuperSlab

I’ve been pretty coddled for most of the recent segment of this book tour.  Flying, staying in big city hotels.  Now it’s back to me driving myself down the concrete superslab.  Tin in the wind, as the truckers say.  Getting ready to hit the hay in a let-it-remain-nameless motel right now.  My car the only car in the lot.  Electrical outlets loose in the wall.  Lid falling off the wall heater.  Coffeemaker defunct.  Orange water out the bathtub spout.  Non-smoking room that smells like a waterlogged house during overhaul (smoke-eaters will get that one).  Book tour is funny that way…one day I’ve got a doorman, the next day the door doesn’t even latch right.  I am lucky that my publisher meets me halfway…although they fly me to the big cities and put me in the big hotels (they have deals with the big hotels) (they also sometimes finance sushi, and I won’t pretend I don’t like it) they also let me drive myself to small towns and sleep in your standard freeway-exit motels.  I say “let me” because this kind of road-dogging stretches the tour budget, allowing us to make far more stops than I would if we went big-time all the time.  And I say “us” because there are people I never meet — travel directors, publicists, sales people, shipping people — working behind the scenes just so I can show up at an event like tonight – in a funky bookstore in Montague, Michigan, only to find a welcoming group of people, stacks of books, and general good will.  This is disjointed, because it is late, but what I’m trying to convey here is that even for a small solo act like me — a guy whose entire entourage fits in the driver’s seat of his rental car — there are many, many people to thank.  I get to see the friendly faces, shake the hands, and sign the books, but me writing the books ain’t the half of it.

After midnight.  Driving to Chicago in the morning.  Grateful.

And they had a guitar tonight.  I sang one song.  For my wife.  See you soon.

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