To go from being, essentially, a hermit for two and a half years because of COVID to traveling across the country repeatedly in a five week period was, I’m sure you’ll be able to imagine, a surreal and dizzying experience. Prior to taking on this new gig, I’d eaten a meal outside of my house literally once since everything got locked down; then, I was spending a week in Southern California, followed by ten days home, then a week in Illinois, then another ten days home, then a few days in Washington State. There were things that didn’t get unpacked. There were countless COVID tests being taken.
To make matters more strange, Portland had an impossibly hot summer this year — I suspect this’ll be something that happens every year from now on, sadly — and I live in a house where there’s no air conditioning except for a window unit on the first floor; for most of my time between conventions, everyone in the house was sleeping on couches in the living room because it was the only place in the house cool enough to actually sleep. I’m pretty sure that I spent maybe seven or eight days total in my own bed between the middle of June and last week or so, adding to the feeling that I didn’t really get a lot of home time this summer.
It sounds ridiculous, but I started to think about all the songs I’ve heard about how lonely and shitty touring life is during all of this, as well as imagining myself as a businessman who had to travel nonstop for their job; if there was an alternate reality where I could project myself into having to travel continuously for my job, I’d do so, feeling a mix of frustration and exhaustion that I imagined people in those jobs would feel. I spent the summer wanting to be home, and longing for the calm and stillness I imagined fall will bring. The cool weather, too.