She was off to the emergency room. For some reason, that is her doctor's office's regular protocol - the doctors don't even bother to have you come in; they send to directly to the ER.
Worry shrouded the rest of my day as I waited for the call from Kerri with results.
I spent some time working on a few drawings and then headed off to the Rey Center where I had agreed to talk with a few kids from the school about what I had been doing during my residency (primarily hanging around in gazebos with my sketchbook and trying, heroically, to drink all the wine that people keep giving me).
It seemed judicious to focus on the sketching and downplay the wine a bit. I was looking for a seat downtown about a half hour before my talk was to start and noticed immediately that the mysterious letter in a bottle was still afloat on the raft in the pond.
|It was just to chilly to go in there after it. I will get it, though. Perhaps it's a map to a lost treasure!|
I considered stealing one of the boats in order to row out, but some genius had locked up all the oars.
I sighed and headed toward a seat so I could draw a bit before my talk and I came across this poor girl, sprawled out across a chair in the middle of town. She had evidently had a rough night and was sleeping it off.
|It's sad, really. Poor Barbie just can't party like she used to.|
I tip-toed off and settled in to work at my favorite table downtown. The one that isn't infested with hung-over party girls.
|Another grueling day at the office.|
I had hardly had time to get comfy and eat my pear when it was time to head up and talk to the kids from the school, who were on a field-trip to The Rey Center to learn about art from a cultured, suave, cosmopolitan artist. Maryellen.
They were also being forced to listen to me, but still, it was probably better than a math test. I had just seen these kids a few days before and had unloaded all my best material on them then. While I had no idea what I was going to talk about today, I did have one trick up my sleeve.
I showed them a top-secret project I've been working on that is alarmingly fart-oriented. It is excessive, even to me.
|When in doubt, show a drawing of somebody farting. Better still, show a half dozen drawings of people farting. Use the word "fart" copiously and gratuitously. Trust me.|
I used the word "fart" about a dozen times and, sensing hostility arising in the teachers and administrators in attendance, thanked them all and turned their attention to Maryellen who would actually teach them something meaningful and, presumably, fart-free.
I slunk back into the town square to draw a bit more, but the sky looked threatening, so I opted to grab some lunch.
|Clouds = Lunch|
I considered grabbing a sandwich here, but when I went in and asked if the had a take-out menu, the guy said, "Nope."
|You might consider a different sign, Mr. Potbelly.|
When I arrived home, I tossed the pizza in the oven and cranked up my thrash metal on the stereo. I was sitting there, contemplating the infinite when a lady's head poked over the railing of the stairs in my living room and mouthed, "HELLO?"
I assume that she actually shouted, "HELLO?" but the leather-lunged gusto of the screaming vocalist blaring through the speakers effectively drowned her out.
I've been here for 8 days thus far and have yet to have a female head poke itself into my living quarters. I may have jumped and squealed a bit.
I snapped off the music and the head shouted "...TO CLEAN THE HOUSE!"
Of course. Chris and Len had asked someone to come in a clean the place. I knew that. I'm not used to having cleaning people come in, but I could get used to it.
Look what she did to the toilet paper!
|It's pointy! Like a fancy hotel! I felt so important. Thanks!|
As I walked over to my favorite chair and table to draw, I passed this tableau, set up under the large tent in the center of the square:
|Barbie has, apparently, organized a 12-step meeting in the center of town. It's sad that so few of her friends chose to attend.|
|I swear I'm not making this up. I found her just like this. The poor dear needs help and I'm glad she's getting it.|
I tip-toed past her sad meeting of one, overly-conscious of the wine on my breath, and found a seat on the dock alongside the pond. There, I found even more evidence of Barbie's wild night.
|There, in the corner of the table.|
|Barbie's boot, abandoned like some plastic tribute to Cinderella during her bacchanal the previous night.|
|I also found this.|
|It looks like a teeny, tiny box of cereal, but it says Barbie on it. What would be in a box like this? Barbie Flakes? Barbie-Os? Some things are better if the remain a mystery.|
I quietly returned Barbie's items to her as she sat at her lonely meeting of one, atoning for her excesses of the night before.
It seemed best to give her some time alone in the square, so I slipped off to search for the mysterious final gazebo that had eluded me like Ahab's whale.
Only less whaley.
And it wasn't actually moving.
And I wasn't at sea.
Or named Ahab.
And probably wouldn't die, strapped to the gazebo.
At least, I hoped not. The death I envision for myself involves more whipped cream and less whale.
I wandered along the serpentine paths that wrap around the town pond, setting off into a desperate wilderness.
|The trail was very poorly marked and difficult to follow, but still I ventured onward, heedless of the dangers that surely awaited me.|
|I soon arrived at a distant outpost of civilization. A soccer field with at least 3 signs warning me not to cross the field. The field, apparently, is just for show.|
|The fence, while somewhat inadequate, kept me from crossing the field. Perhaps it is riddled with land mines. Unsure of what to do, I turned and headed back into the wilderness to find the white gazebo.|
I bushwhacked along the tortuous trail for upwards of a minute before I finally spotted my quarry - The Great White Gazebo.
|The Gazebo is really less a gazebo than an altar of some sort.|
|It's kind of blocking my view of the mountain.|
|But, as with so many things in the valley, it does have a place to put your glass of wine.|
Tired from my dangerous hike through the wilderness, I headed back homeward only to be beckoned once again into the wild.
I had been hearing throughout my stay about The Cascades, a delightful sounding series of waterfalls out in the woods.
Sorely misjudging how long the hike would be, I set off into the woods armed with my camera and nothing else, including, evidently, my common sense.
It was a beautiful hike, for sure. People who told me about it said that it took about an hour. I assumed, wrongly, that that meant round-trip. It was an hour out to the Cascades and the sun was slowly beginning its descent.
I opted to press onward, thrilled with the natural beauty of the area. Once at the top of the cascades, I was treated to some man-made beauty.
|Free filthy towels!|
|And more underpants!|
Seeing the underpants strewn about, I had a better idea of where Barbie may have been partying the previous night. She's lucky she didn't freeze to death.
|Just as I started to get really nervous about the dwindling daylight, I saw this.|
|Sadly, it was not running and I was forced to actually walk down the hill.|
|The view from the top was pretty spectacular.|
|Goodbye sun, hello bears!|
|Good luck getting out of there, you dumb zombies.|
|They even provided an access spot to keep the zombies fresh and clean. Good for you, Waterville Valley! I admire your progressive treatment of the evil undead.|
I wandered off and soon came to the top of the giant ski-jump that has so intrigued me over the past week.
|This is what it looks like from above.|
|Those kids are CRAZY!|
I shook my head in wonder at those crazy kids and was just about back home when Kerri called to report that Tori had been checked out and she does, indeed have a concussion. She'll be home from school for a few days and should be fine. It may even be a blessing, as the zombies locked under the hill in Waterville Valley might not be interested in her bruised brain should they escape.