5cense 3rd unkle in '96 sleeping w/ la migra reading Rig Vedas in rehab mag-surveying Hueco Tanks + Zacatecas

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717

[19 Mar 2020> ...continuing from the summer of 1996 in our journel archiving, where again this 1st post we embedded our production report in lieu of proper journel entry + then later in August is when our brother came to Tucson to go to rehab (his rehab journals are included in Textiloma epsisode 9).]

August 1, 1996 — Tucson

Every time I'm travelling through airports and on planes, all the faces blur together as 'them'—the rest of humanity. Then I exit into the terminal and see a shining face like no other. Almost like seeing a relative, my sister, my mother. Those black mousy eyes, the brown messy hair. Tiny Zo in a sundress, radiant skin. Then it's like we are the only 2 people in the world. There's no question she's the one. I could wait for my baggage for hours, it wouldn't matter as long as she's waiting there with me.

Recap Battle Mountain:
+-------------------------------+---------------------------------+ Z.E.R.O.
|Job #9671 |Project : Bullion Mountain |PRODUCTION
|Client:Reliance |Location: Lander co. | REPORT
+-------------------------------+---------------------------------+ 951228
+--------------+----------------+-------------------+-----------+-----------+
|Date:7-26-96 | |Client FieldCharges|ZEROCharges|Total_Hours|
| | FIELD CREW |Prod-|Wx/Stby|Other|Mobe/|Other|for for |
| Fri | (names) |uct'n|/Travel|Clien|Demob|Zonge|Client Crew|
+--------------+----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|Crew Chief |Derek White | | /2| | 1.0 | 1.0 | | 2.0 |
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|Assistants | | | /2| | | | | |
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| | | | /2| | | | | |
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| | | | /2| | | | | |
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| | | | /2| | | | | |
+--------------+----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
+-------------------------+------------------------+------------------------+
| TIME SUMMARY: | THIS FIELD DAY IS: | SURVEY TYPE: |
| Leave at :2:00PM | Chargeable [x ] | Mag |
| Return at :3:00PM | No Charge [ ] | |
| Total time: 1.0 | Maintenance [ ] | |
+-------------------------+------------------------+------------------------+
DAILY ACTIVITY SUMMARY:
After finishing up job #9640, mobed to battle mountain. Mobe mileage was
56 miles. Went to bank, went over maps with Scott, etc.
Derek White
|Job #9671 |Project : Bullion Mountain |PRODUCTION
|Client:Reliance |Location: Lander co. | REPORT
|Date:7-27-96 | |Client FieldCharges|ZEROCharges|Total_Hours|
| | FIELD CREW |Prod-|Wx/Stby|Other|Mobe/|Other|for for |
| Sat | (names) |uct'n|/Travel|Clien|Demob|Zonge|Client Crew|
+--------------+----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|Crew Chief |Derek White | 11.0| /2| | | 3.0 | |14.0 |
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+---
| TIME SUMMARY: | THIS FIELD DAY IS: | SURVEY TYPE: |
| Leave at :8:00AM | Chargeable [x ] | Mag |
| Return at :7:00PM | No Charge [ ] | |
| Total time:11.0 | Maintenance [ ] | |

DAILY ACTIVITY SUMMARY:
Delayed in going out to field because Matt drove to Winnemucca to get more
wire. More delays as they fixed transmitter wires. Once Tx for gradient was
up and running, I tested it to see if it was effecting mag readings.

LN 00000
"God" readings. God site is off access road about 1.5 miles south of
IP transmitter #1.
LN 00999
First test site near generator site, very close to Tx 1 dipole.
Sta 00000 designates when transmitter was NOT running.
Sta 11111 designates when trasnmitter WAS running (5 amps).
LN 01999
Second test site near generator site, very close to Tx 1 dipole.
Sta 00000 designates when transmitter was NOT running.
Sta 11111 designates when trasnmitter WAS running (5 amps).
The values repeat well when the transmitter is off, but not when the
transmitter was running. But this was directly on dipole.
LN 02999
Third test site up in hills at end of road, south end of grid 2.
Figured this would be a more realistic test, since this is the closest
I would be to transmitter.
Sta 00000 designates when transmitter was NOT running.
Sta 11111 designates when trasnmitter WAS running (5 amps).
LN 03999
Fourth test site up in hills at end of road, south end of grid 2.
Sta 00000 designates when transmitter was NOT running.
Sta 11111 designates when trasnmitter WAS running (5 amps).
LN 04999
Fifth test site up in hills at end of road, south end of grid 2.
Sta 00000 designates when transmitter was NOT running.
Sta 11111 designates when trasnmitter WAS running (5 amps).
Values are repeating well when the transmitter was on. I noticed that
there was a difference in the value when it was off or on. I suspected
this was just due diurnal effects (it took a minute or so to get
radio and call Scott to have him turn the transmitter off or on).
LN 05999
This was still fifth test site, but I was reconfirming my suspicions
above. The transmitter was on this whole "LN". I waited a few minutes
inbetween 11112, 11113, etc. I tried to call Chet but cell phone
didn't have coverage. Seemed like Tx was not effecting mag readings
so I went ahead and started.
***NOTE: Just to be sure mag readings repeat okay, I tripled readings at
begining and endings of each line. ***

LN 11200N (12600E --> 15400E)
Surveyed only to 15200E. No culture.
LN 11600N (17800E --> 12600E)
no culture.
LN 12000N (12600E --> 17800E)
no culture.
LN 12400N (17800E --> 12600E)
no culture.

My computer doesn't do Kermit (Troy taught me to dump Geometrics with Kermit)
so I fiddled with Procom until I got it to work. The question mark between
the station number and the mag value (on the base station) seems unusual to me.
(I tried calling Chet and Joey at home to see if this was normal.) The "*195"
also confuses me as I don't know what it means). Please let me know if this
(and everything else!) is okay.

mag-surveying

--------------------+---------------------------------+ Z.E.R.O.
|Job #9671 |Project : Bullion Mountain |PRODUCTION
|Client:Reliance |Location: Lander co. | REPORT
+-------------------------------+---------------------------------+ 951228
+--------------+----------------+-------------------+-----------+-----------+
|Date:7-28-96 | |Client FieldCharges|ZEROCharges|Total_Hours|
| | FIELD CREW |Prod-|Wx/Stby|Other|Mobe/|Other|for for |
| Sun | (names) |uct'n|/Travel|Clien|Demob|Zonge|Client Crew|
+--------------+----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|Crew Chief |Derek White |12.25| /2| 1.0 | | | |13.25|
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| TIME SUMMARY: | THIS FIELD DAY IS: | SURVEY TYPE: |
| Leave at :6:00PM | Chargeable [x ] | Mag |
| Return at :6:15PM | No Charge [ ] | |
| Total time: 12.25 | Maintenance [ ] | |
+-------------------------+------------------------+------------------------+
DAILY ACTIVITY SUMMARY:
Read 6.2 miles (very steep and rocky).
*Note: I had the date wrong on yesterdays data, it should've been july 27 and
the julian day should have been 208.
(delay getting started due to access)
LN 12,800N (8600E -> 17,800E)
no culture
(delay looking for line 13,200N, not there on eastern end.)
LN 13,600N (17,800E -> 8600E)
no culture
LN 13,200N (8600E -> 17,800)
This line is not surveyed past 17,000E.
LN 14,000N (17,800E -> 12,600E)
old house and mineshaft (horizontal) at 15,200E

Z.E.R.O.
|Job #9671 |Project : Bullion Mountain |PRODUCTION
|Client:Reliance |Location: Lander co. | REPORT
|Date:7-29-96 | |Client FieldCharges|ZEROCharges|Total_Hours|
| | FIELD CREW |Prod-|Wx/Stby|Other|Mobe/|Other|for for |
| Mon | (names) |uct'n|/Travel|Clien|Demob|Zonge|Client Crew|
+--------------+----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|Crew Chief |Derek White |11.25| /2| 1.0 | | | |12.25|
| TIME SUMMARY: | THIS FIELD DAY IS: | SURVEY TYPE: |
| Leave at :6:00PM | Chargeable [x ] | Mag |
| Return at :5:15PM | No Charge [ ] | |
| Total time: 11.25 | Maintenance [ ] | |
+-------------------------+------------------------+------------------------+
DAILY ACTIVITY SUMMARY:
(delay getting started due to access)
LN 16,400N (13,400E -> 17,800E)
barbed wire at 17,500E
LN 16,000N (17,800E -> 13,200E)
prospect at 14,000E
Summit of Bullion mountain at 13,250E
(delayed looking for northwest odd-shaped grid, couldn't find it.)
(Found LN 15,200N, STA 12,600 but line doesn't continue west of that.)
LN 15,600N (12,600E -> 11,400E)
LN 16,000N (11,400 -> 12,200)
No flagging on this line! Just topofil and pickets.
Only read 2.1 miles. Had stomach flu and couldn't keep down food or water.
Lots of time searching (in very steep terrain) for grid.
Note: In regards to salvaging data when Tx was off, I asked Scott and:
July 29 Tx was on from 11:45 til 5:00 (12+ amps)
July 28 Tx was on from 10:00 til 1:30 (6.2 amps)
July 27 Tx was on from 12:15 til 2:00 (5 amps)
Z.E.R.O. |Job #9671 |Project : Bullion Mountain |PRODUCTION
|Client:Reliance |Location: Lander co. | REPORT
+-------------------------------+---------------------------------+ 951228
+--------------+----------------+-------------------+-----------+-----------+
|Date:7-30-96 | |Client FieldCharges|ZEROCharges|Total_Hours|
| | FIELD CREW |Prod-|Wx/Stby|Other|Mobe/|Other|for for |
| Mon | (names) |uct'n|/Travel|Clien|Demob|Zonge|Client Crew|
+--------------+----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|Crew Chief |Derek White | | 12.0/2| | | | | |
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|Assistants | | | /2| | | | | |
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
| | | | /2| | | | | |
| +----------------+-----+-------+-----+-----+-----+-----+---
| TIME SUMMARY: | THIS FIELD DAY IS: | SURVEY TYPE: |
| Leave at :8:30PM | Chargeable [ ] | Mag |
| Return at :8:30PM | No Charge [x ] | |
| Total time: 12.5 | Maintenance [ ] | |
+-------------------------+------------------------+------------------------+
DAILY ACTIVITY SUMMARY:
Chet decided to postpone job until IP work was over. Transmitter affecting mag
readings. Went out to the site to pick up the base station. Mobed back to
Reno (225 miles). Flew back to Tucson.
Derek White

Doing production reports is great training to be a writer! Noting any "cultural FX". It was a fun job while it lasted, though very grueling and strenuous. The average line was about a mile long, and within that mile it would go up about fifteen hundred feet up steep talus and cliffs, and just when you thought it was over, you peaked out and went straight down the other side, only to turn around and go straight back up. Up and down. I would sweat to the point that my shirts could stand by themselves when they dried up at the end of the day. My leather hat stained with salt deposits. My new boots already worn down and bursting at the seams. It was a great property. I found a cool "Y" shaped, primitive, arrowhead the first minutes I set out. That set me off in search mode. Nice to be in the piney forests, granite and basalt everywhere. Reminded me of South Dakota. I'd come across cool little indicators of previous inhabitants. And old sifter, littered with pots and pans, cans and bottles. I could still see the old miners, laboring there on the frontier. There was a house up on one of the highest ridges. I searched around the wreckage, just to set my imagination going. Imagining some hermit living up there, guarding the entrance to his little mine shaft that he toiled at every day. Where he got food and water from, who knows.
The grid was pretty inaccessible. I would have to hike in water and plant little food and water caches for myself at strategic locations. Spent the better part of a day for a way to get around the back and finally found a heinous road going almost to the top of Bullion Mountain. There was an open high plateau up there, fields of wildflowers and great views all around. I was feeling sick that day. Squirting diahrrea every two seconds. I made the mistake of eating a grilled chicken sandwich at McDonalds the night before and probably got Salmonella poisoning. I don't know why I think I should eat meat. Who needs meat? It was actually the salty fries I was craving. Chet was telling me a story about "the old days when I was doing mag. I was drinking gallons of water a day, but that wasn't enough. My legs just cramped out on me and I had to crawl for hours through rugged terrain to get back to the truck. There I dug through the ashtray and found and salt packet from McDonalds." I'm surprised my electrolytes stayed replenished, the amount I sweated, and the exertion on my muscles. Day in day out for twelve hours a day. Luckily I was pulled off early. Chet didn't like the look of the data, thought the transmitter was affecting the readings. Not that Scott was even in full swing anyway. Here's the most experienced crew chief and he's fucking up everything. Didn't bring enough wire and had to send someone back to get more. Tried to read with only five amps in the ground thinking he would get something meaningful. Thy laid all there wire along the road, I suggested he put a sign up telling people not to fuck with it or they would die, not to mention not to take it. Sure enough. I'm coming off the mountain and these guys are gathering up the wire. "We just saw it laying all over the road and figured we'd pick it up."

"It's a good thing you didn't electrocuted. You shouldn't be messing with what's not yours." They were pretty pissed that there was no warning signs, and they had a point. I didn't have much of an argument for bitching them out. It's a good thing they didn't get fried. I took the wire and went back to the generator. Sure enough it was still running though the of course the transmitter was end-regged. I called Scott on the sub-radio. Figured he might want to know. And then the day I left they left the transmitter cable draped over the alternator shaft. It chewed it up and blew up the transmitter and he had to send Paul back to Reno for parts. They were hashing it out when I got back to the Reno office. Steve was pissed. Slamming doors. "Put that Matt on a bus, get Lucas out there right now." Kam was there. Those guys are a breed their own. Got a ride to the airport and flew home.

When I saw that exuberant special nugget of flesh unlike any other I was transfixed. Ends up Martin from the Peace Corpse had called that day leaving a message saying he found a gig for us!!! I'm really excited about this. Get debts paid off and tool off to some exotic country with Zo for a spell. I only hope I can bring my laptop. Don't care about anything else. I'll eat dogmeat and take cold showers in brackish water and get bitten by bugs, if I just had an outlet to plug this computer in and write. I guess the old-fashioned way wouldn't be too big of a deal. As I write now I await for the call back from Martin. Zo is off in Globe.

Leslie had the baby. Annika, 7 lb girl. Going to Frisco tomorrow to check it out. Third uncle.

August 5, 1996 — (San Francisco)

Flew to Frisco with the Cub. We had to drive up to Phoenix and leave the Trooper. David picked us up at the airport. Went over to see the new family member. Healthy little baby. I don't like most babies, but this one is cute. Spent the night at the old house. Granini's not there and neither was mom, yet. Kimi was living there and her smelly Chihuahuas were there to greet us.
The next day we went over to Leslie and David's for breakfast and just to hang out. David came with us to see SFMOMA. Very cool, a good selection. Then had a coffee in the cafe above the terraces and waterfalls in the new Moscone center complex. When I called the old house to get messages, Arthur was there. He told me that Eric and Roger had sent Kevin off to this Rehab place in Tucson. Didn't know much else except that Kevin had hit it pretty hard. That put a downer on things. Went to pick mom up at the airport. She saw Annika. Then all of us, including the baby went to get Sushi. Went back to the old house with Mom.

Didn't find out too much more about Kevin, just second-hand news from Kimi. Next day same thing, went to eat pancakes at David and Leslie's. Held the baby for hours. David and Leslie are a lot more relaxed about this baby thing then I thought. Especially David. He's got the right temperment and enthusiasm to make a good father. We went to Berkeley after that, Jess and I. Jess had never been there, and going to UC Berkeley for grad school wasn't out of the question. David met us at Rasputin's (he had some stuff to take care of at work). Ate Burrito's and did some shopping. Then we went to the city and went to Golden Gate Park. Strolled through the Japanese tea gardens and had tea and cookies. The air was brisk and refreshing, a nice change. And then we went through a quick tour of the California Academy of Sciences. David left us after that to go back to Leslie and Jess and I tooled off to Haight. Her friend Tracy had just moved there the day before. We met up with her and her two roommates, Rick and some other quiet girl. We went to eat Moroccan food at some trendy place on Haight. Kevin was weighing heavy on my mind since I now associate the Haight with him. Kept thinking I was going to have a run-in with Jordan as I think she's back living there now.

We went back to Menlo Park and I talked to Roger for quite a while on the phone. He was pretty freaked out just seeing Kevin before they sent him off to Tucson. Kevin had maxed out his credit cards and was starting to write fake deposits and withdrawing money. He called Roger to see if Roger wanted to buy some of his stuff. Eric and Roger went to get him from his apartment. Said he looked like a walking skeleton, his skin was covered with lesions like he had been trying to rip it off. His veins were collapsed, he was so skinny you could see his skull. There was only a sliver of Kevin left, they said. Eric and Roger put him on a plane to Tucson to go to this place called "Sierra Tucson" that I guess is in Oro valley. Kevin was snorting up what was left of his heroin because he didn't want it to go to waste. He smuggled needles onto the plane. Roger said he just wasn't Kevin any more.

I'm back in Tucson now. I talked to David and Mom this morning before I left. Part of this program he's in is that there's family week the third week or so. So looks like I'll be seeing them again soon on my turf. It's a strange feeling to know that he's here in Tucson, probably gazing up at the same mountains. That's is if he's not to sick. I can't imagine the pain he's going through. He's allowed one five minute call this first week. I called Sierra Tucson and talked to a few people including the nurse who, when I asked how he's doing just said "well he's still detoxing, he's not feeling so well."

August 6, 1996 — Tucson

Where did things slip up? What happened to this so called 'family'? I guess these are things that Kevin's rehab will bring out. Talked to him on the phone last night. His one five-minute phone call. He was all drugged up on some drug that started with a Q. Said it made him sleepy. That's an understatement. He sounded comatose, slurring his words. Like he had a big wad of cheese in his mouth. Said it wasn't so painful, not as painful as before. The place sounds like a resort, climbing wall, pool, trails into the Catalina Foothills. He sounded terribly frightened but optimistic. Like he was trying to make the best of being in hell. He was a little paranoid that Roger was emptying out his apartment and taking charge of his life. I tried to tell him not to worry about the outside world, but to just concentrate on himself right now. Then his little ringer rang. Like he's in prison.

I'm pretty upset about all of this, but in a way it's nice to be depressed about someone else's problems. I know a lot of good will come of this, not just for Kevin. He's the martyr, going through all this suffering on our behalf. I'm sure all the underlying familial problems will come out.

I went into Zonge today and Norm laid out the Mulattos maps in front of me. I told him I needed to be in town the week of 19-23. And preferably the week before as well (Kevin is allowed a visitors day after his first week.) I talked Norm into letting me work around Tucson for the next few days, and then we'll work something out the next week. Wasn't psyched about doing the Mulatos job anyway. Now I have some time to write for a change.

August 12, 1996 — Tucson

Thursday and Friday I tested three axis NanoTEM at the Ajo test site. The first day I went out with Peter and Bart. We set up a 70 meter transmitter loop and put the three axis cube in the middle as the receiver loop. It has a loop in the X plane, the Y plane and the Z plane. This is experimental, never been done before. The GDP-32 started locking up, aborting our mission. Took the 32 back and tested it in the parking lot to figure out what was wrong. The next day I went out with just Peter. I really dislike him. Had to ride in the uncomfortable silence of the new Suburbans and attempt to make small talk with him every once in a while just to be civil. We tested the three axis cube, but we were using the GDP-16 so we had to test each axis separately. Back and forth over the "Whisky Barrel" and the "Barrel over Niagara", 55 gallon oil drums that Zonge had buried at different depths for testing purposes. Took about four hours to get 24 meters worth of data. Very boring. Read two blocks, then have Peter move the cube one meter. Do it again for the different axises. Then every six meters mover the outer transmitter loop (seventy meter transmitter loop didn't work out.) Norm wants to send me to Alaska on the twenty-fifth. I asked how they felt about having Kevin be my helper and he seemed receptive to the idea.

Went climbing Saturday. Drove up mount Lemmon with the cub. Weather looked ominous so we stopped prematurely at Green Slabs. I led M.I.A (5.7) even though clouds churned overhead. When I topped out it started tor rain. I hesitated thinking it was just a passing shower. Then the first crash of thunder like the sky ripping open. I quickly put a bunch of gear in and rappelled off. Zo was at the base in tears, worried about me. We gathered our stuff and went to the sheltering arms of Nandi. Waited out the storm, but when it cleared up I had to go back up to get the ropes. The rock was still wet so getting up the gully to the side of the route was sketchy. Even with my climbing shoes on. There was no other way. I did it and gathered the ropes and anchors. On the way down I set up the rope around a tree and bat-mannned down the sketchiest part.
On the way down it started to clear up. We stopped at Soldier Trail. It was hot and sultry and there was a lot of annoying little gnats.

August 14, 1996 — Mexico City

The biggest city in the world. Built on a sinking foundation, collapsing back into the ancient lake on which the Aztecs originally built it on.

So Tuesday Zo left to Austin with Sather and I went into work thinking I was going to learn data processing for the rest of the week. I learned all I could really learn in a few hours and was bored. Then Van asked me if I had an FM3 and I was bit reluctant thinking he wanted to send me to Mulatos or something. Ends up John McKeg is having problems down in Fresnillo and they need a new faceplate for his GDP-32. Van wanted me to fly down and deliver it. That's that. He had already asked A.D. or Zoe to do it, but they thought it was a pain in the ass. How could you refuse? I had them book the ticket for a few extra days so I could hang out in Zacatecas.
There was a message from Kevin's family therapist saying that Kevin had finally consented to having mom come to the sessions.

Zacatecas

August 15— Zacatecas, Mexico

Plane touched down in Zacatecas. John M was waiting for me there. Drove with him back to Fresnillo. Zonge gossip: whose working where, bickerings about being underpaid. Scott W was waiting for us at the hotel in Fresnillo with his new pair of tripe boots. Boots made of cow gut lining. On his day off he also managed to waste his money on helicopters made of spark plugs and scrap metal and other garbage. I set to work taking the old faceplate off and replacing it. Clusterfuck of wires, what goes where, how to cram them all out of the way so the faceplate will go back on. It worked.

Got a taxi to Fresnillo. Typical taxi driver seeking validation. Cheesy interior decorations in his cab. Polyester clothes he proudly told me he got in the states. Smelled like a used car salesman. He puts on this really lousy, I mean truly lousy American pop music, sounded like Loverboy. Made worse by an overworked shitty stereo. He turns it off. Suddenly he's quiet and pensive. "Know what this reminds me of?" —he finally says.
I don't want to know, but I say— "Que?"
"This discoteque I used to go to in Denver."
I have a hard time envisioning a discoteque in Denver that would play music this bad. Pancho went on with his story (in Spanish).
"I met this girl, pues" —he turns to me and flashed his crooked, rotting brown teeth at me, "actually, I've had lots of girls. But I met a girl while listening to this song. We had a few shots together and we went back to her house. While she was fixing a drink I was looking around and saw a uniform and a badge for an immigrations officer. I considered running but knew I was had. She came back out, we had a few more drinks. Then we ended up in la cama and we made love." That's how he said it, 'hicimos el amor.'
"I was having a cigarette in bed afterwards and just told her, 'look, you can go ahead and turn me in now.' She looks at me like I'm crazy. So I tell her, 'I saw your uniform. I'm Mexican.' She looked at me like I was crazy and told me I wasn't mexican. When we were talking in the bar we found out that we had common friends in Zacatecas and she knew my family. I don't know why she wouldn't believe me." (Not to mention that this guy didn't speak any English and was Mexican as it gets.)
"When she drove me back to my apartment," —he turned and flash his rotting teeth at me again and added, "after we made love. All mis compañeros were jumping out of the windows and running every which way. They recognized her. When they finally came back, they asked, 'what the hell you doing with that bitch.' They couldn't believe that I slept with her."
"And I kept dating her for about a year, and my friends loved me for it because during that time, not one of us got deported. Usually I'm a free man and like to date many woman, but I was afraid of breaking up with her. Finally I did, and the next day la migra came for me and all my compañeros and we all got sent back to Mexico."
He went on about his exploits in Atlanta and Phoenix, how he had to hike for ten days through the desert to get Phoenix and passed two dead bodies on the way. I was tired having flown all night and was just watching the road because he was driving like a complete maniac. Finally he says— "Am I talking too much?"
"I liked your story about the immigrations officer." I had him drop me off in downtown Zacatecas. Found a cool place across from the Basillica. Took a nap and felt like a bag of sand when I woke up. I realized I had forgotten the old faceplate. Tried to call John but they were out in the field. I walked around town, looking in the little shops. Beautiful town, old stone streets, old colonial buildings with wrought iron balconies.

Went back to my room and did some writing and started to read the Rig Vedas. John called back. I coerced Scott into driving the part down to me for a free dinner. He consented. As I was waiting I saw him drive by. I went to cut him off through a callejon. As he was coming towards me there was a cop running at his side. He pulled up to me and parked.
"You know you have a cop chasing you?"
"Yeah, I asked him where I could park and he told me right here."
"The cop asks me if I was with Scott and I told him I was just meeting him. He babbled on about how Scott drove over a curb and that it was an infraction." Another cop shows up. I told Scott and he was just like—"Yah, I probably did run over a curb." So I tell the cop, okay. We all stand around. They repeat themselves. Finally the other cop gets a ticket book out. I point to it and say— "Go ahead and write us up a ticket. We're in a hurry, we have to meet someone."
He stalls. Repeats himself. You committed an infraction. It's obvious he wants a propina. He puts Scotts license on the front bumper and tells me to pick it up. (Is this some way of telling me he would like me to do the same with a wad of money?) I grab it and give it back to Scott. I ask the cop if he's expecting a bribe. He shrugs his shoulders. I tell him we'd like to give him money but we need a receipt. I point to his ticket book. He says he can't give us a ticket because we have American plates. More small talk and stalling. I tell him that I don't believe in bribing, I want to do it the legal way. Scott wants in on it. I tell him the cops expecting a bribe. Scott just shrugs and reaches into his pocket. I tell him not to bribe the guy, but it's too late. They saw him reach into his pocket. They weren't too happy that he handed it directly to them, but they did let us continue to park there.

We went to this Italian place Borsolinos. Scott took two weeks off in Zacatecas rather than going back to Tucson. Said he met a bunch of cool people at Borsolinos, but none of them were there. Met the owner as we were leaving. Some guy Jimmy that's opening up another Italian place in Ajijic. Small world. Next to Los Tellares.

Scott had called this guy Dennis to see if we could go over to his house. Scott told me I had to meet this guy. Dennis said bring a six-pac. We went over to his place, up on a hill with jagged streets overlooking all of Zacatecas. Dennis is this older Hopi artist. His agent arranged for him to live in Zacatecas while he was working on this series of paintings. The first of which was in his living room. A huge abstract piece, a sort of space age Hopi Mandala. Paint and supplies everywhere. He asked us if we got stoned and I said it gave me a headache. Popped the beers instead. He asked me if I was another one of them guys, pointing to Scott. People that look for stuff under the ground. "Still sounds like magic to me, I don't know how you guys do it." I explained it to him in simple terms and then he went into this discussion about how it had been discovered that Hopi's had a knack for understanding physics better than your average person. Our talk touched down on a variety of topics, from spirits to UFO's. He told us about a spirit that lived in his apartment (there was a shrine for her in the corner) she bugged the woman but not the men. He told us about how he was abducted by a UFO when he was six. He asked me if I believe in spirits. I shrugged my shoulders. I only believe what I can directly perceive, but if you believe in them, they're real for you. Once again, asked me if I was a believer but I didn't have anything to add. Scott would add a twisted comment every once in a while about how he does this work in remote areas because he wants to get abducted, or he would try to get the conversation back to meteorites.

All hokey, pokey, new age stuff but nevertheless this Dennis guy was fascinating. He was explaining his project which was basically to do twelve paintings depicting the Hopi migration. He said that the Hopi had travelled to all parts of the Americas in all the cardinal directions. They had made it all the way to the tip of South America. He believed that the Hopi had visited all the Incas and Mayans and had left signs behind and had learned a lot from them. He took me up onto his roof and showed me his studio. Excellent view overlooking the whole town and La Bufa. Explained a few of his other paintings to me. They kind of remind me of Beth's stuff. Very Spacey-new age. But it was way abstract and I couldn't make any sense of it and I told him so. He said, "yah, well, I don't know what I'm doing". It's quite project he's tackling. I wish someone would support me to live in such an atmosphere just to create whatever I wanted.

When we went back downstairs some woman named Lisa was there. She was also from Tucson and had gone to school in Guadalajara. They were going to Ajijic the next day to help this Jimmy guy (that owned the Italian restaurant) design his new restaurant. This was all getting to convoluted. And Dennis's son, Carlos, I guess is an actor in Hollywood, was Crazy Horse in the movie and almost was "The Indian in the Cupboard". Some script writer in Hollywood that his son knew had some cosmic idea to make a movie out of Dennis's paintings. To travel into them, so to speak. Well I had enough food for thought to digest and didn't want to bug this Dennis guy anymore so I went back to my hotel.

The next morning I went to catch the cable car to La Bufa. The sign said it opened at 10:00, but I waited around and they didn't open their doors until about 10:30. I kept reminding myself, 'this is Mexico', and didn't mention anything to the cable car operators. But this Mexican lady threw a fit, and everybody in the tram started yelling at the operator because he was a dick and just wouldn't admit that it was uncool that they were a half an hour lat opening and that we all had to wait around. I was busy enjoying the view and didn't want to get involved. The lady started saying stuff like, "what's this extranjero going to think? He's going to go back to his country and tell everybody that Mexicans are not punctual and their rude. That they have no respect. No wonder Mexico is not progressing." I almost jumped in on the respect part. I was trying to justify this Mexican attitude as a matter of custom, but it is a matter of respect. Those guys were there at 10:00 and were just shooting the shit with no attempt to hurry, not giving a shit that we were waiting. They were saying that they had to check over the cable car and such to make sure it was safe. The counterattack only wanted them to change the sign to 10:30 if that was the case. It was all quite amusing. I've never seen anyone in Mexico get angry about something opening late No respect for our time. or the inefficiency. Right in the middle of it, the car jolted to a stop and swung way out in the air throwing everybody off balance and even scaring the operator, who yelled out— "see! That's what happens if we are hurried!" I was just imaging how unprofessional the whole scenario would have been in English.

Atop la Bufa, there was tombs for a bunch of defunct generals. There was museum with Pancho Villa paraphernalia of his exploits. Evidently he held out in the nearby canyons whooping the shit out of the army when they tried to catch him. These dudes were pretty hardcore. Riding around on horses with belts of ammo draped each way and huge wide-brimmed sombreros. What a life. Almost anarchy.

After that I went to see Mina Eden. Had to go on a tour and it was a big family and me, so I was the outsider. Walked through mine shafts and took and elevator down three hundred meters, until we were at the groundwater table (that was supposedly at -4 degrees celsius but didn't freeze because of the minerals?!) He told us about the life of these miners, showed us the ropes they had to batman down, chip away at the ore, then pack it on their backs and haul it back up the ropes. They were given tortillas and beans, huaraches and helmets and huts to sleep in. No pay. If they got married, the patron would have first dibs at their wives. He would fuck them on the first night (impregnating them) and after that the miners got seconds. Talk about a fucked up gene pool. There's a discoteque in the mine. You actually take these railroad carts to it (we took the same carts out.) Somehow having a disco three hundred meters under with all the vibrations and stomping doesn't sound like a good idea. It's open tonight and it does sound interesting, but I have no pants, and I've never been to a disco in Mexico that lets you wear shorts (even in Mazatlan). That was dumb on my part, not bringing pants. It's freezing here. Probably doesn't get over 60 degrees. And it's always on the verge of raining. My altimeter says 7800 feet, but that seems a little excessive. Maybe not. Took a siesta after eating some raunchy enchiladas and Aztec food. The food is not great here. They have better Mexican food in Tucson. The cheese is lousy, everything is salty and tastes like it's gone off. I had some ceviche tostadas that I only took one bite of.

August 17, 1996 — Tucson

Got up early my last day in Zacatecas. Caught a cab to the airport. It was still dark out. Checked in then sat at the bar drinking little styrofoam cups of coffee. Through emigration. More waiting. Little brats sat next to me on the plane. I'm reading Amado's The Violent Land and the Rig Vedas simultaneously. Fell in and out of sleep in the clouds. Got into LAX at 8 a.m. Called Roger and got no answer so I called Eric. He swung by and we ate breakfast at Denny's. He's becoming L.A. Improv acting and working for the magazine "Caffeine". Couldn't visit long as I had to catch another plane. I'm burning out on flying.

Got into Tucson and got Nandi. Checked in at home, got my mail and went to Zonge. Ends up both Brazilian jobs were put on hold for at least another two months. Now Zoe, A.D., Josh and Peter all need work. Zoe and Peter are doing the job in Alaska that I was supposed to do with Kevin. A.D. is going to take over a down-hole job that Tim's on on the north coast of Alaska. So now the plan is I'm supposed to go to Mazatlan with Scott Hughes. Getting sick of this shit. Still no bonus. I'm probably going to quit.

August 22, 1996 — Sierra Tucson

Picked up David sunday morning. Felt weird having a family member in Tucson. We went to the Cup to get a little breakfast and then took him by the house. At noon went to pick up mom from the airport. I'm starting to get really sick of airports. Went from the airport to pick up Zo at work and then we all went to the Blue Willow. Dropped Zo back at work and went to see Kevin. He spent most of the time arguing with mom about piddly shit and she was saying negative stuff. They were arguing about him going back to L.A. and it was only make Kevin withdraw further because mom was trying to control him. I felt bad because this was David's only day to see Kevin and rather than "visit" like we were supposed to, mom and Kevin were already delving into unmonitored psychological blame. David was frustrated as was I and was just patient and quiet. He brought Kevin pictures of Annika but Kevin was too wrapped up in his treatment. Kevin seemed very positive, almost too positive. Not at humble. I'm very confused as to supporting Kevin and believing him when his therapist and Roger say that Kevin is in denial about how bad his problem and is totally manipulating us. For the first part of the week we would have "no contact" with Kevin.

Dropped mom off at her hotel. She's insisted on going straight to her hotel every night this week. Went back to the pad and just hung out with David and Zo. David's easy to entertain He slept on the futon (first time we've had a guest) and I took him to the airport early the next morning. Picked up mom and went to the first day of "family week".

Aug. 28, 1996 — Tucson

Finished up "family week". Mom was really getting on my nerves even though I would just drop her off at her hotel room every night. Took advantage of all this communication therapy to try to communicate to her that if we were ever to see eye to eye and have a healthy relationship as two adults, she would have to seek out help for her marijuana addiction and/or food addiction. She's so much in denial. Just sitting through these lectures she had every symptom of an addict. And when they say for every addict there is an enabler, I am an enabler by accepting this behavior as the way she is. I was right years ago in high school and should have stuck to my guns. Saturday I took mom to the airport early. I was going to climb with Zo and Frank and Frank's girlfriend, but I was just too frazzled. Hadn't slept much and was up at five a.m. taking mom to the airport. Sunday Kevin was allowed to leave Sierra Tucson for the day and let me show him around Tucson. We went to an artists A.A. meeting downtown. Sat through the whole thing and listened to a bunch of people's whiney verbal diahrrea. Showed Kevin around downtown, but he had his mind set from the beginning, stuck on San Francisco. From my standpoint I'm glad, because that would have been hard on me having Kevin live here. We met Zo for lunch and afterwards Kevin and I drove up Mt. Lemmon. Every time he would get in the car he would crank the stereo really loud and tap his hands and feet spastically. Talk about himself constantly, half of which was pathological exaggeration and lying. Taxing on the nerves trying to be patient and understanding with him. Took him back to Sierra Tucson sunday night. Lots of driving too. Sick of driving.
Monday I had an interview with Jim Fink about some data processing job but he canceled last second. Went and caught the tail end of Zo teaching. Ate lunch. Had a sort of interview with Dr. Hill, but I pretty much knew up front that he had no funds to hire me. I was mostly there to pick up my Peace Corps reference and see what was up. Went and picked Kevin up. He was glad to get out of that prison. We picked up some movies and I plopped him in front of the t.v. Went out the Parilla Suiza and listened to Kevin talk about himself. Actually the first thing Kevin wanted to do when he got out was see Trainspotting. The ironic thing was that we talked him out of it and saw the Island of Dr. Moreau instead and it was probably worse as far as relapse triggering. Val Kilmer was on opium or heroin the whole movie and was feeding to the surreal creature population. Marlon Brando was genius in it.

September 2 1996 — Tucson

Job hunting. Looking forward to something new, even a menial job. A pattern, a ritual. Come home and write. Weird how these feelings just happen. Not like you give up on trying to be some way, but you just find yourself giving up on an idea and next thing you know is that it is a natural desire. I think a lot of it has to do with that whole week with Mom and Kevin. Now I realize the importance of simple happiness, that maybe I'm taking for granted the good things I have, like Zo, and the happiness I feel. Opening my horizons to any job oppurtunities as long as it pays over ten dollars an hour, and if I didn't have car payments I probably wouldn't even be that picky. Computer jobs, lab jobs, jobs teaching climbing and hiking at Miraval, landscape design using cad drafting, hydrology and water quality for the county, . . . I'll let something serendipitously spring upon me.

Yesterday went climbing with Cub. Stopped at windy point and hiked down to Rupley Towers, only to realize how hot it was. We were getting baked and sweating buckets. Hiked back to the car and drove to the top. The hike to rap rock. Moist, lush pine forests. Did Main Gate (5.8). The first forty feet were scary. Went up this small arching crack in a wide stem that was burning my inner thighs. Pulled around the apex and got a last nut in before I had to commit to some hard moves that were leading increasingly away from my last piece with no gear placements in sight. To the point where I was looking at groundfall. Also had to worry about Zo following, good thing I had double ropes as I clipped one to a chicken head wrap and then traversed back right. The rest of the climb was easy. Met up with Not So Easy Arch (5.6) which is a fun little pitch. I was getting little annoyed as it seemed like a lot of work for the enjoyment I was getting out of it. Having to set up the belays and flake out the rope for both me and Zo. It seems when we climb I'm solely concerned with her having a good time, and when she bitches about something I take it to heart, even if it's something like the crowds of people yelling across the crag, something that annoys me, but I'm more annoyed at Zo being annoyed, things beyond my control. It ended up being five pitches to top out and I was sunburnt and my feet sore from being in my moccasins.
Don't think we'll climb or hike today.

September 4, 1996 — Tucson

I'm dragging. It's the lack of excercise. That would be the one thing hard about being a writer is so much sitting. I have had plenty of oppurtunity to write this week. Wrote a poem "Mediterranean Undertow" that had a serendipitous inspiration. I was working on Navigation of the Senses, like I was navigating against a brick wall when Zo is all— "here's a project for you, write a poem about me." I was irritated at first that she would be so self-centered. But then when I sat down to write I was inspired. Started thinking of all the things that inspired me about Zo, thrown in with a little greek mythology, and it was worthy of a poem. Took about three days to finish it, went through five drafts. Also re-worked "Searching for Diamonds under a Frozen Lake" and worked more on "Weed Patrol." Also wrote the first three pages of "Navigating the Senses." But cabin fever is seeping in. Restlessness. I've sent out a shitload of resumes and now I'm just waiting around.

It's been a great monsoon season. Yesterday we had a triple whammy. Started the day off with a big one that woke us up at five thirty a.m. It stayed cloudy and cool all day and sprinkled in the afternoon. Then in the evening as we were falling asleep, the flashing lights and rumbling slowly approached and then it started raining buckets. The "Stupid Motorist Law" went into effect, and there was over 100 rescues yesterday. The law says that anyone stupid enough to drive into a flooded wash should have to pay for their rescue. That's my kind of law. One lady even drove into six feet of water in the sixth street underpass with a baby in her backseat. The baby almost died.

Clinton's shooting missiles at Hussein. I saw Trainspotting and got bored and annoyed and left before it was even over. Sick of movies or books about losers who are stupid enough to get hooked on smack or become alcoholics, and then become hero's when they kick it, as if it's some mythic journey. What about those intelligent enough and strong enough to not get hooked in the first place? What about your regular old Joe that's not so happy, but doesn't bitch and complain about it, but just quietly works out his problems and tries to make the best out of what he has?

September 7, 1996 — Tucson

More job hunting and writing. Actually worked on friday, got a short job landscaping. It was suppossed to be a two-day job, but we finished all the work in three hours. No matter, as I got $60. And some excercise, shoveling gravel into a wheel barrow and spreading it thin all over this yard. I have two job interviews on monday. One of them I really have my fingers crossed for. Using AutoCAD for making maps. I can't think of anything cooler. It will be hard getting my foot in considering my experience with ACAD. The other interview is with Miraval, that resort up by Sierra Tucson. They're interviewing me for a "hiking" position. i.e. taking people hiking. Couple other things in the works. I've also started sending out a new onslaught of queries. Finished "Weed Patrol".

Finished reading Jorge Amado's The Violent Land. Good replacement for not actually getting to go to Brazil. These South American authors have these long sagas with a lot of characters oscillating between being good guys and bad guys, regimes and families getting overthrown. In this case it was all over chocolate. Started on All The Pretty Horses (Cormac McCarthy) and the latest Sonora Review. Zo has been sick the last few days. First she was sick to her stomach, came home from work one day and was throwing up and stuff. By the next day this had gone away but her tongue was all sore and swollen. We went to the botanical gardens this morning, hard to leisurely stroll through when it was infested with mosquitoes. Went to Oven's for dinner and were gonna go to this Jazz festival thing there at St. Phillips Plaza but the price included food. I'm really excited about getting this job. Albout having a stable schedule. I go to a reception next week about al the Writing Works workshops and stuff at the U of A. Would like to get into a writing group or class as I feel I am in a void here.

September 9, 1996 — Tucson

Sunday we didn't climb because Zo was sick. Her tongue was all swollen. I went to get her medicine, soup and videos. As I'm pulling out an elderly black woman flags me down. "You ain't in a hurry, are you? It's real hot and I'm awful tired, I was wondering if you could take me to south street." It was reaally far south Treat street. Treat street at Benson highway. But I drove her there. She was new to Tucson, came here from Eugene, Oregon because her daughter was sick and died (months before). Kind of just stayed here and makes crafts out of date palm leaves. Things were cool until she started asking me if I went to church and whether I give any time to god. I said, "how can you not give time to god. He's always with you."
"You gotta make time for god, blah, blah, blah."
Dropped her off and she said— "god bless you." She said she would be praying for me.

I got settled in with some videos, medicine and a belly full of hot soup and left her to sleep. Drove up the mt. Lemmon highway to the Molino Basin campground. None of this was planned, I was acting on impulse. Had an urge to see the east side of the Catalinas. There was a trail shooting east, the Arizona Trail. I followed it for a while but it wasn't really going where I wanted to go. I wanted to go up to the crags. I followed this drainage. There was lots of water. Waterfalls over water-polished granite. Stayed in the creek bed as it was too bushy otherwise. Plus it was more scenic. It seemed the creek was topping out over a saddle but it was never-ending. And the water was still running so it had to be coming for somewhere. I kept telling myself I would go just a little furthur, convinced that if I turned back, it would be just short of reaching a ridge and a view. It was fun clambering up all the boulders and waterfalls.

Had an interview this morning with Ortholab. The interview went well and it's really interesting, but he had me sit down with this guy Brad, just to see if I get the hang of this machine. I guess it's a matter of do or don't. Regardless of eyesight. This machine takes two negatives and you look at them through this stereo eyepiece. I was suppossed to "place this dot on the ground", which basically amounted to lining up these two dots with either eye. It was kind of like those 3-D drawings. You have to stare at the ground next to the dots and line them up. But when you look directly at them your eyes go haywire and the dots spread apart. It was very frustrating and I'm sure the harder I tried the worse it was as the secret lays in relaxing your eyes. I don't think I did so well in that, but I sure hope I get the job anyway as it is the next best thing to travelling. You get these aerial photos of these areas and totally map out every feature down to Saguaros and buildings and stuff. You can see people walking around and stuff. I have to wait a few days to find out what happens.

Took care of some errands, ate Thai food and then I had another interview up at Miraval. Fucking bitch was forty-five minutes late. Looked around at brochures and stuff. The place is some new-age retreat place for people with lots of money. I'm sure I would have a hard time keeping from puking. So the lady finally comes in and pulls out this notebook. Doesn't ask me any questions face to face, but just starts reading out of this notebook. She said normally she records the interview but she ran out of tape. Thank god. She asked all sorts of questions like— "do you consider yourself positive?" "You come into a room and it's busy. How do you react. Give a specific example."
I would say, "like what do you mean 'busy'?"
She would say— "I can only repeat the question. Would you like me to repeat the question."
I didn't give a shit at all. I was pissed enough at having to drive forty-five minutes out there and having to wait for another forty-five minutes. All to get asked pyscho-new age impersonal questions that even pertain to qualifications or enthusiasm for the job. She wouldn't even tell me about the job or how much I would get paid or anything. Came home and got some transcripts so I could fill out this application for "Modular Mining Systems". I sent them my resume last week and they wanted more information so they could arrange an interview. Been organizing adresses and what not on to my computer. Took Zo some take out chinese food to her lab because she is working late. The wind is whistling, I think it may storm.

September 15, 1996 — Tucson

Tuesday I had an interview at the American Cancer Society for some job that I'm underqualified (all sorts of software packages I'm unfamiliar with) and it's only part time. Went to the Writing Works fall reception. Bunch of bored housewives. I signed up for a class, but after hearing the teacher speak I cancelled it. I wanted to take this other one on one workshop with this old writer, Alan Harrington, who seemed interesting. But as I was sitting there listening to Meg Files read I started spinning around the room. Couldn't wait to leave. I left early and stopped to switch classes with this woman. I was all dizzy and not feeling well and she was flirting with me so finally I just told her to cancel all the classes and I ran out in a panic. Felt like I was going to pass out. A delayed reaction to that virus that Zo got the week before?

Slept all night and most of the next day. When I did get up, my cells felt very heavy and my sense of smell was very acute. I seemed to smell all sorts of things I couldn't smell before. I couldn't rest too much as I'm starting to panic at this lack of work and income. Dropped off a resmue at this aerial photography place, for a Cad-map editor. I was waiting anxiously on the Ortholab job. Finally I called Lyle S on friday moring and I didn't get the job. My heart dropped and I started to panic. Very frustrating. I didn't get the job because I just couldn't put the dot on the ground, that's that. I told him I was upset and really wanted the job, and that maybe I could do the Cad job. After prying, I got him to let me come over and schmooze some more. But by this time my self-esteem had gone to shit. I was desperate and probably came off that way. I sat down with the Cad operator, he was supposed to be testing me for my Cad knowledge. Started asking me about stuff I knew nothing about. How does one get their foot in the door? I guess take a Cad class or two. Lyle said he would get back to me, but he hasn't. No one returns my calls. I tried Jim F and Bird Seismic.

I go through the yellow pages to just start calling random companies. Try the wildcat hotline and the newspapers on a daily basis. Meanwhile I'm sitting around, can't go hiking or whatnot because I'm afraid I'll miss a call, but I never end up getting one anyway. I am getting some writing done, and have sent a few stories out. Going through the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market alphabetically. Yesterday I sent all "A"s that sounded worthwhile. Can't do contests because they cost money. I'm re-editing a lot, and have expanded "Terminal Moraine" (Weed Patrol) into a nine page abstract thing that juxtaposes weeds, teeth (bones) and glacier-related ideas, and is topped with whiskey. Finished All the Pretty Horses, great book with not much of an ending or a beginning. Sets a good mood of Mexico. Read through a few writing journals.
Today I ran in Sabino Canyon. I was carrying a pack with three liters of water because I had ambition to run all the way to Hutches Pool, but it started raining. Not like a passing monsoon, but a cold winter storm. Covered ten miles in two hours. Didn't run back because my knees hurt.

September 19, 1996 — Tucson

Sunday I planned to go climbing with Zo. She's been working twelve hours a day, so when Sunday rolled around, she just kept sleeping and I didn't have the heart to wake her up. By the time she was up, I wasn't motivated to wade through all the road construction to go up Mt. Lemmon to be surrounded by chicken-legged sport climbers. So we jetted off south instead. Went to Patagonia then went off into the grasslands. Followed random dirt roads trying to find ghost towns that weren't there (maybe a crumbling adobe structure). Somehow ended up in the big open valley where I worked last Winter. Beautiful open grassland, just beautiful. Went over the pass there and stopped to go for a hike. We went to Elgin, past the vineyards and ate at some café. Huge oak trees and pleasant weather. Then we went wine tasting at the vineyard there and bought a few bottles of wine. Drove back throug Sonoita and then through the pass over to Madera Canyon. I've never such a dense covering of Ococtillo before. It was surreal. they were green, everything was lush and sticking out in every which direction. Zo was tired and sleeping and woke up sick from the bumpy roads. I was trying to find this ghost town, can't remember the name. Eventually found it, nothing special.

Another week of writing and job-hunting. Everyday I write a half a dozen cover letters for jobs and another half-dozen cover letters or query letters for stories. Then I take all these resumes and writings to the post office and check my mail while I'm there, waiting. Then I go home and wait by the phone. Zo calls periodically and I always get my hopes up thinking that's the call. But nothing doing. My self-esteem is spiraling into a hole. I can't sleep, I wake up in the middle of the night feeling terrible about myself. Wishing I could sleep to escape. If I was into a drug or drinking, this is the point where I would start to abuse it. But as it is I took some Tavis-D and then freaked me out for a day. I was dysfunctional and felt weird.

I've read most of This Boys Life by Tobias Wolff and it's excellent. Read newspapers cover to cover and do the crosswords, after I scour the want ads. I make follow calls that never get returned. I organize our change jar into rolls as I watch "The White Buffalo" in the middle of the day. Stacking and counting. I went to the dentist finally. Luckily I got my Peace Corpse health forms that day, so I was able to chalk off the dental exam, while I had my teeth cleaned. I've given up on employment agencies and the usual routes and have taken to the phone book, scanning under "geology" or "engineering" or "surveying". Then send my resume anyway even though half the companies say they just got through laying a bunch of people off or that they wished they could hire. I start to imagine that maybe the phone's broken and that's why I never get my calls returned. I stress that all my mail is being returned undelivered. And this is true. I've had a few things returned though they were addressed correctly. My mind starts imagining some short story that won a contest or got published but they couldn't notify me because my mail gets returned. Or my calls never go through. Been watching "The West" everynight. It's like a six part series. Tonight is part five but Seinfeld is also on. The days drag on. I take a nap for maybe a few minutes than wake up stressed out that I'm a slacker. That my bills are piling up. That I'm a loser. Can't write, can't hold a job. I eat ice cream every night. Wait for Zo to come home. She always comes home late. I feel like a house wife. I cook the meals and clean, but the groceries. It's to the point where she is starting to give me money. I start to rack my head for ways to make money. Try to think of who owes me money. Got $60 from the Food Conspiracy that I forgot about completely. They said they sent it to me but it was returned. I see the envelope checked "Insufficient Address" and it further feeds my neurosis. I wait near the broken phone and check my P.O. Box that doesn't work.

September 24, 1996 — Tucson

It's raining out. A fine unseasonal drizzle. Still searching. Running out of money. Won't be able to make October's rent and Zo can barely cover me. Better find something soon. Geotemps might get me something in Colorado Springs for 3-4 weeks doing some soil thing. It would be a pain leaving town with all these resumes I have out, and an upcoming physical for the Peace Corps but I would have to take it. $12-14/hr. with overtime and $60/day per diem. The Core splitting job fell through, just like everything seems to be.

I met with Jim F of hydroGEOPHYSICS on Saturday. Met him at some Cantina way on the east part of town. He's a cool old-timer (started out doing geophysics with Ken Zonge in the 60's) and does interesting work, but he's a consultant and his work is sporadic. He said if anything came up that he needed help with he would call me up. Sunday I went climbing with Cub at windy point. Saw Todd MacGregor in the parking lot, he was with John Parker and a cool dog he has and they were on there way to do something on Beaver wall. Guess Todd must be climbing a lot since I last used to climb with him if he's working 5.13's! Jess and I planned on starting out on Slippery When Wet but there was hordes of people and several parties waiting to do SWW. So we started out on Making Muffins (5.7). Then we graduated to Crab Corner (5.8) and Rich and Dave's Route (5.8+) Jess did them all with no real problems. She's moving through the grades. It was a good day to be that I needed for my piece of mind.

Yesterday we went up to Phoenix at 3 p.m. Hung out w/ her family then went to see Tracy Bonham after that. This band Red Five opened up for them, a thrashy mix between X and The Breeders. Tracy Bonham was also inspiring but it was so loud it was blowing our ears out. It was at Gibson's and we had these seats right on the balcony looking down on the stage. You could spit right on the performers. And there was this huge pyschedelic lava-lamp globe hanging over the stage. Next morning drove back from Phoenix in the rain, the smell of wet creosote and grass.

I finished This Boy's Life and am now working on a Scott Bradfield short story collection. Fine tuned "Immaculate Conception" and am really happy with it. I also spent a whole day typing and revising a diarrhea paper for Jess that she accidentally deleted. And of course the endless Cover Letters which I'm sure will improve my writing technique.

September 30, 1996 — (New Mexico, Texas)

Last Wednesday a torrential storm came through. Just when you thought the monsoons were over. It was large, covered all of Tucson and then some. When I turned on the weather channel they were saying the national weather service was issuing a severe storm warning for Tucson, Arizona. Unplugged my computer. Opened the blinds. Two inches, a break in the rain, two more inches, a break. A hue of dusty reddish-gray.

Thursday morning I figured it would be good to take a hike with all that water flowing. I had ironed out everything with a job in Elko for Neumont, $120/day rain or shine, I'm the second "transmitter" man. Thanks to Jim F who told the head of geophysics at Neumont, some Eastern European guy Misac, about me. No longer did Ihave to sit by the phone and wait. So I went up to Bear Canyon. I had planned to go up to Seven Falls but I kind of got lost and ended up on Blackett's ridge trail so I did that instead. It was short, but steep. Just ended up on this ridge between Sabino and Bear. Wanted to keep going to the nipple (thimble) but there was cliffs between me and it.

On the way down I stopped at the river. Stripped down to my shorts and waded into this deep, damned up pool and plunged under. Climbed down to the slabs below the dam where the water ran over in thin sheets. It was nice because the bugs were terrible and if I laid close enough to the water fall it kept them away. And I could lay half in the water to keep me cool. The sound of rushing water was intense and overwhelming, I could hear nothing else. It took over my senses. The sun felt incredible. If I got to hot I would immerse myself into the waterfall. If I got to cold I would find a dry spot on the slabs and bake my body. And there was nobody around. We should take advantage of this running water more often.

Friday I had a physical. Finally managed to schedule it early after calling around everywhere. Have to do it before I go to Nevada for a month. The works, took three vials of blood, TB test, eye test, urine, "do a sit-up and cough", etc... tested out okay. But I have to go back for lab results. And that's it for the peace corpse stuff besides—the marriage certificate. Still no mention, but at this point I'm so in love with Zo that I would marry her any way. She is god's gift of perfection embodied in flesh.

We had tickets to see Santana on friday night, but we were itchy to skip town. We drove past the Pima County fairgrounds and kept going. Into New Mexico where we stopped at Las Cruces at some Italian restauraunt near the "Mesilla" Plaza. Looked cute and romantic on the outside but the inside was cheap and gaudy and the food sucked. But we were drunk on wine by that point and couldn't continue on so we got a motel. The county fair was in town so it was crowded with state fair fair people (a.k.a white trash). The bed was small and too soft and Zo said she was getting bit by something. Nevertheless we fucked like rabbits and tore the bed apart. By the time we were finished we were on the bare mattress, which was not a pleasant thought.

We drove on to Hueco tanks in the morning. Went throught the Nazi park procedures and paid the $8. Still we were excited and as we approached the main wall I was even more excited that there was absolutely no one there. We got into the bushy, shady area against the base and then it was like bam, bam. Slap, Slap. Looked down at my arm and I got stung by mosquitoes a half a dozen times. I looked down at Zo. There was mosquitoes all over her shoulders and back. No wonder nobody was there. We ran for the shelter of the sun where there didn't seem to be as many. Figured we would stall and wait for the sun to shine on the main wall. Hiked over to the round room. Still mosquitoes there, but we braved it. Did laps around the round room. Then went to check on the main wall again. As we were walking up to it, not even close were bombarded. We said fuck it and headed back to the car. We had no insect repellent and no pants and stuff. It was very uncomfortable and would have been a pain to climb and especially belay. Figured we would try to catch Carlsbad caverns. New road I'd never been on. Got to Carlsbad around 4 p.m. but that was too late to go in. So we went into the town of Carlsbad and got a motel with a pool.

Stopped and made tuna casserole under the tallest mountain in Texas. Had a king-size bed this time, but the sheet ended up on the floor again. Got take out chinese food and made the bed. Ate in bed while watching "Braveheart" on HBO. Woke up and went to the caverns. Opted on the non-guided hike down through the entrance and around the "Big Room". Not very pristine, but immmense. I've never been in a cave so big. The underground spaces were vast and some of the formations were huge temples. Everything was very sexual. Dripping, moist stalactites, stalagmites like milky, budding nipples. Moist orifices, oozing. Moist, damp smells. Mother earth's tubes. It was Zo's first underground experience.

We continued on through fertile meadows and up into these high mountains (8,000+) with Aspen groves that were already changing colors and lush piney forests. Down to white sands. We chased eachother and frolicked, jumped off dunes. Went on man hunts in the pristine white sand. Made a trail of tracks for Zo to follow and then lay waiting, but I tricked her (walking backwards and then jumping out of my tracks) and she got lost finding me. Drove all the way back to Tucson. The driving went fast because we were playing the initial game all weekend. Give the initials of someone famous and the other person gets to ask yes or no questions to figure out who it is. Washed off the white sand when we got home and then lit a dozen candled up in the loft. [...] somehow kicked the lightbulb out of the lamp, shattering it, just like a Jewish wedding.

Hueco Tanks

 

 

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