05sep00... I turned 32!
I went on a tour of the VT forensics lab on Wednesday. High point was the ballistics guys who have all sorts of weird containers into which they can shoot guns. They have a three story tube that goes straight down and is filled 60% with water. They had rooms and rooms filled with various weaponry. They loved their jobs. When there is a situation anywhere in Vermont that requires their attention, they are paged and head to the scene. This can make for some pretty filled up weekends. The drug lab guy was also neat. I asked far fewer questions than I wanted to.
I moved my bed a few months ago so I sleep staring straight out the sliding glass doors. There is nothing out that direction -- where my backyard is -- except a zillion stars. It's hit 20 degrees here at night. The woodstove makes up for the broken furnace.
I have had visitors every day I've been back. Monday is my first solo day. On Wednesday I go to court, courtesy of a friend/stranger/reader from New Hampshire who is going to take a day off and give me a lift. I am truly blessed.
I am hoping this whole incident does not turn me into a rabid car lover. I went to the post office yesterday to pick up a veritable shitload of backlogged mail and asked the post office if I could get my mail delivered to my house for the next four weeks. Answer: "can't you get someone to get it for you?" Hard to explain that I have alienated nearly everyone in town with my Take Back Vermont antics, and while my crazy neighbor is decent, I don't want him reading my postcards. So, the answer seemed to be "unless you want to whine and complain a whole lot, no." Hell. It is four miles to the the post office. I have legs and a bicycle. And a fair amount of visitors coming. You could be among them.
I had a scary dream that I came back to Vermont and my brain wasn't all back and I was horrifying everyone I talked to with my low IQ.
One of my strongest memories of Burning Man is waiting out a windstorm in a place called Comfort. When I windstorm hits, the two big rules are 1) don't look at it 2) get the hell inside. I was nearby Church of Mez's pad and stopped in. They we playing Wagner at high volumes and had a lot of dusty couches and some room to spare. As the winds hit 70 mph outside, everyone inside just chilled as if nothing was awry, though they did try to take the video projector down from the ceiling. Every ten minutes or so, a guy would show up wearing what I remember as a frogman outfit, but I think it was just goggles and a camelback. He brought in food, wine, more food, drugs, whatever. He was the hospitality guy. At one point he was just hucking chocolate bars into the amassed crowd of about 40-60 people. Top level link for more photos is here.
I ordered a second phone line on Monday and it was installed Tuesday morning at 7:30. How's that for service? I now have an incoming phone line when I work during the day, much to the pleasure of telemarketers everywhere.
Every time I return, it's more beautiful here than I remember.
Woo hoo, back on board with the laptop! Hospital forms are fun.
Walked around Walden Pond today and noticed that the leaves have been changing colors while I have been really self-absorbed. Tomorrow I head to Vermont. I have a big paint sprayer, a lot of movies [thanks Matthew and Michelle] and huge stacks of paperwork, to be supplemented by big stacks of mail. I cannot remember a time in my adult life before when I have gone without my postal mail for over a month. This will really be something.
In the Life's Little Ironies department, my sister got her driver's license today. Nice going Kate!
On Tuesday, my brain came back to me. I felt like I could really think, finally, and was anxious to tackle all the dopey logistical problems this mess has caused. Foremost among them: getting truck from Michigan [mostly dealt with]; getting me to VT [all set]; getting in touch with my housesitter [yes!]; making sure P/Zesto can remain fat and happy through all this [of course]; paying the roofers for even more work [check]; writing more thank you notes to everyone involved [ongoing]; co-ordinating houseguest visits [yay!]; answering email [sorry to have been so vague about all this]; and having a real goddamned birthday [thanks everyone].
The EEG and MRI were a complete trip, in different ways. Pictures on the way [there is no reason to believe me on this]. 48 hours later, my doctor called. For the first time in my life, I was deliriously happy to be called Normal. Hairwashing, or lack thereof, was no big deal. Dreadlocks ahoy!
I had a dream that I had completed my trip on the road, my nipple ring intact. My friends think maybe the accident has made me psychic and tell me I can only use my powers for good. I head to Vermont on Saturday.
Actually I am fine except my brain, which betrayed me -- though I guess it could say the same about me.
Monday I go in for an EEG and an MRI. Back to back. The EEG folks say "wash your hair!" in the info sheet they give you. I called them to say "look, I really have a good shot at getting my dreadlocks back, with all this playa dust and everything, and why exactly do you need our hair washed...?" The lady on the other end of the line said that if I had dreadlocks I would just have to brush them out [?] and wash my hair. I wonder if running bleach through it is the functional equivalent of washing it?
So, the bigger deal is that I can't drive for six months [this is medically, not legally] which is making Vermont either into this beatific unrealistic pipe dream, or this hardscrabble rustic existence in which I learn to hitchhike and eat wild berries, all while telecommuting from my living room. Anyone who was thinking of visiting sometime, this next six weeks is your chance. Driving Miss Jessamyn indeed!
Sorry for the lack of pix, my Mom has an iMac and I have a Mavica, they do not compute. All will become much more clear when I finish my well-illustrated purgative essay about the whole mess, my apologies for the hold up.
Never made it to Cleveland. Got into an accident [for those of you keeping track, this is the second in four days] that was entirely my fault and injured no one but me, and no car but mine. In fact, I am mostly fine except for the bruising, but was in a Michigan City [IN] hospital for three days. I can't really talk about the whole thing right now without sounding overly dramatic [which is how I feel about it: "I almost died!"] or too flip [because I survived it: "I spit death in the face"], so I'm going to leave it for now. Working on a photo essay called The ICU stole my nipple ring, be warned.
At the risk of sounding maudlin, I have never looked so lovely to myself as I do right now -- teeth and face intact -- and that is the feeling I hope to bring forward out of this experience, not the "I am an incredible dumbass" sensation that pervades most of my waking moments.
Only eight hours on the road yesterday. Minneapolis to Chicago. Peter decided to fly back and TCB [after a realistic assessment that getting to VT in two days was going to be tricky at best] and so me and Chet hit the road after a really lovely morning in St. Paul. My dashboard is covered in wildflowers, sesame sticks and misc GPS gear.
It's been weeks since I've gotten to be in a car by myself, even longer since I've been able to be in my car by myself. After the hectic hypersocial playa, and a lot of co-travelling, it's been pleasant to be on my own. ETA at one of my many homes is probably Sunday.
Send postcards to: box 14 west topsham vt 05086
Thanks for all the birthday wishes.
We spent yesterday dealing with what happened the day before: a head-on collision at 30 mph in Peter's new [to him] car. I wasn't in the car [if I had been, AAA would be paying for this leg of the trip] and everyone, including the 18 year old driver who was at fault, is okay. The car is totalled. The insurance company is pokey. We have places to be. In about 15 minutes, we go grapple with the rental car company to get us a ride to Minneapolis.
As we make the millionth call to the umpteenth adjuster, agent, official and functionary, all I keep thinking of is that I spent Friday night sleeping in a geodesic dome with eleven other people while fireworks and a windstorm screeched outside.
I turn 32 tomorrow. Today I nurse my sprained/broken wrist, apply moisturizer and sunscreen, enjoy the sights in Boulder, return email, write postcards, drink fluids, recover from 22 hours of driving, prepare for 15 hours of driving, eat cheeseburgers like there's no tomorrow and take long naps with a big grin on my face.
Absurd understatement of the week: Burning Man was fun. More to follow, soon.