The night is still and the purple scent of wisteria fills my nostrils.
I feel heady, dizzy, drunk on smell.
I’m also drunk on sake and celebratory champagne, but it’s the drooping clusters of flowers that make me nauseous.
I feel sick.
Regurgitated sushi rises in my throat like chunks of phlegm.
Downstairs I hear Alexa, my producer, my partner, my co-director, my co-pilot, my friend, banging around in a seemingly epileptic panic. In the third bedroom our cameraman slumbers, surrounded by just-opened boxes of microphones, booms, batteries, tapes, THE CAMERA, his iPod firmly jammed into each ear to drown out our girlish squeals of excitement and clumsy accidents, providing a loud musical respite from our incessant, schizophrenic, nervous/panicked/emotional/bickering/giggling chatter.
I’m exhausted too.
I’ve exhausted myself.
Tomorrow is day one.
Tomorrow, when I awake in this peaceful, quiet house, dress myself and climb into that car I will officially become what I have always dreamed of being. I will be a film-maker, and I cannot believe it.
Like a pale green bullet we speed into it, all the time praying that these atmospheric conditions are not a metaphor for what we are embarking upon. The world is practically non-existent. The car races through a lost wilderness, a smoky super-highway… into the nothing up ahead.
Catching my reflection I realize I look like a small rodent in the headlights, eyes wide with the knowledge of impending BIGNESS and NOISE.
I titter, nervously.
The weather clears before Barstow, and suddenly we’re in Nevada, then, just as suddenly we’re out of Nevada and into New Mexico.
I like New Mexico.
There are dinosaurs.
I like dinosaurs.
We’re all alone in a desert with some extinct shit, and we feel empowered.
I discover a thing called a Motel 6.
It pleases me on a basic level. Clean, boring, bland, ugly, cheap, clichéd.
This first day, spent entirely inside a Volkswagen, has been difficult.
It’s hard to find the rhythm, figure out the dialog. Jon, our cameraman, is unused to the familiarity between Alexa and I, we bicker and argue, only to turn around and howl with laughter a second later. Jon looks perturbed. I get the impression that he wants to film us instead of the subject matter we’re seeking.
The further we drive the more unsettled I become. Will we ever find the rhythm? Can I do this? Jon films me talking for a while but I feel uncomfortable and nervous and unhappy with the way things are going.
The camera isn’t the problem, it’s my lack of a personal relationship with the person handling it that frightens me.
I bite my nails and turn my iPod up loud to drown out the world, for, as is always the case for me, the only thing that is going to afford me any peace is really loud rock and roll music screaming into my soul.
We stop in funny places. Look at pretty things. Grimace at nasty shit.
At some strange, elusive hour we hit Texas… and by then a different energy has fueled the car and we’re all smiling.
It’s easy. We’ve all become friends.
We have the rhythm.
Friendship can happen in an instant… it can surprise you at any twist and turn, and it can blossom in a moving vehicle. Never underestimate it or take it for granted… it’s the glue that holds us together when all we want to do is unravel.
Next stop Dallas.