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UNHAPPY CAMPERS

Dreamed 1997/9/1 by Chris Wayan
For Steve White, lamplighter of Burning Man, in memory of ten thousand hideous puns

I'm on a long journey with friends, in my old hippie bus. We planned just a weekend trip, but getting home has turned into a major struggle--it's already been days, with more to come. I'm not sure why--it's only a few hundred miles. My friends are frustrated and getting impatient. We've started to quarrel.

We camp each night in state parks or national forests. Our VW bus is quite a makeshift camper: in back, a plywood bed with foamrubber pads. Perfectly usable, but the others are unhappy with the set-up, and they each brought their own weird gear. One has a big bundle of hooked plastic sticks, like giant insect legs--a hammock-frame? Another brought a couple of his own pads he fusses over--they must be in a certain order and at certain angles in the car. A third erects the frame of a little round yurt inside the van. He wants more privacy--okay, but couldn't he build his yurt outside, or just let me cover the windows at night in a simpler way? I do have crude little clip-on curtains made from torn sheets. But no, they aren't good enough...

I admit I'm losing patience with them, too. It's true that I tire out if I drive very long, but I don't understand why this trip is stretching on and on and on. Why's our progress so slow? And so miserable? This was supposed to be fun.

IN THE MORNING

Writing the dream down, I start to get dizzy, and my visual field actually wobbles for a minute. Haven't had such an attack in at least a year--used to get them occasionally when I was exhausted and severely stressed. The doctors said they were very mild epileptic-type attacks centered in the hippocampus--not serious, as long as I didn't work to exhaustion.

But I have been--working myself to death, in fact. So now I pay the price:

Unhappy campers in a hippie camper in my hippocampus.



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