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  • Coming to the Light isn't always a Spiritual Experience -- that's why Nancy recommends wearing a Knitted Cap.


    Shit. I can't sleep. The damn flapping of the tent fly in the frickin' wind is driving me crazy. Aargh. Maybe if I turn to my stomach...but I don't want to flop around too much. Fred is already snoring. And that's not helping me either, I might add. He's found bliss, probably dreaming about the perfect projectile point he's going to find on tomorrow's archeology survey, and I truly don't want to disturb him.

    Maybe a sip of water would help. I feel like a child, willfully resisting sleep, asking for just one more drink. If I inch my fingers to the side pocket, I should be able to grab my water bottle. Grope, grope...success. Water tastes so good. Nothing like it when you're thirsty. The mountain air is as cold as my gulps of water, and my nose is numb. Better pull the sleeping bag up and breathe under the covers. I wish I'd worn fleece socks to bed. Right now I'd love to have a couple of bricks at my feet, warmed like my mom used to do on the space heater back home in Minnesota on those cold winter nights.

    Warm bricks, hand sewn quilts, and the early morning fragrance of bread, hot from the oven, melting butter infused with homemade strawberry jam. Mmmm. I recognize the drifty feeling as I float toward dreamland.

    What the Hell? I find myself sitting upright, unable to escape loud, scrabbling, explosive noises in my head. I know I'm psychotic now, agitated to an alternate reality by the infernal racket. I'm babbling incoherently, loud enough to wake the dead, and Fred.

    He shouts at me, "What's wrong?"

    "Help me!" I scream.

    "What can I do?" he says.

    "Save me!" I cry.

    I realize a bug has gone into my ear, and I'm sure it intends to gnaw its way to the center of my brain. I grab my water bottle and thrust it at Fred, hoping he'll understand I want him to try to flush the bug out. My lips move but my mouth forms no words. I gibber and moan. I communicate only by wildly clawing at my head.

    Fred finds his flashlight and focuses the beam into my ear. The racket intensifies, almost driving me out of my own skin.

    Then, silence.

    Fred slaps the tent floor. "Got him." A slightly crushed beetle dangles from Fred's finger-to-thumb pinch.



    - that's why I recommend wearing a knitted cap while sleeping in a tent.


    Photo of night woods from
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