By Patrick Salerno of Grave Next Door
Another night of sleeping with congestion and coughing. No fever though. We planned to get up and drive back home at first light. The boys partied last night pretty late and they are passed out hard. We’re not getting back to Grand Rapids tonight. I drive by myself to a Waffle House thirty minutes away from Jason’s house. The Texas landscape is so different than Michigan. The large sky just opens up. Anvil crawler lightning shoots across the massive Texas sky. It’s my own light show as the rain pelts Grape Ape’s windshield. I pass several dilapidated farms on the highway; one that stands out particular is constructed out of corrugated sheet metal and actually has chairs and child’s toys on the porch, livestock on the farm, and a truck in the driveway. No way people live there! I immediately think of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
I arrive at the Waffle House and reflect on this tour, waiting for the server to bring hot tea and honey for my throat. First sip of this elixir was amazing. I think of all the planning and money we lost. I had accounted for every single thing, I had contingency plans for every possible scenario. Van breaks down? Covered. Blown amp? covered. But how could I plan for a pandemic?
I’m not angry at anyone and I don’t feel sorry for ourselves; I’m thinking of the future. I’m disappointed, but we made the best of what could with the situation we had. Most importantly, we didn’t give up — we didn’t quit. I get back to Jason’s and the boys are up. They partied hard; they deserved a night to unwind. My brother Tony and I drive into Waco to check out pawnshops, looking for musical instruments that are gems. We find none of the sort. I feel funny now, slow, achy, lethargic, hot… My head feels like it’s separated from my body.
I have Tony drive back to Jason’s house; we stop at Dollar General and get a thermometer. It turns out that I’m running a fever, 101.5. We were supposed to jam at Jason’s but I can barely walk. I make my way to the guest room and collapse. I chug bottles of water all night to stay hydrated. Sleep is painful coughing and congestion all night. I just want to be home. I have a video call in the morning with the doctor from the VA medical center.
Thanks for tuning into Grave Next Door’s tour adventures. Be sure to check out their merch on bandcamp. We hope Patrick just has the old fashioned flu and wish him a speedy recovery. The band’s next show is April 17th at Mulligan’s Pub in Grand Rapids, MI, assuming the world is back to normal by then.