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I Helped Load in by Carrying the Emotional Burden

How dare you say I didn’t help load in. While you were carrying that 900-pound bass cabinet down the narrow, poorly lit, iced-over stairwell, I was carrying the emotional burden of being in this band. And we all know that’s the larger load.

Oh, does your back hurt from contorting to get the kick drum down those rotted stairs that felt like they might break at any moment? Well, my back hurts from all this emotional labor for the last six weeks of us being a band. Do you even know what kind of pressure is on me right now? Way worse than the pressure put on your body getting the equipment from the van to the show and back again.

When you get to the bottom of those stairs, you can put the gear down. It doesn’t stick around for days like my emotional burden. You don’t wake up in pain, paralyzed with shooting aches at the base of your spine like I do, emotionally.

While you were setting up the gear, I was setting up a mental partition to block out the emotional burden of singing these songs. While you sat through the way-too-loud openers so they wouldn’t have to play to an empty room, I was sitting outside where it was so quiet that I could hear myself think. And you know I have ruminating thoughts.

You get to just go about your life after the gig whereas I have to continue this emotional labor all day, every day, over this hobby we choose to engage with. Oh, and since emotional labor takes such a toll on my psychological wellbeing, I think it’s only fair you pay for gas.