Sunday, July 24, 2016

Nurse the Hate: The Uncle Tupelo Story




I remember being in the back seat.  That I remember.  I had spent the early part of the evening watching a fairly competent blues band bust out a George Thorogood type set in a bar with uneven wooden floors that served flat beer in grimy pint glasses.  What ever happened to blues bands?  There used to be a time when you couldn’t throw a rock and not hit some guys doing a decent version of “Red House”.  Every town had their shit hot blues guitar player that was referred to with reverence.  “Hey man, have you ever seen Robbie Jenkins play?  Oh, he’s something…”  Guys that listened exclusively to Stevie Ray Vaughn records would shake their heads solemnly thinking of the spot on covers of blues warhorses Robbie Jenkins would play.  Then whatever guitar player (Bobby/Bobby/Gary) that was playing lead for us would melt their brains as the concept of them having not only played what they had just seen but create the part dawned on them.  “I had no idea your guy was that good…”  Here.  Buy this CD.  You’ll like it.

The guy driving the military surplus jeep had a long beard before that thing was in fashion.  He was yelling over the tape deck and the wind.  Some shit about getting some whippets at the porno movie store.  I didn't know what was going on.  The girl I had just met was rubbing my dick outside my jeans.  I didn’t know what her name was or where we were going.  The ringleader was the girl in the front seat.  She turned around, her long hair whipping around in the wind.  “Where are you from again?”  She was cute with a space between her front teeth that made her even cuter.  The flaw somehow allowed you to see how utterly lovely she was except for this one minor thing which actually served to make her perfect.  She turned back around not waiting for my answer, laughing with jangling bracelets as she put her arms above the windshield to feel the wind.  I felt really disjointed, but it wasn't because of the beer.  Something didn't feel right.  I had no idea that the jangly bracelet girl had put acid into my pint earlier.  She thought I "looked uptight and it would help me" from what I learned later. 

The girl in the backseat was now kissing my neck.  Who was she again?  How did I get here?  She rubbed my crotch with slow focus.  "I want you to fuck me."  Meanwhile I am trying to figure out where we are going, who these people are, and why I'm having trouble making my brain work correctly.  I started to get an anxious fear.  I had to get out of this Jeep.  The jangly bracelet girl started to dance in her seat, moving her hands above her head when the cassette deck blared The Plimsouls "Million Miles Away".  The girl in the backseat puts her tongue in my ear.  The sound echos and echos and echos.  I know I am acting weird.  Do they notice how weird I am acting?  What should I do that's not weird?  I'll bet everyone notices.  Oh God.  Keep it together.  What's happening?  (This really would have been a good time to have known that I had been slipped LSD as opposed to my assumption that I was having some type of breakdown.)

The Jeep came to a sudden stop.  Everyone gets out of the vehicle.  We are outside of a bar, some dingy building with neon beer signs in the windows.  Everything is unusually crisp and colorful.  A euphoric wave washes over me.  My legs and arms are moving very slowly.  What are you looking at?  Hey, did you guys give me something?  They all start laughing.  We walk into the mostly deserted bar.  It's dark.  Like every bar in that town it is beat up, like the city itself.  The bartender enthusiastically greets the guy with the beard.  Handshakes and hugs, backslaps.  I notice his wild eyes and shiny smile, like a wolf.  We retreat to a booth in the back.  A Bass Ale miraculously appears in front of me.  There is animated shit talk and wild plans that will never come to fruition.  A song comes on the house sound system.  I've never heard it before but it's familiar at the same time.  How do I not know who that is?  Who the hell is that?

Hey, do you know who this is?  The guy with the beard is still smiling his carnivorous smile, his eyes almost crackling with electricity.  He turns his head, yelling over to the bartender smiling all the while.  "Hey Stinky!  Who is this?"  The bartender keeps his attention on washing glasses and yells back.  "Uncle Tupelo!"  I don't want to forget the name of this band.  I write "Uncle Tupelo" on my left hand with a pen.  I have no idea what time it is or where I am.  The jangly bracelet girl whispers to the other one that has given me so much attention.  They both smile and laugh.  Jangly bracelet girl looks at me and leans across the booth.  "How do you feel?  Better?"  She smiles.

That was the first time I heard Uncle Tupelo.            

   

3 Comments:

At July 31, 2016 at 9:52:00 PM EDT , Blogger old man taylor said...

I'm hoping you can finish this evenings story arc.
I understand if you can't or won't remember.

 
At July 31, 2016 at 9:53:00 PM EDT , Blogger old man taylor said...

I'm hoping you can finish this evenings story arc.
I understand if you can't or won't remember.

 
At August 1, 2016 at 10:33:00 AM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

The wheels really came off. I recall sitting by a bonfire with strangers looking at "Uncle Tupelo" written on my hand for much more time than one would expect it to keep your attention.

 

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