A Long Drive Home From A Short Gig
Jack and his father had not been friendly. Not for a long time. It was a well-worn story: a blue collar Vietnam vet disappointed and fed up with his art-college dropout, part-time bass player, full-time fuckup of a son. Jack's twenty-sixth birthday. That was the last time that he remembered talking to the old man. So it surprised him when, one exhausted Saturday night as he drove home from a gig, a one-off in front of a handful of disinterested people that hadn't been worth the drive or schlepping all this equipment, (especially considering that the set was cut short when two bar patrons got in a scuffle that required police intervention) his father's voice came to mind. We're not there yet. It was something the old man used to say on long drives home from Jack's grandparent's cabin in Maine or fishing trips up near the New Hampshire border. He would say it in a soft voice, reaching over to muss his half-asleep son's already wild hair. The words weren't comforting on their own, but rather the way that he delivered them - the unspoken assurance that home was somewhere not all that far away. It was really We're not there yet, but we will be. Jack turned up the radio and the air to keep himself awake. "We're not there yet," he said aloud. "Not there yet."