2003-09-18 12:45 a.m.
Friday afternoon, the heat is like a heavy burden that you almost get used to carrying around...but only almost. We are at C. and Sons outside of Willits. I am in Dave's RV; Dave sleeps on the grass near the gardens.
We slept in the RV last night, parked in a residential area that was completely uninteresting except for the abundance of stop signs—they were everywhere, like flies on a rotting whale in the summer. I love sleeping in an RV. I feel so alive and free—all the feelings of traveling.
An unexpected alarm jarred us from sleep at 8:30 AM—a Willits police officer banged his fist against our door. We ignored it for a while, but finally Dave opened to the door to see what they wanted. The nice man informed us that there was no camping allowed in the city limits. I looked around and saw no tents or poison oak or dirt or mosquitoes or any of the horrible things that define camping for me. All I saw was a refrigerator, an oven, cupboards, and wall tapestries. As far as I could see, we were not camping. Thank fucking god, too. I don't mind nature. I rather like it. I just don't want to touch it, that's all. But of course the police officer didn't mean that sort of camping. He meant that people who were not paying rent to someone who pays taxes which trickle into his pocket are disallowed from habitation within city limits. This is a rule mostly used to make homelessness illegal. But, today they decided that they would extend the law to also cover us. How generous!
I seem to remember going to buy some deoderant and diet cola at Ray's Food Place, AKA the grocery store with the stupid name. They didn't have bagels, though. I should have known that a store with such a stupid name would have had many fatal flaws. We went to Safeway—a much better name for a grocery store—and found what we needed, then promptly fell asleep again in their expansive, cop–free parking lot.
So, after a few hours of sleeping to the sweet–sounding song of people putting huge sacks overflowing with steak and margarine and frozen dinners and Home Run Pies in their overgrown pickup trucks we figured it was time to get out of dodge.
We didn't go straight to C. and Sons, as Dave wanted to go check out this swimming hole on the river. Our friends had been telling us about it for a few years, yet we had never been.
It was a perfect, rural swimming hole—a caricature of America: clear, beautiful water, a rope swing, water worn flat rocks lining the shores. Beer cans, bottles, and used condoms peered out from between the rocks. True to the American theme, someone was shooting an assault rifle somewhere in the valley—pop pop pop pop pop pop pop went the gun.
The water was cold enough to be invigorating, but luckily not quite cold enough to shrink my testicles to near–invisibility. But from the looks of them they were definitely considering a retreat up towards my throat as an appealing option.
We swam only far enough to get to a rock to get out of the water and sit on, where we talked about relationships. Well, not so much relationships in general as much as the specific one which I used to have, until nine days ago when it ended without my consent. I feel safe talking with Dave, as he is calm and accepting, yet he will not hesitate to call me on my crap and force me to take responsibility for that which is my problem. Nobody else does that like he does, and I am lucky to have a friend like that.
Our next stop was C. and Sons. Imagine the magical collision of the following elements: gardens, wood–fired hot tubs, fountains, animals, flowers, fires, statues, grass fields, kiwi plants, ponds, and an abundance of gentle people. Seriously, it's like heaven, only closer.
Once we leveled the RV, I spent the rest of my day hooping, playing backgammon, swimming, and stuffing my face with more food than that 80's rap band The Fat Boys would eat in a week. That is, if one of them wasn't dead from eating too much food.
And now I will divorce myself from the iBook and head back to the soft, sweet grass for more extreme relaxation!
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