Sunday, 18 October 2009

Evile. Day 8.

It’s snowing! This time last week we were just setting out on tour, driving to Dover and now we are deep in the North of Finland and it’s fucking snowing! Not a bad way to start your Monday all in all. Wake up in a motor home with your clan, outside the venue you rocked last night, get ready and drive off through Finland to do it all again! Hell yeah that’s how we roll fuckers!

Then I fall asleep again, and when I wake, no more snow. Fuck. Snooze you lose. I stay in ‘bed’ drifting in and out of consciousness till I finally pull my lazy arse self up and get in to a fit state to clean up in yet another service station wash room. Get this, Lyall and me only go and spot a Moomin comic hidden amongst all the other crap on the magazine shelves. A genuine Finnish Moomin comic!

Back on the road, we enjoy the last of the Finnish scenery before driving through in to Sweden where suddenly it’s all doom and gloom and dead babies everywhere. Jokes blood, it looks the same as Finland did!

Lyall, Ben and me pull over and get out to take pictures of lakes ‘cause we’re well gay for tourist snaps and then scurry back in quick cause it’s fooking freezing.

Sweden is pretty fucking rad so far, and once again, just as I start to drift off, we reach the venue. We are an hour early to when they let us in so again, Lyall, Ben and me take ourselves off on a wander so we can get some fresh air and stretch our legs. Take in the sights and generally not be cooped up in the motor home. We bumped in to Victor from Entombed and he’s up for coming for a run with me, which is cool cause the lack of exercise is doing my head in.

L.G had stuck his head in the driver’s window when we pulled up and had asked us for a ciggie, still not on top of that whole quit smoking thing huh. He points which way we should go for a wander and once parked that’s just what we do.

Mike just died.

I was in the middle of writing this in the dressing room when….I don’t know how to write this yet.

We are going home.

Mastodon’s ‘Crack the sky’ album is playing through the ipod. We are somewhere in Sweden, making our way from pretty far north back down again.

I keep drifting in and out of napping dozes. Last time I was awake, less than an hour ago, there was no music. I don’t know if that was because we weren’t ready for music. To have an artist propel us in to their story. To be suggested how to feel, what to think about.

None of us know how to feel or what to think about and at the same time we are feeling so much and thinking about everything.

This motor home, this small and claustrophobic space feels so unbearably empty. Stiflingly heavy. The silence will not quieten down so that you can hear yourself think. So you can try and attempt to register what the fuck has happened. But maybe that’s a good thing for now. Maybe that’s your head not letting you compute because it knows that you can’t handle the conclusion.

And so the numbness is bombed repeatedly by raw emotions, and these bombed repeatedly with numbness throughout every waking hour. Waves of awareness at what has happened hit you and you can see it in each persons eyes. Raw and red. Stinging from tears and insomnia and emotion and pain and shock.

This motor home feels like it’s stuck in this one time. Like we have been reliving this day for weeks. The same roads that led us through spectacular scenery a mere week ago now seem monotonous and never ending. This journey home where none of look like we want to go anyway.

Nine hours of this. Lyall drove us through nine hours like this. The first part was the worst. The burning absolute fucking agonising pain of leaving Mike behind. Trying to control the tears but they run free when they please. Everyone is exhausted. Just gone midnight we pull in to a service station to sleep. The absolute emotional exhaustion is a blanket over the whole motor home.

Wednesday. I think it’s Wednesday. The tour seems a million miles away. A million years away. There’s a gentle, subdued and eerie calm about us today. Texts are coming through but I’m loathed to pass on messages of condolence. No one has talked much yet. Mike and thoughts of Mike are being kept within each of us individually.

It’s like we need respite for a bit, ‘cause we know that if we vocalise anything to do with Mike, the rawness will come screaming back. There is an elephant in the motor home and no one is willing to point it out. Nobody needs to.

Two films, two books, god knows how many albums and a worryingly in depth and intense discussion over beer about tea and how to make the perfect cuppa, gets us through the day. We have made it to Denmark. Lyall drove us a further 11 hours away from the pain.

We have reminisced about mike. At some point today that became O.K. With trepidation. By the end there is laughter following silly stories about good times with Mike. We are massively relieved and at the same time pained to get on the ferry and leave Sweden. We stand on the deck and watch it disappear and say goodbye to him.

I get news from Victor that two major Swedish newspapers have covered it. The headline for one is ‘Rock star dies on tour’. He is going to keep it for us so that we can pass it on to his family. Word has come through of all the coverage, that a fund has been set up. I feel like this helps in some small way.

Tonight we will spend in a trucker’s lay by. I would usually say that it’s a perfect location for a horror movie but we are already in one.

We are nearly home now. In Holland. I can’t wait to get out of this fucking motor home and at the same time I can’t face the daunting task of being at home. Apart from knowing that the wound that we have done our best to dress while it heals, will be ripped and torn opened again when we have to face the reality of normal life and everyone in it, where as so far we have been cocooned together away from all that, there’s also the mammoth task that I for one am in no state to handle. I left everything I had in London frozen, safe in the knowledge that I’d be gone for a couple of months. Now what?

The guys feel like they have lost a limb that they can never get back. I feel like I’ve had my insides ripped out and stuffed back in and nothing sits right. How can anything else matter? How can anything else possibly matter right now?

Of course Mike can answer that. He already has. Mike died out on the road. On tour doing something he loved.

Mike and me were chatting earlier in the week about touring and how you cannot describe it to people who haven’t experienced it. We were banging on about how much we love going on tour, how much we love being on tour.

Mike didn’t die on the sofa, in front of the T.V watching some one else’s life playing out while talking about what he wants to do, what he’s going to do. He died while he was experiencing his own adventure. He was out there, chasing his dreams, he knew that they won’t come to you while you waste your life away doing nothing about them.

What happened to Mike could’ve happened to him while he was at home doing nothing. But he wasn’t. He was about to play a rocking fucking gig, on a European tour with his band, his mates, his brothers and he was living his dream.

I guess what I mean is that you don’t know when your time is going to be up, and I for one am going to do my damnedest to make sure that I’m as rocking as Mike when it’s my turn. As cruel as it sounds people, tick tock, tick tock.

We just reached Dover. God I wished it was the 24th of November and there was six of us.

R.IP. Mike. x

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