My Old New Hometown

Yeah, things are finally looking up. Like falling down a cliff side. Getting beaten and battered. The initial sharp pain and evaluation of injuries. Then ur friends rush down the hill and start to lift you up and dust you off. Somebody runs off the get a first aid kit. Somebody else has a flask of whiskey. Your heart rate starts to decrease… Then they have you laughing.

“Now, how are we going to get back to the top of this cliff?” We ask each other, laughing, and looking up.


This has been one of the lowest points in my life. But I’m determined to crawl back up and out of this hole. And it’s only with the help of the people who love me and have taken me in that I’ve made it this far, that I can see sunlight somewhere up there.

One of my best friends, Dori – she’s God’s cheerleader. And my go-to for spiritual advice of the Christian persuasion. I’m #blessed to have such a close female friend who shares a similar cultural background to my own. She gave both Krish and I a comfortable bed and a warm, welcoming home whilst in Pittsburgh. Not to mention hours and hours of talk on morals, religion, philosophy, our “liberal/conservative feminist agenda” and soforth. I can’t write words to equate all Dori has done for me. I can tell her tho, “I love you and thank you.” 

“You don’t know the power of the Dark Side.”

Then Bryan and Ellie opened their home to me, with dinner, breakfast, Hulu, Netflix, religion, philosophy, shop talk – I mean, they got it all! And it was so kind of them to share it all with me. Just the time would be nice. And I love having the added perspective of both a man and woman with a Jewish backround. A bit of a juxtaposition from the Christian girl, but not really. Judaism, Christianity, & Islam have the same God – and that God says “love people and don’t kill people” and I respect those principles. I live by those principles. Plus, those are only a few of the beautiful moral messages delivered via these (and many other) religions. 

Amanda read her Oracle cards for me. And attempting to describe the experience lends it little justice. She is a faery. She and her deck have offered me insight into my life twice now, and I feel both times have provided me invaluable messages open to my interpretation. This time around, they seemed to tell me to keep my head up. And be the hero. Every time I’ve battled some hardship since the reading, big or small, I think, “Be the hero.”

Photo by Ken Kerr Photography

The Pittsburgh Art House as a whole hasn’t abandoned me. When Krish and I got locked out of our place to stay, they still offered a couple of starving artists a place to lay their heads for the evening. I’m forever grateful for that home. And a part of me will always be there.
I’m back in the DC area again and my life isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. But the future is looking brighter. And for the dark parts, I’m prepared to be the hero.

Much love to all yinz. Even those I’ve not mentioned. And thank you.

About last night… 

TransContinental Tour, East Houston, TX, USA

We woke up in a warehouse in East Houston. Stacked next to us, upended and with bicycles in the air, rested a line of rickshaws. Krish and I were curled together on a one-man cot in the midst of it all. Surrounded by gear and graffiti with an American flag hung from the ceiling.

Cars buzzed by in the street directly above our heads, just a couple of sheet metal doors between them and our sleeping bodies.

A roof! A roof! And even some walls. We don’t ask for much more. Yet, the spaces we’ve experienced while seeking shelter from friends, colleagues, and even complete strangers, has taken us through so many unexpected and amazing adventures!

Super Happy Fun Land, Houston, TX

Just an evening before our night in the warehouse, We woke in an industrial loft on Galveston Island. I remember my eyes first opening to the sounds of the street, four stories below, and the low-pitched horn of passing, perhaps docking, ships. A comforting “Good morning” from the shore.
Although, the metal-to-metal scream of the railroad tracks stretched through the major metropolis of Houston brought me comfort as well. And the activity in the street of a waking city. The noise. It’s all just noise. A symphony of human innovation.
We woke up on Jan. 20, in Houston, to Joe cooking us a breakfast of French toast, eggs, and bacon. He set out real maple syrup on the countertop of a kitchen fashioned into the corner of the warehouse.
“I’m just going to make the whole loaf,” he told me. “I don’t want to send anybody back on the road with an empty stomach. You can cut that bag of powdered sugar to sprinkle on top.”

Krish, Victory, & Joe, Houston, TX

I met Joe my first time through Galveston when I stopped in MOD Coffeehouse and he insisted I go to Fitzgerald’s for what turned out to be my favorite show of the whole, 4-month, cross-country trip.
He introduced us to Becky, who gave up her own bed and beautiful Artspace loft in Galveston so we could sleep comfortably in a real bed, make ourselves breakfast, and shower at our leisure.

Krish, Victory, & Becky, Galveston, TX

While we were there, Krish got to see the Gulf Of Mexico for the first time. Despite the weather, we played in the water, collected shells, and Krish even found a crystal. We’re trying to figure out what it is!

Krish & Victory on a jetty in the Gulf Of Mexico

Last night, though – an interview with the “legendary” KTRU, an evening of music, comedy, and friends at Super Happy Fun Land, and the warehouse we called home for one night in East Houston. The beauty of life can be behind two sheet-metal doors.

Krish & Victory at KTRU FM, Houston, TX

 

The First Day 

Photo by Krish Mohan in Cleveland, Ohio

The temperature dropped on Monday.

At midnight on Tues. Jan 5, 2016, Krish and I moved the last of my possessions out of the Pittsburgh Art House. It was 12 degrees F.

By 1 a.m., I knew my period started.

We began the morning, mostly, by listening to Jesse boisterously scream at us to get out of his house.

I say mostly because waking up warm and tangled up in Krish started the day beautifully. We wrapped each other up in a tight ball and it was divine.

Till the yelling started.

So we bolted without a shower or anytime to clean up and hit the local Dormont daylight diner: The Dor-Stop.

And so began The TransContinental Tour.

Erie, Pa. “Kodachrome” Release Show

In studio at Behrend BVZ on Rebel Girl Radio with Auda Kontroll.

Hey all! I’ve traveled to Erie, Pa. where I’ll be joined by some of my very favorite musicians for the second release show of the “Kodachrome” record. This Sat., May 16, we shall converge on the King’s Rook Club from 10 p.m. till 2 a.m. and beyond for some acoustic rock n’ roll… or whatever you want to call it.

Joining me will be Matt “Broke” Boland, Andi Wondersound, and Chet Vincent of Pittsburgh’s The Big Bend. Each of us will share with you a rockin’ acoustic set of original music. And closing out the night, I’ll be performing with my full band, The Graveyard Orchestra.

SO GET EXCITED!

We all made this happen together. Even if you were unable to attend either release show, even if you were unable to back the Kickstarter, the support of my friends and the community brought this music into the world. In the form of a record. In the form of these events. In the form of a shared experience to mend our broken hearts and find the strength to fight another day.

Sincerely,
~ Victory