I finally made it onto a bus. I finally had my own bunk. I finally got more than four hours of unbroken sleep on this tour. I was well rested, regularly showered and had clean hair, my stomach was usually full of delicious barbecue – I didn’t have a whole lot to complain during my stay with My American Heart, brief as it was.

The MAH guys seemed considerably easier to assimilate into, I think in part because they have so many tertiary members of their support crew with them, so the social circle wasn’t quite as impenetrably knit as I experienced with Scenes (though I still love the Scenes guys).

The last few days have been rather uneventful with the shows proceeding more or less as planned. Uneventful days unfortunately leave a lot of time for reflecting on one’s thoughts, which tend to run increasingly more wild on long stretches between off days (we’re on day seven since the last one). That’s my lead up for this week.

As much as I’ve been focused on trying to make things for this column come together every day with as little drama as possible, it seems I’ve forgotten the core of what I’m doing. I’m inserting myself into a group of people’s daily existence.

I’m trying to assimilate myself into their daily activities and schedules to observe, but no matter how much I try to be a fly on the wall, I seem to have overlooked that I’d be observed just as much. Just because it’s my job to watch the people around me and try to figure them out doesn’t mean I’m the only one who’s doing it.

My biggest fear coming out here was if these bands saw my presence as a threat to their privacy and personal security, but the MAH guys are quickly making me reevaluate my own personal boundaries and what aspects of myself I’m willing to share with others. Similarly, I’ve found that when I don’t share things, sometimes people are more than happy to fill in the blanks themselves with how they perceive them to be, regardless of how accurate or fair those perceptions are.

This tour has done much to educate me on the issue of trust and who is worth giving mine to. While there are a lot of cool people out here, I’ve yet to find a great many who are trustworthy. In fact, people worthy of nothing but distrust for the exact reason stated above seem more abundant, a lesson I painfully had to learn firsthand.

As a journalist, I pride myself on my integrity and the fact that I’m here to do a legitimate job. Somewhere along the way, my integrity was questioned by outside sources and I, in turn, questioned myself as to why I was even out here at all. It certainly knocked my faith in myself and my abilities, but then I realized if I survived these same social politics once in high school, I can do it again now, if that’s the case.

It’s funny sometimes how much Warped really is like high school again, except this tour is that whole four year span condensed into two months spent living in vans and buses. Relationships are pushed and accelerated so quickly on this tour that it seems like we’re only setting ourselves up for disappointment because the whole basis of said relationships – romantic, platonic, whatever – are shared situational instability.

And as anyone who has read High Fidelity can attest to, sometimes I wonder if that’s the only thing any of us are really wired for.