April 25, 2005:
Leaving Austin, west on I-10 for Phoenix. Dark and desert. As the night becomes more lonely there are fewer and fewer cars on the road, until there's only us, and the sound of our tires, and the complaints of the singer to keep us awake.
The singer drives because he trusts no-one else. Only you. The singer and you are the only ones who drive because he trusts no-one else.
No-one else. No-one helps him. Logistics, planning. (The manager does all that.) He's the only one capable of tying the baggage down. (The drummer mostly does it.) He carries the amps. (He carries only his personal guitar; you usually grab his amp.) He does all the driving. (You do three-quarters of it.) On and on into the empty night.
While from the back seat you're eyeing the gas gauge with a mean-spirited smile. Empty. He forgot to gas up, you knew it at the time, the drummer knew it at the time. You and the drummer exchange glances. Any minute now.
Sputter, spit, stall, coast. Empty. Beneath a sky of shooting stars the singer pounds his fists on the steering wheel.
Slamming doors and kicking bumpers he locates the gas can, stands shaking on the roadside. "I suppose I have to do this all by myself?" Less a question than an accusation. Then he rounds on you, personally, as though you were responsible not just for this catastrophe but for all the mounting frustrations of his petty little life.
"I'm sick of you sitting there without offering to help."
You think about this for a few seconds. Then you tell him, "OK. You walk on ahead for gas. I'll stay here and push the van. When you're on your way back we'll meet you half the distance."
Time to be moving on.
I've told you baby, from time to time
But you just wouldn't listen or pay me no mind
Now I'm movin' on, I'm rollin' on
You've broken your vow, and it's all over now
So I'm movin' on