PG And OD Go To Tennessee
Tuesday September 25
At one pm Monday, September 24, PG thought he was going to be home all week. It was not a bad prospect. Life if neo Brookhaven is good. Suddenly, a message appeared from OD, who had a vehicle and was willing to drive to Short Mountain. An agreement was made to go at nineish Tuesday morning.
At 10:15 Tuesday, a Ford pickup truck drove past the house, with PG waving at the driver. The truck turned around, and came back to get PG. The Tennessee adventure was on. The ride was full of conversation, but little highway drama. The truck pulled in front of the barn a little bit before the second lunch bell.
At Short Mountain Sanctuary, there are two camping options. The yurt yard is next to the knoll, and is much less walking than the ridges behind the garden. The down side is the noise from the knoll, and frequent visits from goats. PG has a bum knee, which should not be confused with a knee bum. The idea was to walk as little as possible, which is still going to be a good bit. An empty spot was found in the yurt yard. The Tennessee mountain home was soon going up.
The idea is to set the tent up, and throw a tarpaulin over it. A rope is run to the nearest tree, and an you have instant shelter. The tent PG has is 26 years old. There is a door zipper which does not like to work. PG had taken it out of storage a few days earlier, had zipped and unzipped this door, and it seemed to be working.
The best place for the tent seemed to be a spot at the edge of level ground, with a steep drop inches away. That night, PG discovered that this was not a good location for the tent. An unsteady knee does not like to take the first step outside on 45 degree land. This problem would have to wait until Wednesday to be fixed.
At some point Tuesday, PG was on the back porch. This is a dangerous place to be during dinner prep. Gabby had a bowl of something called almost waldorf salad, and was looking for someone to mix in mayonnaise. This is done with your hands, your fingers diving into a sea of cut up fruit. Hand washing is encouraged.
Tuesday was not a good night. After eating too much casserole and fistfucker salad, PG decided to go to sleep. The talent show was going on, and the audience appreciation would not allow sleep in the yurt yard. PG decided to get up, tried to open the tent door, and the zipper was not working. It would connect for a few inches, miss a few inches, and the connect again. PG was very concerned. The goats like to check out tents when humans are away. Even though PG does not keep food in his tent, he did not want to have a four legged investigation, with or without a search warrant.
So PG wandered around, talked to some people around the fire, and saw the end of the talent show. Eventually he went back to his tent, after almost tumbling down the hill trying to get in. After laying on the ground, thinking unpleasant thoughts, PG got up to pee. When he got back inside the tent, he tried to close the door zipper using the outside pull. The door zipper came together without a problem. Maybe this journey was going to work out after all.
Wednesday September 26
After breakfast, playback theater convened on the knoll. A dozen or so people did dramatic exercises, and then performed stories. The narratives come from the lives of the players. PG told the tent door story of the night before. The person playing PG taking a piss was a six foot four inch tall transperson. In another story, PG played the alcoholic mother of a no good roommate.
Adjustments were made to the Tennessee mountain home. The tent was moved back a few feet, and the tarp positioned accordingly. There was some background sounds while this was going on. A tent on the other side of the yard emanated the sounds of two people having a very, very good afternoon. Meanwhile, three tents up on PG’s side, a Kiwi-Filipino pair played ukeleles, and sang Abba songs.
Wednesday had the most fabulous dinner of the gathering. The theme was “Night of a thousand Agneses”. (Agni? Agniece?) The namesake queen has been a faerie fixture for years and years.
PG saw an Agnes show in New Orleans once. Her and then partner Gabriel danced and tried on outfits, while the crowd shouted put it on, put it on. The reason why people call them drag queens is because they are always dragging bags of costumes around.
And indeed, there were dozens of fabulous outfits on display. Everyone was Agnes. When you got to the kitchen, the dinner was arranged on the plate as a caricature of the eponymous diva. After dinner was some enthusiastic drumming by the fire, and a night of much improved sleep.
Thursday September 27
Thursday started out smoothly enough. PG brought a paper cup to the kitchen, got some coffee, and went back to his tent. He left this cup in the drink holder of his chair, and went back to the house. When he returned, his neighbors told him a goat had been licking the inside of the cup.
After a while, PG thought it would be fun to take pictures. He took shirt, pants, and shoes off, grabbed the camera, and walked towards the back of the yurt yard, There were a few pictures made of goat activity, especially of one short, dark furred animal. She came over to PG, and started to rub her horns against the back of his leg. We will call this animal Zette, which may or may not be her real name.
PG did not appreciate this, and tried to push Zette away. Every time PG pushed away, Zette pushed back a bit harder. Fighting a goat one handed is a losing proposition, and PG was starting to worry. By this time, Zette was taking a step back, and charging into PG, who kept stepping away, trying to declare a truce. There was no place to hide.
A longtime resident, who we will call Joe Floor, saw the action. Joe grabbed Zette by the horns, and dragged her to the ridge behind the yurt yard. Joe knows how to talk to goats. When Joe released Zette, she started to scratch her rear paws, as if getting ready for some serious charging. Joe grabbed her by the horns, and shoved her face into the ground. Zette learned that this was not going to be tolerated.
Later in the day, PG sat down in his chair. The camping furniture had been rescued from a garbage pile a few weeks earlier. It’s ease of transportation got it included on this trip, and until Thursday afternoon it was a good choice. When you sit in a fabric seat, and hear threads breaking under your weight, you think maybe you should have taken another chair.
The rest of the day was a symphony of sloth. There was an ice cream social two ridges over. The vehicle driving there was going up the driveway as PG finished lunch. The art opening was not what PG wanted to be doing, even if the cake was spectacular. The next move was into the kitchen, which is not a good thing to do when you are bored. There was a pile of garlic waiting to be shelled and pressed. PG got through most of it, until he could not squeeze the press any more.
After a nap, the dinner turned out to be pretty good. At the fire, PG found a drum that make good sounds without ruining your hands. There was a movie showing in the pavilion. It was about a young man who studied violin at Who Lee Yard. “Was that as difficult to play as it was to listen to?”
Friday September 28
Friday got off to a roaring start… not to be confused with Arora Thunder ,,, with a breakfast of rice, granola, hot sauce, and coffee. The dog’s breakfast is alive and well. Speaking of which, the sanctuary has two dogs now. Sharday has been joined by Biscuit. The canines show great patience towards the overdressed visitors. Rumors of a Biscuit and gravy dinner turned out to be reckless hearsay.
PG thought that maybe he could sit on the edge of his chair, but the fabric continued to rip further asunder. There was a pile of wood by the fire (duh,) and some of the logs had a flat cut on one side. PG found one that was just a cat’s hair wider than the chair frame, and secured it with bicycle innertube bungee. The contraption was surprisingly comfortable.
By this time, the faerie gathering lifestyle had sunk in. A trip to the house could take two hours, with all the stops for conversation along the way. Whole sun drenched afternoons float away. PG spent some time with his book, Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen. It is a crime story with lots of bloodshed, crookiness, and weirdos. PG enjoyed the sensation of drifting between the alternative realities of the yurt yard, and Miami plastic surgery. “I stopped counting the bodies at seven. The higher the pile of corpses, the less clothing and/or morals.” Those amazon commenters just have a way with words.
PG picked up the book Thursday, after missing the ride to the ice cream social. There was a typo on page 27 of the First Ballantine Books Edition: October 1990. A young lady named Tina turns up not missing on page 25. The name Tina appears five times on page 26. In the 7th line of page 27, Tina became known as Tiny. She went back to being Tina the rest of the story.
Saturday September 29
Saturday was more of the slack gathering lifestyle. The most energetic PG got was attending the heart circle. Someone drew the Moon card from the Tarot deck, which was considered an omen of harvest moon synchronicity. Some powerful stories were shared in this circle.
After dinner, PG got into the drumming with a bit more vigor than was wise. He began to feel sleepy, and went to sleep soon after the full moon ritual. It turned into a replay of Tuesday night, with the noise from the knoll harmonizing with the noise in PG’s head. One day the mind/body chemistry will allow PG to be happy more of the time, or at least to avoid nights like Harvest Moon Saturday.
Sunday September 30
Sunday was another slack day. The sunshine was hidden behind ominous clouds, and rumors of nasty weather were rampant. After dinner, a joke telling circle got started on the back deck.
Why can’t Unitarians sing? Because they are looking at the next line to see if they agree with it.
This girl asked her daddy if she could use the pickup truck. Yes, you can use it, but you have to give me a blow job first. The girl pulled his pants down, and was about the taste the sausage when she threw her head back in dismay. Dayaddy, your diiyick tastes like sheeyit. Oh yeah, your brother had to use the truck this morning.
Monday October 1
This was to be the leaving day for PG and OD. The rain came in Sunday night, and by accounts was going to get worse on Monday. There was a deceptive break in the precipitation, which convinced OD that it was a good time to pack up.
PG got his gear in order, and dropped it off by the barn. OD left to get his truck. The parking for gatherings is on a neighboring ridge. The trail is two miles of steep hills and rough terrain. If you can get a ride, then you take it.
Waiting for your ride to get back from Pan meadow is a mellow end of the gathering. PG usually finds something to read. Today it was So Many Ways to Sleep Badly, by fellow blogger Mattilda. PG settled into the porch swing, and got through five paragraphs. Then people started to gather, then more people. Somebody started reciting lines from “Paris is Burning.” PG had stumbled into a viewing of PIB this summer, and knew what the person was talking about.
And the wait continued. PG was not sure when OD left, and didn’t think to look at a clock until quarter until three. At about four, OD finally appeared. It seems he had gotten on the wrong van, and taken an unexpected trip to the Nashville airport.
PG put his gear in the truck, and got in. OD drove about three miles down the Seals Hollow Road, when he saw a rock that he liked. When PG got out to pick up the rock, he noticed that OD’s trunk was not in the truck. The pickup turned around, and went back to the Sanctuary to get the trunk.
The emergency McDonalds in Woodbury was ignored. On the road to I24, a serious rainstorm hit. Major storm warnings were on the radio for the Nashville area. The storm was weathered, and a dinner stop was made at the Shoney’s in Manchester. The slowest server in Tennessee was working on that table. There was another storm waiting for the trip through Monteagle pass. These things shall pass.
Pictures are by Chamblee 54. The humans gave consent. This was written like J. K. Rowling.