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RICHARD BUCKNER TOUR DIARY ("Incoherencies") - Entry #3

9/2 - Saturday: Left El Paso.

9/2 - Saturday:

Left El Paso. About 150 miles towards Tucson, the road started feeling dreamy/rubbery, like I’d taken too many Actifed. We pulled over: Flat tire.

Cell phone worked. AAA said it would be 2 1/2 hours for a tow to the next town. A New Mexico State Trooper pulled up behind us. The trooper said he knew of a place that would take 30 minutes for $250. AAA called back and put me in touch with Pete's Tire in Lordsburg NM, so the cop took off, and we waited by the side of the road with huge ants and bits of wrecks and debris.

Vernon pulled up in a black dodge ram 350 with, in the place of a front license plate: If it has tits or wheels it’ll give you problems. He put on a new tire, and then we followed him into Lordsburg, end of town. We drove over a meridian, onto a dirt road, to a landing by the freeway with three mobile homes, four doors on each side with numbers, a reused mobile motel with boarded-up windows. Around the complex were piles of blown tires, a purple Freightline semi, a corroded 80s Chevy van, a Camaro, a U-haul open trailer, a forklift, and a few more highway tire repair trucks. Vernon went to work installing and balancing the two new back tires, then we were back on the road. Got to Tucson just in time for post-traumatic-truck- disorder margaritas. Did the show --- all on Tucson’s special brand of time and space.

Turns out Eric Bachmann’s van broke down in Moab, UT. Couldn’t make it to the first night of our tour.

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9/3 - Sunday:

Bachmann showed up in San Diego in a U-haul bobtail straight from Las Vegas the night/morning before.

Onstage, Doug and I were accompanied by an industrial fan, talented in removing that annoying noise coming from the stage monitors – ME - an unintentional Jesus and Mary Chain effect. Later, at a Motel 6, a man in the elevator, recently escaped from his overbearing wife, showed me the sunburned front of his legs as small talk. I thought of offering him the Cholula hot sauce that I carry with me, for his backleg hot wings. I kept my mouth shut.

9/4 - Monday

L.A.: Two letters too many. As a child of northern California, I was trained not to venture below Kern County. I never learn.

9/5 - Tuesday

Drove to Bakersfield after the L.A. show. 3 hours later, woke up to drive to Fresno for a 10am interview. Had to pass Zingo’s (Buck Owens Blvd and Hwy 99) --- one of my favorite truckstop/lounges. Chicken fried steak and eggs of unimaginable perfection. Last time I was there, in May or June, Doug and I walked in, found a table. As soon as we sat down, the baby in the next booth went nuts, screaming/freaking out. We decided to move and got up. A waitress approached us:

"Moving?"

"We’re just gonna move away from the baby."

"Well, it was just circumcised..."

"Okay. Then were moving away from the circumcision."

She just looked at us; the joke was lost in white gravy. I wondered, if I ever became a father, if I would take my new son to a truckstop for a celebration after his special snipping. Inconclusive: The chicken fried steak is very, very, very good.

Made it to SF for the super nice people at the Swedish American Hall. After the show, drove to Vacaville for a full 6 hours of sleep, waking in the morning to the sounds in the next room of someone removing their lungs one hork-of-phlegm at a time.

-buckner