A terrible night
I felt like recording some vocal parts for a new tune on a late night last week, so I drove out to the old practice space and set up shop for a couple of hours.
In the room next door, a loud metallic punk band ran through songs and vibrated the walls, so I didn’t end up getting anything done until they were through practicing.
When I did get going, I managed to add a lead vocal part on one new song and the foundation of backing vocals for a chorus of another new one. These songs are the first few I’m writing and recording for a new band project I’m doing with Allyson called My Aim Is You. I have an idea of how it’s going to sound—sort of a weird mixture of Velvet Underground, ’90s indie shit and the Ramones—but it never ends up coming out the way it all sounds in my head, so we’ll see.
After I was done recording, I packed up and headed back into town. It was around 3 a.m. and, as I was driving along the entrance to the freeway, I noticed the taillights of the car several yards ahead of me quickly pop on. An animal had crossed the part of the road in front of him. It appeared that the driver had thought about pulling over and maybe attempting to lure the animal back over to the shoulder and safety but, instead, the driver just sped away.
I drove up to where the animal was. It was a pretty, young red dog, standing at the edge of where the shoulder met the freeway.
Or so I thought.
I quickly pulled over, rolled down my window to call out for the dog to come to me and was just about to get out and try and grab it when, at that moment, a driver, jamming along at least the speed limit, plowed straight into the dog, sending it flying 20 or so feet and killing it instantly.
My heart stopped and then sank. I sat there stunned and crying. The sound of impact was shockingly loud, like a dull boom or something, and it instantly made me feel nauseous.
I looked to see any sort of movement or struggle with the poor dog and there was none. He or she was gone. Snuffed out within seconds.
It took me 10 minutes to get home, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and muttering things like, “No, no … man, fuck … no” and feeling justified in my cynicism of the concept of a god or gods and hating the world just a little more.
I left a message with Al because, well, she’s the only person in the world I would call and leave a message with at 3 in the morning. And I know she would have understood and said all the right things to help calm me down.
I got home, got undressed and got into bed. My girl cat Gigi was happy to be in my room with me. She displayed her weird but sweet bit of affection, and that helped warm my cold, cold heart.
For whatever sick, humanistic reason, I kept trying to conjure up what I had just seen and heard—but then would just as quickly try and think about something else. I clung to my little black and white cat, now warm and purring away contently, and thought of Al’s dog Lulu, and Hank, the dog she just rescued from the river and who she just found a good, loving home for.
I found sleep, finally.
What a terrible, terrible night.