That day her lecture included Eugene O'Neill and Susan Glaspell who ended up at the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown back around 1915. I can only imagine what Provincetown looked like back then, but whatever it was I'm sure it was what my idea of what heaven looks like. Desolate, surrounded by nature and life and death. Yes, death is very close to you in nature, it's this close, just the short distance you make between your thumb and your first finger.
I've needed to get away for a long time now. To one of those places. People close to me can hear me grinding my teeth as I sit next to them. Nowadays there really aren't any more Tangiers and Provincetowns, but there are places where you can duck and cover. Last night Sue and I booked plane tickets for three weeks to southern Utah. Edward Abbey country. Three weeks camping and living in the backcountry. Peace. The stars. The simple life where everything you need and own is on your back. Where it doesn't matter who you know or who likes you, if you're going to get from Point A to Point B you have to carry your pack yourself and you have to get there yourself. No special favors. No buzz. No electronic devices. No Internet.
The last time we were out that way we loaded up Sue's sister Stacey's Pathfinder and took off. When it got dark we found a dirt road and drove down it and pitched camp. We washed in gas station restrooms, and talked and laughed. One night we camped in a hunters' camp. Tripods were still spread over fire pits. Deer parts were scattered, and steer grazed over the hill; we woke to their lowing. The last night I crawled out of the tent to relieve myself. Overhead broad-shoulder Orion hunted Taurus with trusty Sirius at his feet, and coyotes howled.
I need more of this. If you read my work, you'll know it is here where I get my ideas. When I write, "It is after sunset, the evening before tomorrow. Afterglow radiates over the horizon. The steady whooshing sound of traffic on the Interstate can be heard with the occasional grinding and grumbling of a semi. The setting is a pastoral patch of weeds filled with grasses and wildflowers and prickly pear with the paper and plastic detritus of civilization caught in their stems and thorns," it is because I've lived it, too, along with my characters.
Here's a little taste of what it will be like. Two thousand years of ghosts. And the song is very appropriate.