|Ate some funky butter
and went strolling across the
playa with Sarah and Andi.
It was calm and sunny with low puffy white clouds after a couple of thrashing
high wind days. I don't know what was in the butter but it made me feel strange.
We were drawn to the jigsaw house, built in crazy quilt style of negative
space cuttings, remnants perhaps of those wood dinosaur skeletons you find
in museum shops and toystores for curious kids. Inside it was two stories
tall and packed for conflagration, heaps of logs and other wood scraps, at
one end was an altar. The people still adding to it explained it was a memorial
for a friend who died in a motorcycle crash, dead now just a few days. They'd
planned the structure together but he never got to see it; it hadn't been
intended as a memorial but that's the way it happened. The guy talking suggested
we all think of people we'd lost and that set me off. I thought about
Mom and started crying. I wanted to hug and
thank him but instead I turned away, hid my face, went outside where the
wind was picking up. Perfect for me because all I wanted was to get lost
in the storm, for no one to see me. I walked away in
and cape (an oily tarp someone had cut to size for me the previous night
as I shivered under the Space Virgin canopy), not wanting to be followed
I was soon swallowed up by dust, a sudden windstorm that whited everything
out and filled the air with sound that might have been mistaken for silence
it never changed. I squatted down, wrapped up in my cape, waited it out wondering
why I'd felt ashamed.