Early this January, sometime after 3 a.m., alone in a rest stop bathroom, I walked along the wall of electric hand driers and, one by one, pressed each of the rusty metal buttons to turn each one on. A short minute later, when they had all shuddered to a stop, I did the same thing all over again. I kept it up for awhile. The unexpectedly deafening drone was vaguely unnerving, but my completely futile attempt to warm up the ice-cold bathroom before I took all my clothes off at least made me feel like I was doing something to improve my situation. Using the sink to wash up for the night also made me aware of something I hadn’t been aware of quite as clearly before — when you can’t seem to tell whether the water you are using is really hot or really cold, it’s actually really, really cold.
This past year, Joel and I drove over 44,000 miles, toured the country three times, and spent more than 100 nights sleeping in the back of our minivan. On tour, it’s the late, cold and lonely winter nights like these, after shows that we drove all day to get to, many attended by a mere handful of people, that we’ve found that it most strikes us that we must be either completely insane, or that there really is something that we madly, desperately desire.
This kind of desire though, desire that makes us willing to give up almost anything for what we are after, I have found to make, for both of us, a most wily, dangerous ally. For when I don’t want anything at all if I can’t have what I want, there is a jealousy, a lustfulness, an anger that lurks just beneath the surface, a force ready to destroy all I do have, all because I haven’t managed to transform it into the one thing I really wanted.