It’s crazy how this Utah cold just doesn’t fuck with me. Man, I can remember hallucinating because of the cold wisping through the buildings of downtown Boston as I stood on the corner of Boylston and Tremont at Emerson College. It touches you like a needle tattooing your whole body and you remember the pain as such. It lives in your skin and bones for days on end far past the time that you get into the heat. Water that is in the air literally lives on and in your body and contracts with the air’s cold. It’s insane. So, when people complain about the cold here in Utah, I just laugh. Right now, it is rather cold, but not Boston cold.
One night behind the Middle East Nightclub, back on Green Street (I say, “back,” because a few blogs ago entitled, “Kick In The Mix,” I wrote about Green Street), it was the coldest night of February and I was loading out the backdoor. That load out as I’d mentioned in that previous blog is treacherous and with the 0 degrees + wind chill that we were dealing with; it was fucked.
I was in a good mood despite the night’s piercing air. The show earlier had gone well, especially considering the weather and fuck, it was over; and it’s always nice to have a good show that yields a chuck of cash. But, all of this only made the cold bare-able.
So, when this guy came by and asked if we needed help I said, “why not?” Now, I knew what he was really asking. This dude was really asking if he could have a ride in trade for a hand… Usually, I’d tell him to fuck off, but people die, people fucking die in that kind of weather. Like, people die here in Utah and it’s not even that cold. That temperature was murderous… So, I indulged his help.
The Prius was loaded up and then Kristina drove the stuff down the street to the old WEMF studio, which was in the EMF Building on Brookline Street in Cambridge. I believe it is still there, but now in condo purgatory. This guy and I walked from the club to the radio station with some extra things that wouldn’t fit into the car. The walk’s conversation was steril. I said things, but not much was said in return. The air became colder.
Eventually, everything was loaded into the freight elevator and put into the studio the way I liked it and the night was onto it’s decent; the trip home. Naturally though, the guy was still waiting downstairs and outside for that ride that he insinuated. Something didn’t feel right…
When I got down downstairs, to the parking lot of the EMF building, my wife at the time, my drummer at the time and I game planned for what was next. Chris had his new car and it was on the table for Kristina and I to meet him at IHOP, but again, something didn’t feel right. I sent Kristina off with him to meet me at IHOP. At which point I drove this dude through Fenway to Mission Hill… Mission Hill.
I knew shit was weird when we crossed the BU Bridge into Boston. I looked east across the Charles and toward the city skyline and asked the Pru for some help, after all that city was my god. The guy then made a demand… I can’t exactly remember what it was, but he aggressively wanted me to like, go a certain way, or maybe turn the radio on… or I don’t remember, maybe put the windows down. But, at this moment, I could tell that the dude was going to be a problem… and I was driving to Mission Hill.
We get to Roxbury Crossing, actually past Mission Hill and take a right onto Colombia Rd and then a quick left into these hills a little left of the t-stop. Maybe that’s not Mission Hill, but I know that area and it is not great. Those winding streets are so inconveniently small and hilly that anyone who would be on those roads would really need to be on them… As we dip, up and down through the troughs and valleys of some of Roxbury’s sketchiest apartments I prepare myself for literally anything. We stop in front of what I believe is his house. I start to say, “alright, well…”
At this moment the guy pulls a switchblade on me and says, “I’m taking this!” He grabs the Shure PGA48 that was in the Prius’ coffee mug holder. Now, I believe I placed this mic there as collateral. I had so much money on me. Like, $800 in cash from the show earlier at The Middle East. I think I put that mic there so he’d take the bate and “steal,” the mic. So, I bluffed…
“No man, not the mic. Ok, ok… (whimpering) it’s yours.”
“Damn right, mother fucker,” he says as the blade approaches my neck. He then turns and gets out of the car. I speed off with the door open… I jut to the right to let gravity close the door and fucking burn some rubber out of Robury.
I met Kristina and Chris at IHOP a little later than they expected. That Colorado Omelette never tasted so good.