I decided to stay in the office late, not because I had work to do but because it would give the peak hour knock off traffic a chance to thin out. Chances were good that leaving an hour later and letting the majority of the traffic ease would only see me getting home fifteen minutes later than if I tried to tackle the traffic anyway. I guess it’s not something everyone can do, and to be honest if they did it would make my trip more annoying, but waiting an hour and getting home fifteen minutes later but not having to deal with every other driver’s road stress really is a no brainer.
Because my job has so many bows to it hanging around the extra hour wasn’t a big issue, I can always find something to do to make it look like I’m working. Sometimes it might be follow up research to pad out an article, other times it could be follow up calls and some times it was even just listening to music. Although I have to admit more than a few times the listening to music excuse was just that, if anyone asked I was ‘previewing a band before an interview’ but sometimes it was just listening to music to kill time.
While I listened to some band from the US whose seemed to be riding high on the fact that their bass player took genital selfies as a past time rather than learning how to play music I searched the music news sites. Although music news wasn’t my job it always paid to keep up with the news because you’d be surprised how often a news tidbit can change an interview, weirdly enough I rarely read our own web page for that music news. Anyway I did that for an hour before clocking off and heading home for the evening.
The smell of McDonalds in the closed up car not only reminded me I need to put the last of the lunch dishes in the bin but reminded me how hungry I was. Although traffic was still busy when I finally left the office it was at least moving between traffic lights, we still had boy racers who thought it was better to take off fast only to be caught at the next intersection with the rest of us but in general the traffic was bearable.
After and early night and a relatively slow but constructive Friday at work I was invited, by a band publicist, to a gig in the ‘burbs, it was an obvious attempt to get the band a write up in our rag but I was hesitant because of the driving I knew I’d be doing the following day. Unfortunately for me the publicist CC’d the email invite to the boss as well and five minutes before he left for work he told me it would be a good idea for me to attend.
“I wasn’t planning to go, I’ve got a busy weekend and an early night would do me well.” I replied trying making excuses not to go.
No matter how much I tried to convince the boss that my weekend work was important he wasn’t convinced and insisted that putting in an appearance and doing a report on the gig for our next edition was how I’d be spending my Friday night. Given that he was friends with the annoying publicist and I was being paid I figured I’d entertain the bosses request and head to a place where I could be guaranteed a cold beer in a opaque glass.
Because of my late night at the pub, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, I didn’t get to leave home as early as I would have liked and Mc Donalds was well and truly open and serving breakfast when I rolled through the drive-thru and ordered a few egg and bacon muffins and a coffee and 7:23am. Again the car would smell like Mc Donalds but too bad, I’d drive with the window open and get rid of the stink if it got too bad.
Once out of the ‘burbs and on the highway the traffic spread out and despite having to slow down for towns and a few sections of roadworks I had a really good run. I stopped several times for toilets and coffee, perhaps if there was less stops for the later there would be less stops for the former but getting out and stretching my legs felt good and kept me awake. When I arrived at Ross’ pub I was right in the middle of the lunch rush, there was one other person sitting at the bar eating.
I didn’t even have to order my meal, less than a minute after I sat down at the bar Ross placed a plate of chicken parma in front of me then stepped up to the beer taps and poured me an ice cold beer. I’m not sure what the guy at the other end of the bar thought about the priority service I seemed to be getting but I made conversation with Ross to give the person the impression that we knew each other. I don’t know why I did that, I guess it comes from always putting on a good face in public.
After lunch and a few more beers I looked at the clock on the wall, it was a clock of Homer and Barney sitting at a bar and every hour lights flashed and two of them clinked frothy mugs of beer together. The time was approaching 2pm and while that in itself wasn’t a huge issue for where I was headed it had the potential to be an issue when I returned because the later I went in the later I would return and the later I would have to start my five hour journey home.
“Thanks Ross, but I better be going, things to do, you know how it is.” I said as I got up from the bar.
“Yep, for sure. Wondered how long you were planning to sit here.”
“Kind of lost track of time.”
“No worries, guess I’ll see you in a few minutes.”
I laughed at Ross’ comment realising that no matter how long I hung around Angel City in his world it would only be a few minutes before I walked back into the bar probably looking for another feed.
“Cya. Ross.” I said as I headed out the door and to my car.
Again as I approached the turn off to Angel City I didn’t have to worry about people seeing me because there was no one around, unless of course they were hiding in the trees but that didn’t seem likely. I turned slowly off the road, gravel crunching under my tyres, and headed straight for the trees. I don’t mind admitting there was quite a bit of hesitation despite knowing that I’d been through them before. Was I in the right spot? Would I still be able to get through? They were silly thoughts because I drove straight through just like last time but they were still there.
On the other side the first thing I did was retrieve the packet of Malboros from the glove box and light one. Unlike the one I’d had out the front of Ross’ pub after leaving Angel City a few days before this one didn’t make me hack up a lung, it was as smooth and enjoyable as every other smoke I’d had in Angel City. I drove on reminding myself that one day I really did need to check the trip meter coming through the trees so I knew how far it was to the gates. Why did they need gates anyway?
When I did eventually come up to the gates they were closed, I remembered Lemmy’s words that they would open for my automatically and slowly approached them waiting for them to do so. Sure enough the gates did open for me.
Once they were open all the way I slowly drove through the open gap, I was barely all the way through when Würzel stepped out from behind the pillar, obviously he was expecting a lift.
Previous Angel City story here.