walk away

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August 31, 2000

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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 kilt 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.

andi took this picture of me