It started early; that is, partying with PBR’s, a couple of joints, big dinner and great sex. With my vision becoming more and more impaired, I was waiting patiently for the email to announce the time and place for crew on Ernest Thompson’s new movie, Heavenly Angle, in New Hampshire. Then, I called and was told, “6am in Laconia, NH”. Well, it was 10ish and I better be ready to drive by 3am.
I still don’t know how I managed to pull myself out of bed when the flashing alarm terrorized my senses, while I was in REM, but I did: tripping over clothes, strewn on the floor, grabbing the door knob for support, lifting my head in the pitch trying to register my naked senses. In the distance, as the dogs scrambled at my feet,one word beckoned, “coffee”.
The coffee maker clicked and popped when I hit the small silver “On” button. “Ahh”, I thought, “If only I can get to the point of drinkin‘ my coffee, I might be saved after all.” It was 2:35am. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t still drunk or “under the influence” with only a few hours of sleep. But, I made it: took a cold shower (which is a damn wake-up call in itself); brushed my teeth; made an ice coffee and had cold cereal before 3:15am. Not bad, but “Ooof, I’m hurtin'”.
The coffee kicked in and I drove through the foggy rain on route 109 West from exit 19 off 95 South in Maine . This direction took me the back way into the winding, two lane highway, lake-roads of New Hampshire. A state map lay beside me, but I had to follow instinct.( I don’t believe in GPS units, but I like Mapquest to print out and have ready, for a quick check.) That’s all I needed, and my ice-warm coffee. I put in disc-one of John Lee Hooker’s “Trilogy”, and didn’t stop playing it until I got back home. “Ahh…” the sound of gritty blues, in the black wet morning, echoed in the truck, as song after song played. The truck hissed along, cutting a swath in the lonesome hour, racing to Laconia, NH.
I was within fifteen miles of the crew location, when I stopped at a McD’s at 5:10am. The rain had lightened and the dark purple glow on the East began to brighten the whole dome of the sky to a grey. Immediately, I thought of the guitar riffs in “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. At the “pit stop”, I had two steak&egg burritos, for a $1 each, and a large coffee, for another $1. I thought I would jump back and go, but I was already in town and to find the location within a fifteen mile radius shouldn’t be too hard, or take too long; so, I crossed my self and prayed for my meal, enjoyed my two burritos, with mild taco sauce, and my coffee, which I made into an ice coffee. I wanted to experience the activity of McD’s, after my order, because I was the first customer of the day. Other than the tv being on, in the far corner, I stayed for ten lonely minutes.
I arrived at our crew location, after circling the area about a half-dozen times. Again, I was the first person to arrive. I parked in the “Free Parking” lot across the street. After finding my space, in the empty lot, I got out and perched myself overlooking The Mill where the scene was to be filmed. It didn’t take long before the next crew members came rolling in. Actually, being away and watching it all, no one knew I was observing. There was one car, I believe a blue Toyota, pulling in a spot; then, driving forward; then, out of the parking lot and circled back, in the other entrance of empty parking lot, to the same spot backing-in; then, after a few moments, pulled forward about twenty feet—stopped, turned the lights off, and reversed back into the spot before getting out ( I wouldn’t want to be in the car when this decision-making was going on.). And, I thought I had it rough driving this early! More people wandered in, and I joined them for “Crew-call at 6am”.