Day 8 of 40, Wandering In the Wilderness without Facebook.
Sushi Dreams, City, True Believers and Tattoos
Another great night’s sleep. 12 hours in total, if you combine the 6 actual hours with the 6 hours in my dream, nestled in my parka, asleep in a vinyl, U-shaped diner booth at a sushi bar in Japan. We had to take the booth, because bar service was limited to one hour, while the booth would allow us to sit for three. Me and whoever was with me. Definitely a Japanese guide. I sat down at 1:34. I know this because the Sushi bar gave me a time-stamped ticket indicating when we began booth occupation. I told my host I was flat out exhausted. Next thing I know, I awake and it is 7:34 (sushi restaurant time) and the ticket has been updated. The section describing over-staying violations has been marked, 4:34: Time’s up. “Exhausted… Light business anyway, so okay.”
I popped awake, it was 5:34 “real time” and I was not wearing my parka.
In writing my memoir, I locate my hometown for the reader, against other invisible places in Nevada, using a technique useful for finding the Northstar. At the end of the Big Dipper, there are two stars. Draw a line through them and look upward on that line and you will find the North Star.
Likewise, you can get to Ely if you follow the line, sighting from Area 51, through artist Michael Heizer’s “City,” and continue on Northeast, make Ely “Polaris”. Both of these landmarks (scars, as much as the copper pits to the west of Ely are) were invisible to us growing up in the 1970’s, and only became “common” knowledge after satellite imagery made them available to us. City is billed as the largest land-sculpture ever, and patrons have poured $25 Million into its construction since it began in 1972.
Speaking of Ted Kaczynski…
I finished the Unabomber Manifesto. I was not thrilled to find that my father’s hero, philosopher Eric Hoffer, and his seminal book on mass movements “The True Believer,” were also favorites of Ted Kaczynski. The two men looked at them in opposite ways. Dad wanted to understand the phenomenon leading to the horrors caused by “true believers” in his native Nazi Germany. He lived there from 1937-1946, a mile from a satellite camp of Dachau — Fohrenwald. He knew of horrors. Kaczynski, on the other hand, saw “true believers” as essential to his revolutionary cause to destroy Industrial society. Were either of them “crazy” in their reaction to what they saw?
Finally, in discussing the odd coincidence of left-eye damage in our lineage (my son, I, my father, and his mother all had damage in or around the left eye), a doctor friend said,
“I can’t tell you have a scar.”
“Yeah, look closer… the dirt left behind from the surgery forms a kind of tattoo around my left eye.”
“You know what they call those?” my doctor friend asked. “Traumatic Tattoos.”
“Couldn’t be a better name, but only some are visible.”
For all these years before I got “actual ink,” I could have been answering “Yes” whenever anyone asked if I have a tattoo. Area 51, City, and the Ruth Pits are traumatic tattoos on the face of Nevada, no? The land never forgets.