It was a clear sunny day in Bishop, California. The date late November, 2008. As I placed my basket filled with squash, dates, apples, whatever the hell it was I deemed good to eat back then onto the conveyor belt. The clerk looked me in the eyes. “What happened to your face? You fall off a dirt bike or something?”
I smiled, “Bear got me on a bad day.” Shoved everything in my hand stitched sack, strolled out the door.
Explored the town for only a bit longer before assessing not much was going on. Drove onward into Death Valley as the sun set, found a dirt road somewhere off the map, and pulled over for the night.
I poured white wine into a purple mug, ate something I called dinner, fed the cat, and toasted the stars. The lack of city lights, the perfect desert air. It always is those deadly landscapes that have the softest air.
The sleep wasn’t easy. The cold cut my sleep sack and blankets. I was breaking into sweats, trying not to itch my inner thighs, arms, my face. Trying not to dissolve all the way before sun rise.
“What happened to your face?”
“Systematic poison oak, actually.”
Uncomfortable in my own skin, I couldn’t shake it for a month.
And now, I’ve got another fun affliction to battle down. Hope it won’t take that long!