If you look at the frontpage of this site right now, scroll all the way down to the bottom, the whole thing is Roadburn posts. A full week’s worth of posting on the fest, this one being the keystone to fill the page. I didn’t plan it that way, but damn if it isn’t satisfying to have that be how it worked out.
I’m sitting at the gate where in a few hours my flight will take off to London, then onward to Newark. If all goes to plan, I’ll get in at approximately 9:15PM Jersey time. I look forward to that. I can feel the impatience of travel and anticipation working its way into my attitude in dealing with people already. I muttered to myself when the woman at the check-in for the flight made me go to the self-check-in machine and then I had to get on the line I wanted to get on anyway because the robot couldn’t do it. I don’t remember the exact quote, but it was something like, “What the fuck? Spend hundreds of dollars to go somewhere, why should you be able to go five minutes without being made to feel like a jackass?” Perhaps a bit strong for what the situation warranted, even just under my breath to myself. I must want to go home.
More amazing than that, and the fact that I’m not the only one at the gate more than an hour early, is that I’m listening to music. I’ve got Goatsnake on my CD player – that’s right, a CD player – and it’s fair enough for people-watching, but you’d think after four days solid of nothing but music and writing, they’d be the furthest thing from what I’d want to engage in, and yet here I am. I should be at the bar.
That same insatiability – a kind of greed – is what got me to Roadburn in the first place. A gluttony for experience and the need to do that thing. I’m not Johnny Livesthelife or anything like that — I don’t climb mountains — but fuck if I’m not lucky to be where I am. I was thinking on the train ride to Schiphol about how it all ends, where all this is going, what the finale will be. I don’t think there’s a retirement plan for what I do, and since I can’t seem to do anything else, I’m curious.
I got to sleep at about six this morning and was up a bit before 10, so maybe I’ll sleep on the flight. More likely I’ll just power through it and sleep tonight. In a way, I never left the six-hours-behind time zone, at least as regards sleeping, so I don’t expect it’ll be much of an adjustment getting back to it. Strange to think that it’s only been a couple days.
But Roadburn. Roadburn was amazing yet again. One might think after doing this three times, some of the wonder would have faded, the deeper novelty of it, but it hasn’t yet. Only difference is now I know where I’m going. I still feel like I’ve made memories this weekend that I’ll take with me for as long as I can carry them. Imagine seeing Candlemass with Johan Lundquist. Or watching The Machine and being able to compare it to last year. Bearing witness to Black Pyramid‘s European invasion. Being so up front to Stone Axe that I could see the booze in Dru Brinkerhoff’s eyes – although perhaps I could have seen that from farther away as well. This is the stuff I live for. I don’t know how much of a life it is, as far as the traditional definition goes, but here I am. Somehow I can’t help but think the weirdo who just walked by also wearing a Saint Vitus shirt knows what I’m talking about.
And the word I keep going back to is one I’ve already said: “Lucky.” I’m lucky to have been in a position to come here, lucky to see the things I’ve seen, lucky to have The Patient Mrs. and our dog waiting to pick me up at the airport when I land, and if I’m really lucky, an empty seat next to me on the long flight. We’ll see how that last one plays out once I get to Heathrow, but here’s hoping.
Gratitude hoisted to Walter and Roadburn, to Pete Tsakiris, to Jack, Pete and Chris from Stubb, as well as the dudes from Evoken, StevhanTI, to everyone who’s been reading and commenting here and on the forum, and most of all, to The Patient Mrs. for booking the flight and the rest. I could go on at length about how much the support and friendship means to me, but I’d cry and you’d be bored out of your mind, so instead I’ll just say cheers and get back to homework. Cheers.
End transmission Roadburn 2011 Adventure.