We had a day off in Prescott, AZ — half day, really. Steffen and Christian treated us to dinner at an Italian joint. Then I went back to the hotel and crashed in my cozy, mountain lodge luxury room. Yesterday morning, I went for a quick run in a park next to the mall where our hotel was located. It wound around next to a blessed freeway, but then led to dilapidated houses on dirt roads at looked just like rural Mexico. I found an old railway trestle and read all the signs explaining the railroad history of the area.

Christian and Steffen asked me to meet with them, so we sat in the lobby and they gave me a few pointers to work on for the show. They were meeting with everyone so it was nothing personal. I appreciated their requests and made sure to do them on the show.

I got ready for the show in my room, dialing up a YouTube makeup video but not quite achieving the eyeshadow look being shown. We bussed over to the venue around 4 pm. The center at Yavapai College was quite nice, though the actual theater was smaller than others we’ve played. Unfortunately, sound check was plagued with a few problems, so it wasn’t entirely surprising when the same issues reared their heads during the live show, though it did go well and the crew was good-natured and helpful. I’ve noticed that in life there are people who like to promise more than they can deliver. Once you realize that’s the situation, you recalibrate expectations to much more basic levels.

But here’s the crazy thing that happened to me. I have a penchant for running everywhere, regardless of footwear (or lack thereof). I was all zipped up in my sparkling red dress, and the costumer,a woman named Toby, had helped me figure out where to put my in-ear monitor body pack so that I could access it. The guys had all gone upstairs to the stage. I strutted past the mirrors, admiring my 6-inch stilettos. Then I ran up the stairs.

I tripped before getting to the first landing. As I fell I had a sickening sense it was going to be bad, but I struck out with my left arm and grabbed the railing. My whole body spiraled towards gravity while my arm held tight and my shoulder popped out of its socket. I stood still against the railing, unable to move. I saw a few guys up above standing in the wings and caught Javier’s eye. “Help” I said quietly. He didn’t move, but I said it again and again until he rushed down to me. He helped me get to the bottom of the stairs, holding me by the waist. I began swearing. I put my right hand on my torqued left shoulder and with a crunch it popped back in. Javier was holding me, going, “just breathe. Breathe.”

After a minute or two I went back upstairs with Javier and the costumer. Lucas, our stage manager, sent Toby out to get Tiger Balm. I don’t know how she got back so fast with it but there she was, rubbing it on my shoulder. The show started and I went out, fearful that it would pop out again. I played guiro, which I can play while not moving my left arm much. During Oye Como Va, our massive crowd pleaser, I was jumping up and down with the guys like a rock star. My bolero went over really well, and I used that energy that you sometimes have when you are overcoming some difficulty onstage to tap into a deeper vibe. At the encore, Lucas, who himself was ashen after a bout of food poisoning, said, “Get back out there, gimpy!”

This morning the guys cracked me up, imitating my stiff upper body when I was dancing. Apparently the audience didn’t notice anything. And I don’t care if I boast when I say I have earned the title of bad motherfucking road warrior!