in which an adventure becomes even more adventurous


We're hanging out, listening to music and talking. I mention for the second (maybe third) time that I'll be watching Paul McCartney performing live in just a few weeks. I'm needling him, because he's told me before that seeing Paul McCartney in concert a few years ago was the greatest musical experience of his life. I casually, half-seriously say that he should come with me and see him again.

"I was born to go to Bonnaroo," he says. I know exactly what he means, and based on my experience of the festival - and my limited familiarity with him - I agree. He loves live music. He loves festivals, and the social scene that goes along with them. He's a bit of good old boy. He even has family in Nashville.

"So cooooome!" I plead. Now I'm being completely serious, because I'm realizing how perfect a person he'd be to go with. He'd fit right in with the laid back, down home, hick/hippie vibe of Bonnaroo. He even looks like a typical Bonnaroovian: (usually) bearded and smiley. He's easygoing and outgoing, and would be fully at home on the Manchester farm.

He looks at me and shakes his head. Not a No. More a Woman, don't tempt me. "Who are the other headliners?" he asks.

I jump off the bed and go to my desk, above which I've taped the festival lineup. I've slowly been color-coding my schedule with highlighters. Yellow for yes, definitely yes. Orange for maybe, if I can squeeze it in. Pink for probably not, but possibly. Green for meh. Blue for nope, not interested.

I read band names to him. "Mumford and Sons. Billy Idol. Tom Petty..." I look over my shoulder to see how these are hitting him. His eyes are wide.

"You forgot The Heartbreakers," he says. "You can't forget The Heartbreakers."

I continue. "Weird Al. The Lumineers. The National. ZZ Top, Pretty Lights--"

"Pretty Lights?" he interrupts. "I love Pretty Lights. And ZZ Top? Let me see this," says. He joins me at my desk and I retreat, letting him take the full lineup in. It's clear from the tone in his voice as he calls out bands that he's seeing some favorites. "Here's the thing," he sighs. "I can't go all the way to Tennesee without seeing my brother."

"So stay a few days longer and see him! The hotel's already paid for. And airfare really wasn't bad," I coax.

"Paul McCartney, Pretty Lights, you, and my brother? You don't have to sweeten the pot."

"Ok," I reply. "I'll drop it. But you are more than welcome to join me, really. It'd be a blast."

He looks at me, gauging how serious I am. "You wouldn't get sick of me?"

I shake my head. "Nope. As long as you don't mind us doing our own thing when our schedules conflict."

"I'm not clingy," he says, unnecessarily.


- Hey hot stuff, are you going for all four days of the festival?

- Yep. I leave here at ___ and get in at ____, return ____. ...Come 'roo with me! You would LOVE it.

- Temptress! I'm thinking about it. I'd have to take a week off work so I have to figger it out. You do know that I'll have a southern accent again after approx. 8 hours in Tennesee. Just warning you.

- Are you kidding? I'M COUNTING ON IT. 


- Are you on flight ___?

- Yep.

- What's your seat #?

- I have to sit next to you, too?? I thought you said you weren't clingy.

- It was worth a shot.

- You just strike me as an armrest hog, that's all.

- You are an amazing judge of character.

- 19B

(an hour later)

- Looks like you done got you a redneck boy to take festival'n.

- This is gonna be a hoot and a half. 

- I'm excited to see you all sun and sweatsoaked. And Weird Al, of course. ...I'm very appreciative that you want me to go with you to the festival, BTW.

- Are you kidding? You are literally the perfect person to go with.

- I don't know anyone that would argue with you.