They turned off the water this past Tuesday for nonpayment. I've been without water before -- on the road and living out. I know how to ration and prioritize. I've learned to survive on very little. That doesn't scare me. And even with no water, we still had a roof over our heads. We still had a comfortable bed. We even had a supply of clean water for coffee and cooking, and two rain barrels of water we could use for gray water for non-potable purposes. There was plenty of food and the ability to cook it. I knew we'd be ok until the snafu got fixed.
But I didn't like the idea of having to think like that... at home.
Most of the time when I'm off the road and at home I bounce between embracing everything I love about being home and feeling like a fraud. Over the years I've grown more accustomed to the domestic sphere; but I can't ever escape the sensation of being a baboon, lumbering around and trying really hard NOT to wreck the place. When they turned the water off --
I found myself wondering about the fleeting nature of high concepts like home and comfort.
It wasn't a question of panic. It was a question of being pissed off. Pissed that I'd let it happen. Pissed that I wasn't being mindful. Pissed because, even when I was drinking, I made sure utility bills were paid... or at least, paid down. Pissed.
But sometimes being pissed doesn't help. Anger can be a powerful, but dangerous motivator. Being pissed... that's a paralytic. And we didn't have time for that.
So, we rationed our clean water for us and for the dogs and cat. We had 6 gallons of clean water, which meant if we were careful, we could make it last more than long enough to get the bill paid.
Dream from the first night:
In the dream I was sitting around a fire in the middle of a dark, expansive wilderness. I've dreamed of this wilderness before, but not of this particular fire. Sitting around the fire with me were my dad, my grandfathers, Steve (my first ex-father-in-law). The other elders are there, too, but there are a lot of them and I can't make out their faces in the darkness. I'm holding my red Bybee coffee mug. It's warm and full of coffee. Dad, my grandfathers, and Steve were holding cups, too. The smell of coffee hugs the air, which is cool. Late autumn. I can't see any trees, but I know their limbs are almost stripped bare.
Looking down, I'm dressed in long sleeves for the weather. I'm wrapped in a blanket but can feel the chill of the night air on my fingers. My hands are covered with tattoos. The firelight makes it look like they are moving: the snake writhes under my sleeve and back down, a crow flies, fish swim. I think I can feel the tattoos moving up around my shoulders, up the back of my neck, and into my ears. No one is surprised by this. I'm not surprised by this either.
All at once there is a great wind and a stagecoach drawn by six white stallions rushes by. The horses eyes are lit with a fire that breaks the darkness ahead of them. I catch a hint of trees, the outline of houses, a trail I didn't know was there. None of my companions moved away from the road as the coach passed. Neither did I.
As it passed, I caught her scent and heard her laughter. I jumped up to follow her, but the darkness closed around the coach just as easily as it opened.
A voice -- not my dad's my grandfathers', or Steve's -- said YOU HAVE TO STAY. SHE HAS GONE AHEAD, AND YOU MAY NEVER BE READY TO FOLLOW.
I've taken more than my share of baths out of a sink. It's all about hitting the high -- and low spots. I have to admit, though, that even I took pause when I used bottled water for a whore's bath. I doubt that Paris Hilton felt as fancy as I felt with my daily ration of wash water.
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