Day 14: a Saturday:
I was two weeks into my journey without making any serious headway whatsoever. But I was close. I knew it from the unmistakable scent and sense of wonder I smelt and felt. (If you’re not a true treasure seeker, you wouldn’t possibly know what I’m talking about... and shame on you for thinking you are worth the time and effort to breathe the same air as us exalted archaeologicos. WE are important; you are not.) I was getting paid to search for the mummy of Queen Hatsoffnshutup in what used to be known as Mesopotamia, or “Ol’ Pot” as it is called in the biz. I knew I wouldn’t find the tomb -- I was searching in the wrong area of the continent, and it didn't exist anyway -- but I didn’t want to break the heart of my benefactor, who was a psycho crackpot. He had visions of me unearthing the Queen and him marrying it in a small civil ceremony. But I was hoping to find a few valuable trinkets to flog, so I could rent my sofa bed for another week. Admittedly, I had been going through a rough patch as far as the adventure stakes were concerned.
I mopped my brow with the PVC loin cloth I stole last night off of a beefy stripper at the “Ace Club” after running out on a bill that included three pickled eggs, a quart of lemon gin, and a VIP-room private dance. I smiled briefly before stepping on a loose stone and falling into a dark, shallow pit. I brandished my trusty Zippo and noticed a piece of parchment, possibly goat’s skin, which bore a list of titles or names in thin-ink cursive. It was spotted with what looked to be a three-legged burro’s cum stains (they looked a little like the 1558 map of Italy, around the time of the accession of Elizabeth I).
I hightailed it out of there and quickly returned to my home base to have my efficient office gal Pepita analyze the specimen for identification purposes and possible value. “Hmm,” she began. “It looks newer than the parchment would indicate. Recent, but pre-Paris Hilton jail term period, I reckon. Not my sort of thing, but some people will be excited by this discovery, for certain.”
I knew Pepita’s “thing” quite well, as she plays nothing but ear-splitting, obscure polka around the office. “What is it?” I asked.
“It seems to be a tentative song list for the forthcoming Sunset Rubdown album, Random Spirit Lover. Common sense dictates that the ones in bold are the actual tunes that will find their way onto the album, and the others are some stupid fucker’s joke titles."
“What are the stains?” I queried.
She sighed. “I dunno. Tears of joy from a pathetic indie-rock loser?”
I crumpled up the hide, threw it in the garbage, and stretched. “Alright, do you wanna grab a burrito?” I asked Pepita.
“Nope,” she retorted rather too quickly for my liking. “I’ve decided I’m only going to go out with guys who can actually pay some bills and get it up in the sack.”
I should have known this adventure was going to be a bust.
Possible Random Spirit Lover tracklist, out in October on Jagjaguwar:
The Mending of the Gown
He Had Trombones for Limbs and Dice for Teeth
Magic vs. Midas
Up On Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days
For the Doctor Who Used His Saw
The Courtesan Has Sung
Colt Stands Up, Grows Horns
Unglue Your hips, Thunderlips
Hairshirt vs. Babyskin
For the Pier (and dead shimmering)
The Taming of the Hands that Came Back to Life
(esirper) snaej s’ivoJ noB gniraew saw eh tub rekihhctih eht pu kcip ot tnaw t’ndid I
Settling vs. Rising
Trumpet, Trumpet, Toot! Toot!
Here Comes Dumb Bum Gibby Gorilla!