October 16, 2015

These Calluses - Snippet

The first night on the bus wasn’t how I expected it would be, though, to be honest, I didn’t really let myself expect much of anything at all.  I didn’t want to be disappointed, because how embarrassing would it be to be the silly teenage girl who was too innocent to know what was happening around her?  Not that anybody would’ve known.  It’s not like I was going to tell anybody that I hoped for some sort of bonding experience between me and my father before the night was out.
Unlike the expectation that I tried desperately not to have, the night actually went something like this:  We got on the bus, Leon showed me to my bunk, climbed into his own, and passed out.  The rest of the guys, who I barely knew, stayed up for hours afterward drinking and smoking pot and, if I heard correctly, snorting something that probably wasn’t great for them.  I did my best not to listen, but it was hard with them only a handful of feet away and only a curtain separating me in my bunk.
I didn’t sleep at all well that night.  Between getting used to the motion of the bus and the noises from the band, and the anxiety of just generally being in an unfamiliar place, I tossed and turned all night.  By the time we pulled off to a truck stop with for breakfast, I stumbled out into the fresh air and did my best to look like I had my shit together, even though I definitely did not.  Before I could make it halfway across the parking lot, somebody yelled my name and I heard footsteps running toward me.
“Sydney, wait up!” Audrey called, even though she was only a couple feel from me by then.
I stopped and let her catch up, and then waited until she stopped huffing and puffing.  “You doin’ okay?” I asked, fighting my laughter.
She grinned and nodded, wiping a bead of sweat from her brow.  “Never better.  How was your night on the Trooper bus?”
“Horrible.” I said before I could stop myself.  It wasn’t my intention to complain to her, but suddenly I found myself venting on our walk into the restaurant.  By the time I was finished, I was blushing and her eyes were wide.  “I’m sorry,” I added, “I didn’t mean to just word vomit all over you.  It just sort of happened.”
“No,” She said quickly, “That’s totally okay.  It sounds awful.  I can’t imagine the guys treating the bus like that.  I mean, yeah, we party and stuff, but to be so inconsiderate of people sleeping just a few feet away?” She paused, “Don’t think I’m a bitch for saying this, but I feel like the worst kinds of celebrities are either young and totally new to being known, or old and so used to the fame that it’s gone completely to their heads.  That’s how the Coke Troopers are.  They’ve been famous for so long, and spent so many years with people shoving their noses up their asses that they just assume that it’s fine to act however they want.”
I didn’t comment, but only because I was thinking about what she said.
“Do you hate me for saying that about your dad?” Audrey looked nervous.
I waited to respond until we were in the restaurant, and then I said, “No, I don’t hate you at all.  It’s just…” I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say.  There were so many things going on in my mind right now.  The tour was already off to a not great start for me, and I’d barely said a word to Leon since his concert last night, and the only person I could talk to right now was a stranger who I met less than twelve hours ago and she understood me as well as my friends back home did.  “This is all just a lot to take in, I guess.” I finally said.
She nodded and pulled me to sit beside her in a booth.