Art by mail: Badlands porthole

Postcard collage of Badlands, porthole, and elaborate costume

Message from postcard:
Hi Ron — You had made a special request that you wanted to get something genuine, and as I try to think of some serious subject matter to blather on, I’m listening to a Portland band called S.K. and the Punk-Ass Bitches sing, “It’s all about the money, it’s all about the cash, I want to sign a big, fat record deal.” Which, who knows, maybe that was genuine for them.

Right now my genuine concerns are actually along the same lines. Not so much about a big, fat record deal, but rather the money and the cash, specifically in the form of the huge deductible on my budget-rate health insurance policy. The tentative plan is to call up the hospital’s financial services group and set up a five-hundred-year payment plan. (If you haven’t been keeping up with my web updates, I got a little tossed around by a wild pig.) On the flip side, I’m genuinely happy to still have both my legs and both my dogs.

I’m spending some time recuperating in the Bay Area while I wait for a follow-up appointment with the doc who stitched me back together. Yesterday I met up with a friend who lives in Oakland, and we drove up to the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond. A park ranger there saw my bandages and asked what happened to my legs. When I told her, her first follow-up question was, “Did it happen on public land?” It’s tempting to think that answering in the affirmative could have dramatically increased the National Park Service’s pig management budget.

This morning I went out for brunch with a former co-worker, and tonight I’m going to a barbecue that a chemist friend from college invited me to. Being in a big city for a few days has begun to feel like normal adult life, which has me thinking a lot about settling down after all this travel and starting to work on the next chapter of my life.

I love and miss Iowa, my home state, but my feelings on the place are too complicated to sum up here, and I don’t think I’ll be making another attempt at putting roots down there. I have a hard time feeling at home in places, and the only times I’ve ever really felt at home were living in Iowa, and also traveling this summer with no home. Life is complicated…

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