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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.


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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