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In a little over 36 hours, I'll be on my way to Black Rock City. I've constructed my hexayurt (according to documented standards, with approved materials, etc), obtained necessary costuming materials, secured appropriate rebar, and have assembled both food and water with the help of a friend, who has been massively patient while I try to learn the basics of certain hand tools and wiring.

In the last 24 hours, I have: obtained a bitching haircut, had some truly quality conversation with my stylist on BRC and environs, found a bitching gardener, set more of my affairs in order, consolidated my materials and tools obtained good reading material from a friend, and managed to effectively deal with the onset of depression, the kind that comes from the end of any large build project I've ever worked on. Tomorrow, I'll do my finishing touches and swamp cooler and get the rest of my packing list.

My hair looks like a glorious goddamn peacock. It's excellent. There's apparently UV dye in it.

I feel like I've gone through a cycle of seeing what I can do and what I can deal with over the last week, and I feel really good about it. I also feel really good about where the boot tracks on my soul are. Finally, in this vein: it's good to know where the limits are so one can aim to surpass 'em.

Yesterday I was seized with a fit of inspiration as fit is the only way I can think of to explain the madness that led to me wrenching my back while moving furniture. For some unknown reason I thought it would be a good idea to move our couch out of our fairly good sized living room into our much smaller TV room. Ages ago we procured a small wheeled cart that is a wondrously helpful device when stationary heavy things need to be moved, but I eschewed Roll-E cart as we affectionately have named him. At first things went well. Our couch is not that large, and we were able to transport thirty percent of the couch without mishap. Getting the second portion moved was more difficult. We were more than halfway down the hall when the leg in my left hand twisted.

That morning I had visited the chiropractor. He saw me riding my bike to my appointment, and in a Secret Life of Walter Mitty manner I immediately saw myself forty pounds thinner with a bronze glow that practically guaranteed I had recently consumed my share of energy gels on a thirty-five mile fun run. Naturally cancer was cured, there was peace in the Middle East, and even the lively hotbed of political unrest in the Midwest had settled into a more mundane Ferguson with various clergy members banding together to prevent further violent police and protestor interactions. We set the couch down, and I saw that the room was smaller than I had thought it would be with the couch in it.

Several years ago my daughters had given me a set of three pound weights. When I hefted the orange duo, I felt resistance. A sticky residue accompanied my pull, and I felt sick to my stomach when I saw the finish on my cedar lined nightstand form spidery filaments. My brother has a reputation for saying few words that pack a punch, and as I stared out at the coffee colored stain on a mattress we owned, his comment about people storing their wordly possessions on their porch resonated deep within me. Back in the living room I found that the lipstick red loveseat didn't look half bad in a room that size.

Then I saw the picture I had purchased at a local thrift shop. It's large. A black framed Oriental piece with gold edges, the glass covering a vase of stunning proportions with a graceful bird perched atop of it. Two corpulent figures go with my vase, and I had to save to get my berobed dignitary with the turquoise beads and his wife. They went well with my chianti colored L shaped sectional, and clashed horribly with my loveseat. Nothing went well with it apart from a black and gilt framed picture of two people dancing on top of a phonograph that I hung where the vase had been.

When I saw the vintage tube radio at Goodwill I thought that it might work at home if it didn't in the store, and was gratified to hear the crystal clear airwaves in my room. I have an alarm clock whose reliable tick-tock comforts me, and its only quirks are the inability to keep time accurately, and it will stop altogether unless it faces downward. My white iron bed set me back ten whole dollars, we have a Westinghouse fan that lacks a cord, but goes well with my clock and my lifeless radio. At another thrift store I found a redhead and a dark haired girl wearing a sailing cap along with a blue bikini top and red bottoms.

My desk has no drawers at the moment. Yesterday I sat down with my ten cent notebook, three for thirty cents at Office Max, and I wrote with disregard for trees, ink, or my hand that trembled as my pen from the bank spewed crude fountains of ink. I want to write a book. I am writing a book. But I never set the book aside and say, now it is time to edit. Instead I start afresh, utterly convinced that this time, what I really want and need to say will appear on the screen of the laptop that has seen better days. My carpeting needs to be replaced. We talk about adding on to our garage when we don't have health insurance. But I have a nice car that's fun to drive.

This morning I tackled the dishes on my countertops, seeing them not as cluttered and filthy, but as cool matte black slabs of concrete since a teller at the bank told me she's getting new countertops and now I'm envious of her kitchen that I have yet to see. My sister is getting married. At a private ceremony in New Hampshire. Were I to be invited, I could not afford to go. My foreign exchange student whom I love and miss is also getting married. In Japan. I have been invited, but will remain in Wisconsin with my strange amalgamation of art work that possibly goes together only in my head, and never on my walls.

In an effort to rescue my dignity I went to a discount store, hey, it wasn't a thrift store, and bought an off white table that is cheaply made. We have two television sets. My dreams of a yoga studio where I'm zen af collide with the reality of my discolored carpeting, 70s style paneling and a horrific wall of what could be sidewalk remains that border my fireplace. It has never been used. There is no sheepskin before it and the steamy prototypical sex scenes where the people leave wine glasses for each other is a figment of my overly active imagination. Today my therapist called me.

I blurted out that I had been reading about psychiatric disorders. They're fascinating so I read about schizophrenia instead of squirting soap into my rubber bucket and scrubbing my depression away. I went through clothes yesterday and condensed my ill conceived wardrobe into a single basket. I have no athletic socks. Not a single pair. This distresses me. I am anguished, forlorn, inconsolable. I bought school supplies that are still in fabric totes because I know how to buy bags that last. This brings me small comfort. I have a red, white, and blue comforter that is not organic cotton, but the color scheme is cheerful and matches my bed.

There is new paint in cans, a ceiling fan to be hung. Our windows are relics of what low budget glass could be installed for during 1962 when our home was built. In my mind I have a patio outside of my dining room where birds gather. A heated bird bath can provide water for drinking and bathing when my feathered friends are desperate. I have no plans to put in a patio since I don't have a door, but I yearn for this space where I can walk outside and sit there like I'm a genuine nature lover instead of someone who fancies themself an enthusiast. Today I ate carrots, green beans, and sardines for lunch. I made my own dill dip and it was good. My daughter likes it better than the store bought variety which is thick and too salty.

Saying goodbye to furniture you've become emotionally attached to is difficult. My plants were overwatered so I set them outside. My blue agave has never been happier. The Wandering Jew has feathery white spikes that I think may be mold. The pot is so heavy I have trouble moving it towards the sun by myself. The orchid that I thought would die appears to be growing. My bougainvillea is full and lush, without any of the blooms it sported last year. The branches are thick and I marvel at the five foot tall plant that I had hacked at last fall. Things are alive, green, growing, my home is full of possibilities. I get along better with my daughters.

The girls each have their own towel now. We have too many towels, but none of them are the towels of my dreams. Thin seersucker in cheerful stripes that would transform the bathroom that was tiled in pale blue way back when. I have black rocks in a clay pot, a shower curtain I bought at Goodwill, ditto for the liner. There is a travel sized bottle of shampoo and conditioner in the shower that smells like Ylang Ylang, geranium, and lemon. When I can't breathe we use essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree that my daughter tells me eases her congested chest. Today I put out plates of lime, grapefruit, lavender, and basil. Always, I feel better after the oils diffuse.

Life is not as bad as I think it is at time, nor will it remain as joy filled as I believe it can be when things are going well. My plan is to replace the off white carpeting in the living room with a diamond pattern of black and white tile that is interrupted every so often by blue and yellow squares. There are several vintage Perrier ads that I can purchase and have framed. They are reproductions. I don't care. The colors make me happy. What am I really afraid of? I'm not sure. The fear billows up, I tell myself that nothing I can do will be right, but rooms can be repainted, and pieces rearraged.

This morning I took a nap. I had a strange dream that a friend of mine who may or may not really be my friend was heir to the hotel that her mother runs. She showed me the bath products and I was enthralled before I went off in search of my sheets. We passed a man, another man, we found sheets that were red, white, and blue, but none of these sets belonged to me. They were faded, floral, or the wrong size. I wanted to go to the store I saw in my dream. I've seen it before, yellow-gold walls that pulse with light. Baskets of earthy vegetables, bright fruits, the store is sun drenched and I want to pick the mood up to take it home with me. When I woke up and I was back in Wisconsin. But the vision remains. There is help for me. That is what the dream says. I smile, grab my pillow, and drift back to sleep.

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