I imagined myself living in a Village-like situation: heavy woods surrounding a small town whose buildings look like those of the 1890s. Farm implements, grazing farm animals, people dressed in a past century’s clothes, a horse-drawn carriage…and (here’s the first major difference) a pick-up that pulls up with power equipment. I think the pick-up also brought a generator and gas; the place had no power of its own. Some people stayed in the town no matter what; some traveled short distances away from it, suggesting that there was more to this isolated environment than just the town and the woods, that other, similar villages were nearby; some came from outside, but were expected.
What was unexpected was the drone of something approaching: two small planes, looking like experimental or kit-planes or, maybe, what small planes could look like 60 or 70 years from now. They flew over the woods, parallel to the road past the clearing where the buildings and activity were clustered, as the sky darkened towards sunset. Most of us in the village looked at them, with disapproval. “Violation, right?” someone said. Unspoken: those fliers broke the rules, and they’re going to get in trouble. Certainly, we weren’t supposed to be seeing planes, like in the movie, where the village has been as isolated from the modern world as is possible.
So is the place hidden, or not? How protected is it? In what era is the dream taking place: today or decades from now? Is the village more like a camp? I imagined my family (recognizably my dad and my cousins Amy [a.k.a. “Maximy”] and Sean) visiting me there, while I was staying there for at least a while, perhaps a long time. I certainly was used to the place; I was comfortable and happy there, thinking it was much like the house near the Oregon Coast that my dad’s parents kept from the early 1980s to recently. In its quiet way, it was a happy dream.
Yesterday afternoon I gave blood. I thought I was ready to do so, eating more and drinking a lot more (I mean a lot more of the kind of fluid that helps your body be ready to give blood: water and juice. We’re not talkin’ vodka!) in the hours leading up to the blood-draw, but…I need to do better next time. My donation took extra-long; my blood didn’t want to leave. “Your body has defense mechanisms,” my hematologist said. “Right now it’s fighting me.” By the way, I made the mistake of looking at the blood-taking site on my arm when it wasn’t covered, as it usually is. Yurgh; not what I wanted to see. I’d be a lousy heroin addict.
And I don’t know if this is just me, but generally I feel a little more emotional during and after a blood donation. Usually I compensate by being in a joking mood, so when I grow more emotional I’ll be more likely to laugh than cry, but what did I bring with me to read last night but Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. And I reached the ending. And even knowing how it ended (I read it about 10 or 12 years ago), I don’t think I was ready for the ending at that particular moment. It’s a mood thing; you understand.
So. Time to be useful. Work happens today.