I’ve taken many adventures in 2014. (Soon, I will do wrap up and wade through successes and failures. Cross fingers for more successes.) However, one thing I strove for relentlessly in the last several years was not on my resolution list this year. I’d given up on it in 2013 after failing miserably several times over. There seemed never to be a conclusion to my own personal big white whale hunt. I conceded to forever be outrun by my unrealized dream, only to be shocked this year. Finally, I harpooned that fucking beast. I took a good hair picture with Mikel Jollett.
It started back in 2009 when I saw them in Seattle. At that time I didn’t even get close enough for a picture with him and my shitty camera phone.
It didn’t matter, the hair situation was a disaster. Even with a smaller crowd at the venue, I sweated myself right into grossness. In 2011 when I saw them again, I didn’t realize pictures were something I could get pretty regularly. I danced the night away madly and ended the night looking like this:
My hair tried to recover by the time I ran into Mikel at a bar and we took this picture.
I didn’t give up. At the end of 2011, they went on tour again and I loaded up the lady friends to travel the seven seas to Sacramento in search of that mythical creature. It started out on rocky water when I popped open the lemon drops when we rolled into town at 3:00pm. (It was a girls’ trip, what did you expect?) After much drinking:
The situation was dire. (Mainly due to Bestie forgetting her ID and we were banished to the pit. Oh yeah, I said it.)
Once again, the hair tried to recover. It was no use. The damage was done.
In 2013, I was determined. Nothing was going to stop me. I convinced Bestie to go on a two show trip to Portland then Seattle. A back up plan with a spare city. The first night I kept the hair pristine waiting for Mikel to greet fans and pose for pictures.
I was ready for my close up. My only shot. I waited. And waited. Only that elusive white whale flipped its tail at me as he dove back under the waters (really, he jumped into a cab) and got away from my grasp. It was after sacrificing a show experience to try to capture a picture, I vowed not to miss the fun again In Seattle I embraced my crazy sweat and felt satisfied with the terrible photo at the end of the night.
When 2014 came around and there was the promise of three shows in San Francisco, I didn’t hold out much hope. Do I sacrifice my love of the show for the photo to commemorate it? Or do I go all out and wreck my hair? The first two nights I didn’t even try. I wanted to experience everything with the people. Smashed close together and sweatin’ each other up. (Totes worth it.) I accepted my hair disaster with open arms.
On the third night, Bestie was tired and wanted out of the crowd. We watched from above in the balcony seats and I thought it might be my best chance to have reasonable hair. Not my best hair because San Francisco hates naturally curly hair trying to go straight. I had to let the wave out. At 3:00am, my white whale crested the waters and posed for a few pictures. He was gracious, smiley, and I thought I finally had the best I was going to get.
Two months later when I saw The Airborne Toxic Event again in my two city adventure, I wasn’t looking for anything. The good hair picture was proven to be a myth and I had my travels to keep my heart company. The seas were calm. In Portland, I didn’t even try. I headed to the hotel after the shows without the second thought to get pics. In Seattle, I wasn’t even looking for my Moby Dick. I was snapping shots with someone else when I happened to see the band gathering near their bus. We went to check it out and that’s when I finally got what I’d always been chasing. A picture where my hair didn’t look like a fucking mess.
Someone once asked me why I didn’t Photoshop my perfect picture. I wondered “where is the fun in that?” That would have been like Ahab shooting fish in a barrel. Sometimes it’s about the chase versus the end result. Now that I have my picture, I’m kinda lost to find what’s next. Do I look for a picture with great hair and one of those prize winning Mikel smiles? Or do I relish in the fact I have what I came for and move on? As Ahab, I’m kinda lost if I don’t have my Moby Dick.
I’m not quite sure what the future brings for Mikel and me. I do know I’m different for it. I don’t have the same drive I did when I started 5 years ago. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s time. Or maybe it’s the end of an era.