Monday, June 12–Omaha
Yesterday, a day off, we lay around our mom’s house. I took an hour long bath, shaved my legs, exfoliated. Did laundry, which gave me a great deal of pleasure, since I am a self-professed laundry pervert; it thrills me, really.
The boys are apoplectic about the US Soccer Team’s performance—they’re nearly hoarse from howling at the television.
Mom cooks us a beautifully simple dinner on the grill: barbequed chicken, asparagus, zucchini, and fruit salad. The fruits and vegetables are heavenly after all the crappy road food. I take a nap to catch up on sleep. My pre-show nerves seem to be getting better daily, helped by the natural relaxation Omaha exudes.
We have a new member of the crew, our friend Mike, who will be selling merch and breaking kneecaps. He is like a member of the family, blends right in, and I am happy that I’ll be able to get a lot of reading done while he talks to Nick in the car. I’m not much for talking on drives, but recognize my shotgun seat duty enough to keep up my end of the bargain.
The show at the Goofy Foot is a total blast. A member of the first band, a woman named Dana, had emailed me a week ago—we went to high school together—to let me know it would be a reunion of sorts. From the distance of Portland, her being in the opening band seemed uncanny, but in Omaha, it’s no surprise. There’s so much interconnection. At the show, I am introduced to Mike Loftus, a neighborhood kid who I have heard about for years but only met once. “Mike,” I say. “I met you at a birthday party when we were eight. I was in awe of your dancing skills.” His eyes get big. “We were eight? So, uh, what have you been up to since then?” I laugh. “Oh, not much.” Mike and Dana’s band, The Third Men, are great and right as I run to the bathroom, I hear them break into “Jet,” a song I love but never thought I would live to see performed live. They kill it (in a good way).
The next band, The Family Radio, epitomizes why I love Omaha. It’s this indescribable trio with folky/jazzy/poppy songs, and a congenial warmth. You feel as if you could watch them play all night long. I feel guilty that they have to stop on account of us.
Our show goes really well, with the most enthusiastic audience we’ve had, people laughing at our dumb jokes for once. I find my mom in the sea of faces, and she’s beaming as if we’ve won the Nobel Prize. Afterwards, I don’t want to leave; I wish the bar would stay open all night, but then I remember there’s cherry pie waiting at Mom’s. The energy is totally manic back at the house, Mike Arnold pumped about his first tour, Mike Larimer anxious about his road trip to San Francisco in the morning, Nick drunk and throwing our merch money around, screaming, “I’m rich, BEAATCH!! Mom laughing at her house full of crazy people.
I’d stay here another week, easy, just doing laundry and eating cherry pie.