If an acoustic night happens and no one’s there to hear it does it still make a sound?

Acoustic Night at Katmandu, Trenton

July 15

Oh, Lawdie. I am just back home from quite a comedy of errors. Some would call it a snafu, others, a waste of a night. I’m choosing to view it as an amusing exercise in absurdity.

Weeks ago I decided to hit up Katmandu tonight for its weekly live local acoustic show and I’ve been looking forward to chilling outside and listening to acoustic guitar for a while now. My car’s taking a three-week vacation from working, however, so I’ve spent the past few days trying to figure out how to get there. Should I invite someone and ask them to drive? Should I borrow a car? Rent one? Sign up for Philly Car Share? I decided this afternoon that I would take the River Line train, which picks me up at the end of my block and finds its terminus in Trenton, not far from the club. Cool.

I go online before I leave the house to check everything out. Yes, the show runs from about 7:30 to 11. Yes, three performers are scheduled for tonight. Yes, I can get the train at 7:01 and get to Trenton at 8:15. I’m determined to prepare myself for any eventuality so I bring my phone charger, camera battery charger and computer charger to plug in my electronics at the bar so I can use them on the ride home. I grab my laptop, make the train and settle in for a comfortable hour of writing time.

Everything goes so smoothly and pleasantly on the way up that I decide I’m going to ride the train to Katmandu for shows all the time. Sure, it takes twice the time of a car ride but I can do productive work this way. Yippee!

When I get close to Trenton, though, I realize that I haven’t remembered to check exactly all of the details. Like the correct train stop, for instance. Okay, no worries, I’ll just get off at the main train station and cab it. I don’t know how safe it would be to walk with my laptop anyway and I figure I can catch a cab there. So I get off the train and stop leisurely in the bathroom to fix my makeup. That’s when I remember that I forgot to check another, more important detail before I left home: the train schedule for the return ride.

Still unphased, I grab a timetable, get into a taxi and look for southbound train times back to Camden. That’s when I notice my critical ditzy mistake. Um, the last train leaves Trenton at 9:15. It’s now 8:22. Shit.

I’m such a doofus. I’m such a doofus! Okay, though, I’m not one to panic over such frivolity, so I recheck the schedule about six more times to make sure I’m not overlooking anything, and upon seeing that I’m not, instruct the cabbie to come back to pick me up at Katmandu at 9pm. Yes, I know that’s in ½ hour. Yes, I’m sure. No, I won’t call you when I’m ready. No, it’s not okay for you to send your brother if you have a fare at 9. Yes, I’ll see you back here in 30 minutes. Thank you.

Ugh, as long as I’ve come this far, I may as well order a very quick beer and a bite, catch half a set, chat it up with a person or two, then meet Mr. Cab Driver for my train home. Make the best of it, right? Yeah, theoretically. Except that when I walk hurriedly into the bar and ask for the acoustic show, the bouncer informs me the show … is … cancelled. Cancelled? What do you mean cancelled? Are you kidding me? But the lineup is on your website. Yeah, that’s a mistake. But I just spent an hour on the train to get here. Sorry. Why don’t you come back next week? We’re have some great musicians lined up.

So apparently, even when I look at a published schedule, this night is destined to flop. Alright, I shouldn’t say flop. I managed to rush to swallow a beer and a sandwich in the very quiet, very empty Katmandu and meet my cabbie to make the train on time.

Grateful that I at least have my laptop with me so that I can still make good use of the night, I open it up, write the first few lines of this post,

then

my

computer

battery

dies.

A little exasperated now, I call my boo to pass the time.

Then

my

phone

battery

dies.

So now I’m on the train, I’ve got no computer, no phone, no reading material, it’s too dark to look out the window and I have to pee.

Mercifully, I make it home to Camden a few minutes later, but this train doesn’t go all the way to my neighborhood, it leaves me off at the transportation center about ½ mile away. I won’t walk it alone at night so as I’m looking for a cab, I’m mentally tallying up the wasted $22 I’ve dropped on cabs and trains tonight and feeling aggravated primarily about that. I get in the only taxi I see, which has no meter, and tell him I’m going six blocks to my house. $6 he tells me. $6?? To go six blocks? Yes, Mami, he answers, they’ll all charge you that. F—k.

Next time I’m borrowing a damn car.

Tara Nurin is a freelance journalist being sponsored by Rolling Rock beer to cover the Trenton-area independent music scene.