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November 26th, 2007 · No Comments

Lately I can’t find the right place to sleep, and I end up circling the town a few times before I can make up my mind. I’m not sure if this means that I’ve been here too long or that I should stay, but the other day someone compared my midnight loops to the way Bro turns in circles and scratches the ground before laying down. I could always park in my sister’s driveway, but then I would wake up in her world instead of my own. I don’t like to over-use my regular spot, but it’s cold and I don’t feel like blending in in a parking lot either. I make two big circles all around town before I park in my regular place, not far from the road but hidden from it. I think there might be something wrong with my brain because I never do this, park in one place so much, and of all places this is a place where I should be extra stealthy.

The added bonus of all this driving around is heat. By the time I stop the driver’s seat is toasty warm and the rest of the van is a heck of a lot warmer than outside, which is five below or so. I climb into the back, pulling my boots after me, and undress quickly in the cool air. I left my night clothes in my sister’s washing machine.

I have to do this strange levitation/jamming trick to wedge myself between the bed and the down comfortors that are tight against the ceiling. The fabric is ice cold, but the down is soon holding my body heat and bathing me in it. It’s a special treat to sleep naked, to feel the smooth fabric and prickly feathers and whole warming process against my skin. I lay on my back and feel the feather bed under me warming slower than the feathers aboe me. The condensation of my breath tickles my face as it tries to find a place to settle between my mouth and the ceiling.

Under my shoulder the phone vibrates, then rings. I keep it there at night so the cold won’t sap all the life out of the battery. It’s Hat-Ma in the phone. We talk Montana, Florida, Wyoming, North Dakota, Georgia, Texas, and where the hell we’re going.

When we hang up the phone beeps again and it’s a text from Davka, who can’t call because her cell phone company thinks Alaska is a whole other country. I call her back. She’s staying up all night writing, and in my mind I can see her buried in journals and loose peices of paper in her apartment, probably smoking cloves. We talk about relationships and how it seems like so many people in this culture are just looking for someone who will give them a safe space to play out their childhood traumas and attatchments. It’s so hard in this world to know how to create a good relationship. We think that the answer is in a shared mythology of each other, but there are so many problems there, too.

I think it’s important not to let the wrong myths draw you outside of your core, and Davka says this is so important in stripping, too, in knowing your boundaries and doing what you love. Davka wants to create a myth, I want to find one, or maybe it’s the other way around.

This whole time I’ve been wanting to read her a poem I found, but I haven’t wanted to get out from under the blankets, where it’s now very toasty warm. Finally it’s unavoidable: I have to pee. I explain this to Davka and start telling her about this author as I wiggle and levitate out of my bed and van.

“Wait,” she says when I pause. “Are you naked in the snow peeing at five below right now?”

Yeah. I am.

Tags: The day-to-day of it all · Van Living

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Irishman // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Nice narrative, Tara. I feel like I’m there. And the condensation ‘tickling’ resonates with me. I had a similar experience in a yurt some years ago, at ten degrees above zero. Until I read that, I couldn’t describe how it felt … thanks for reminding me. :mrgreen:

  • 2 Misstasty // Nov 27, 2007 at 1:10 am

    And I thought I was cold because the heat is off in my Berkeley apartment right now! Your bed is probably actually warmer than mine (i can’t sleep naked) but I feel like a big baby now. Thanks for giving me some perspective on what cold really means (and I’m a former Chicago girl, I shouldn’t need reminding!)

  • 3 dodger // Nov 27, 2007 at 7:04 am

    I don’t know for sure if it’s a simile or a metaphor, but I loved your comparison of circling town to that of Bro’s pre-bedding ritual. As for naked and peeing in the snow, well, funny and strangely steamy. Err, umm…erotic. Speaking of levitation… Okay, I must leave now. 😆

  • 4 ShanaRose // Nov 27, 2007 at 11:37 am

    “I think there might be something wrong with my brain because I never do this, park in one place so much”

    Here’s a viable option to consider, Mars Retrograde (if you like).
    “Mars retrograde is tremendously powerful, although the energy is not well -suited for forward motion. It is very well suited, however, for reinforcing or strengthening some aspect of your life.”

    On another note…
    “It’s so hard in this world to know how to create a good relationship. We think that the answer is in a shared mythology of each other, but there are so many problems there, too.”
    A shared mythology of each other.
    “And this is not Stonehenge
    simply nor any place but the mind
    casting back to where her solitude,
    Shared, could be chosen without loneliness,
    not easily nor without pains to stake out
    the circle, the heavy shadows, the great light.”
    -Adrienne Rich
    This is amazing.

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