Everyone was silent after the boom. The crowd looked around for someone to investigate. Fortunately they were spared the effort, for the door burst open, and a man from the village tore across the room, spouting Hindi and grabbing an army officer by the collar. Another man rose from a nearby table and calmed the now agitated officer.
“He is crying for help. He says a great foot crashed to the ground.” The man was still talking rapidly. “He says the leg reached into the clouds.”
I did not wake up healthy. Blythe shook me as Wesley was coming in the door. The generosity of the Horned Hand has morning consequences. We had breakfast at Wesley’s house. I said very little. It was good though. Wesley drove us back to the Hand, and we loaded out. Blythe drove while I tried to sleep. We retraced our path across the mountains to Portland. The journey took us deep into the afternoon. When we arrived in Portland, we didn’t have too much time to burn.
We found the venue locked up tight, so we walked the neighborhood for a while. When they cracked the doors, we sat down and had some awesome Thai food. We brought in our stuff, met Renee Muzquiz, our host for the evening, and the Strangled Darlings, our bill mates. Renee Muzquiz started with a set of tricky singer-songwriter stuff with complex chords. We stepped up next and started into an acoustic set. Though we sound checked, the venue kept telling us we were too loud. The truth is, our music has a very dense texture, so it always seems louder than it is. Anyway, after a few adjustments, we just unplugged and stood in the middle of the room.
The Strangled Darlings stepped up next and played a set of roots laced R&B stuff. With and electric cello and a mandolin, they created a sparse and elegant rhythmic pulse. It was a cool set. It was like David Holmes done by a roots duo. After that, Renee Muzquiz closed out with another set. These tunes were particularly tricky with bossa rhythms and jazzy chords and lots of energy, not to mention great singing.
The Strangled Darlings offered us a spot for the night. We toasted a nightcap with some cider we got in Chelan, and passed out fast and hard.
After the man’s frantic rant, the room erupted into conversation. Aldo just smiled quietly. “They’re coming.” He said to me.