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The Whiskey Diaries: South By Southwest And Back, Part 8

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Tiger Flowers
Tiger Flowers’ tour with Meek Is Murder is winding down, but not before another entry in Jesse James Madre’s Whiskey Diaries

It’s 2:30 in the morning and I’m driving and I’m somewhere between Dallas and Texarkana and the roads are empty except for a few cop cars that sit off in the brush like sleeping vultures with their heads tucked under their wings.

I don’t speed so they have no reason to notice us tonight. These roads are empty except for a coyote trying to pull a meal from some road kill. These roads are mine tonight. Twelve hours to Nashville so I’ll push on through.

Dan and Deano sleep in the back while Willy rides shotgun on a separate horse. From here on out, all these roads head home. All the numbers are followed by ‘E’s or ‘N’s. From here on out, the long flat roads turn into curves and hills. These roads are so dark the headlights barely make a dent. Creeping me out more than anything as they pick up the flash and reflect back the million night time eyes just off the side of the road.

All manner of beasts kept at bay by the hum of the ford engine or the knowledge of seeing their friends lose similar battles. But either way, they are waiting…

Late night driving, I like to imagine the van is a horse and maybe I’m a cowboy trying to get my herd safely through. Or an Indian (feather, not dots) following a herd of Buffalo or trailing a war party. Either way, it gets me through and at this time of night whatever keeps you focused. Whatever keeps you going. 

It’s almost 5 a.m. and it’s still 3 hours to Little Rock and that is the halfway point so I light another smoke and open up a Redbull and Willy finds a radio station and we talk about our youth and what it made of us. 

That bullshit Bon Jovi lyric keeps dancing through my head and it makes me want to scratch my eyes out but it’s true: We drive all night, just to get back home. 

It’s 6 a.m. and I stop to piss and get a coffee and I can’t believe the sun isn’t up yet. I can’t believe I’m not tired but I drink the coffee anyway. Dean wakes up and buys me a gas station ninja star to add to my collection of primitive weapons.

We saddle back up and press on. The sky is lightening up a bit and it sheds light on just how much more romantic it is to ride off into the sunset then to ride into the sunrise. The legend of the old west is so big in my tiny head. From here on out, the sun will always set behind us. Always running towards the day. Just please don’t make the mistake of thinking we are running from our lives out here. We are running for our lives. To give it all a bigger meaning. To see it all and do it all. Even when the songs are about hate or pain this is all about love. 

It’s almost 8 a.m. and the sun burns away the haze of the night and the morning commuters are buzzing about and little rock is right there. 

Leave a basement show outside Dallas at 2 a.m. Treat the road like any woman you’ve ever loved and don’t stop tracing her curves until the sun comes up.