I got up at 5:50 today when it was still a little dark. I’m staying in the bunkhouse, which in this case is literally a house full of bunkbeds- a big, cold cabin with heavy walls and dark, cold corners, a body-sized woodstove in front and air that smells of creosote and composting toilet. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I’ve got 40 bunks to choose from, top and bottom, and a nice mouse friend that gets trapped in my box of clothes. In the morning I open the box for some new underwear, we eye each other pleasantly, and he hops out and scurries under the woodstove.
I’ve chosen one of the bunks closest to the door for sleeping. It’s got my zero degree sleeping bag on it, a nice flat pillow, and the stuffed narwhal that Nicole made me. The narwhal wears a little striped scarf, and sometimes at night I cuddle him so hard the scarf falls off.
Next to the bed is an old nightstand, the only other piece of furniture in the drafty room besides the 20 bunkbeds and a long bench in front of the woodstove. In the nightstand’s top drawer are a few fantasy novels and a set of las vegas playing cards, sprawled out across the wood. On this nightstand I put my ex-cellphone turned travel-alarmclock, my earplugs (not that I need them out here), and my water bottle. The rest of my stuff hangs out around the bench, leaning this way and that wherever I left it when I got here earlier this week. On sunday I move into the main lodge, into the bedroom off the kitchen, to live Cinderella style with nothing but a coarse woolen blanket and a bunch of scrubbed potatoes as a pillow. It’s a small, dark bedroom and its lack of privacy will give me even more reason to run off into the woods and hide whenever I get the chance.
I got up at 5:50 today and walked 100 yards to the main lodge, to make a bunch of shitty blueberry pancakes for the PSU students here studying forest ecology. I’m trying to convince the head cook that there are other things in the world to cook that don’t involve ten pounds of white flour, but it’s slow going. She did get me a little baggy of amaranth flour on her trip to salem yesterday, so I made a few gluten-free pancakes for her to try. They were actually twice as fluffy as her gross white flour pancakes, and I ended up eating a bunch of them, and getting really full, but then after another hour or two by blood sugar fell all the way into the basement, and now I have a three hour break but I feel awash on the sea of glucose. It’s quiet in here, now, after all the guests have left, and outside the sun is finally warm. I think I’ll take my bike out on the road to the gate, and go for a little bike ride.
Can’t write anymore. Too sleepy.