A few hours later we all sat in the living room having a pointless, circular conversation. Aware that no amount of logic or sense could reach him, I went upstairs to eat a grapefruit while Pames and Dave wasted their breath. At 4 am he got in his car and left without an apology, saying goodbye only to Dave.
That's the finger-restrained version of how Dustin left this tour and this band (after joining officially not but a couple weeks before.) Why did he leave? "Family emergency". Did he attend to it? No. Where is he now? At home on the internet. Has he done this before? Yes. Are we stupid for letting someone like that into the band? You bet. Were we freaking the fuck out that we had almost 3 weeks of tour booked ahead of us, a $100 a day rental van outside, over $1,000 of merch in our living room, no money in our bank accounts, jobs that we couldn't go back to until the end of July, and no drummer? You can't even imagine.
Luckily, this is hardcore.
Pames and Dave sat downstairs hitting up everyone they knew. I posted on the b9, on facebook, even on craigslist. There had to be a drummer out there who could drop everything, get to Philadelphia, learn our songs in a day, and go on tour for 3 weeks... right?
After a few hours we got some responses. One was on our facebook page. All it said was, "I can do it." I don't know why, but I just had a feeling that "Ivan Saul Caleb Diaz" was our dude. His profile was private, his picture too tiny to make him out in, I had no idea where he lived or who he was or anything about him but going on instinct I sent him a message asking for his number, got a string of digits in response, and called.
"Hi... this is Davin from the band Kingdom. I saw your post. So uh, where are you?"
"Oh hey! I live in Los Angeles, California."
"Dude... uh... you know we live in Philly, right?"
"Yeah! I can just hop on the next flight out."
"Yeah, it's no problem!"
After chatting a bit (played drums his whole life, down for house shows, down for carpet sleeping, down for ramen), then listening to his band (They As In Them) we all nodded in agreement and I picked up my phone.
"You seriously down to come out today?"
"Yeah! I'll drive to the airport now and see if I can get a flight."
At 11 the next morning we pulled up to the Philadelphia International Airport. Ivan and his hastily packed bag jumped into the van. He was all smiles.
"So, where we goin?"
"Ashtabula, Ohio! We can practice before the show."
"Wait... we're playing TONIGHT?"
"Yep! If that's cool. What do you think?"
Tour was saved. The road re-stretched itself out ahead of us. The summer sun beat down on the asphalt, Dave squinted against it as he drove, Pames "Snooze Hound" Jollard napped, Ivan listened to our songs our repeat, air drumming along, and I relaxed for the first time in 36 hours.
(Pames, Ivan, me, Dave)--
It's worth mentioning how Ivan found out about Kingdom. HE WORKS WITH MY AUNT. She found out he played music and showed him ours. What are the fucking odds that some random dude who works in LA with my AUNT would be not only a core dude, but the kind who'd drop everything to play house shows in the Midwest?! It's fate man.