Letters from the road: Nevada and California

I’m in a little restaurant-ish place in Baker, Nevada, just down the road from Great Basin National Park headquarters. I borrowed their wifi signal in the parking lot and felt bad about stealing it, so I came in here and got a root beer float. There’s a TV on in the background blaring a commercial for cheap life insurance that even the elderly can afford. I’m the only person in here — a small group walked in earlier, then turned around and left. Before that the owner was lecturing her son on the importance of trying harder. My new goal in life is not to be depressed by stuff like this. Of course the font of choice here is Papyrus.

Addendum: Man, the dates on this letter are all screwed up. Yesterday was the 25th, so yesterday’s entry [i.e., the part written in Colorado] should say Wednesday the 25th. And earlier today I thought it was the 27th, not the 26th. I really screwed up.

Here I am in the hospital. Yesterday a wild boar attacked me. It’s kind of a weird coincidence that I began this letter by gluing in the encyclopedia entry for wart hogs … I did that one month ago. I thought I could write right now, but I’m still too loopy on painkillers.

Monday morning in Santa Rosa, California! I’m in room 294 at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, recovering from injuries incurred during a rare and exciting form of human-pig communication known informally as “oh Jesus this wild animal is attacking me”. I’m rattled by the whole experience and making dumb jokes in what I suspect is a pretty transparent attempt to psych myself up.

I’m on one Percocet instead of two — two leaves me completely nonfunctional — and I’ve got an IV drip sending antibiotics into my arm, where my now no-longer-taken-for-granted circulatory system does a great job of sending those antibiotics down to my legs, where they’re fending off infection.

When I posted on Facebook that I was recovering here and invited Bay Area friends to visit me, a lot of people thought I was joking. Apparently I am like the boy who cried wolf, except instead I’ve been abusing people’s trust by shouting “wild boar” my whole life long. And now it occurs to me that I didn’t even explain what the hell happened, I just said “pig attack” and kind of left it there.

I’m still trying to figure out how to tell the story. I was talking to my friend Tom last night, and as much as I want to have a cool, macho-sounding story about fending off a wild pig, he still spent a lot of time listening to me cry while I tried to sort out how I feel.

What a weird summer. What a strange thing. A few days ago I was hiking through meadows in Nebraska Nevada watching clouds form and dissipate like I was a latter-day hippie vagabond, and now I have puncture wounds [lacerations is probably the more correct word] and staples in my legs and just enough meds in my system that I can write a letter but still confuse words that begin with the letter N. Thanks for backing my Kickstarter project.

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