Monday, February 1, 2010

Jentel, Day 16

After two and a half nights of dithering, I've finally gotten back on track -- I think.  Current WCPD ratio:  660. 

Thursdays are always disruptive.  First off, the residents gather at nine in the morning for a meeting and to head into town for provisions.  Given that most mornings, I'm just crawling into bed around five (sometimes as early as three or as late as seven), waking at nine proves difficult.  And even when I plan ahead and go to sleep early (as I did on Wednesday), I was woken by strange, fragmented dreams which I can no longer remember and couldn't go back to sleep.  Instead, I lay in bed, listening to music and watching the light from behind my curtains grow brighter and brighter.  

And while I was able to tap out a few words in Java Moon (a "wellness meeting" took place at the next table:  a group of 5 women and 1 man talking about pounds they've lost, goals for the future, attempts to promote wellness at work), after our shopping excursion (during which I bought primarily tea and cookies), I took a nap.  Not so that I could work furiously later that night, but so that I could be plenty alert for a hootenanny later the evening.  

The Occidental Hotel, in the town of Buffalo about twenty miles away, hosts a "jam session" every Thursday night, where local musicians sit down together and strum and sing and pluck.  This night was somewhat different, however, because they were featuring a charity auction for a musical scholarship.  So while we managed to hear a few strains of some country classics -- all of which are foreign to me -- we were instead treated to hearing Wyoming's Auctioneer of the Year (a man of about seventy, I assume) calling out bids on all kinds of sundry goods.  He had a pleasant tone, joking with the locals in-between the tongue-twisting number calls.  "He rises at the crack of noon," he said of one hunter who offered his services and land for tracking down (on separate occasions) an antelope, a wild turkey, and a jackalope.  "It's more fun than hunting rats." 

Meanwhile, we Jentel folks sat near the door, ate burgers and drank beer.  (For me, I had a bison burger with the patty actually in the shape of a bison and a cherry cream soda.)  In the lobby of the Occidental are photographs of the famous folks who had stayed there, including a brawny-looking Ernest Hemingway.  The second floor of the Occidental is purported to be haunted, but the real specter is the rugged Victoriana that I attribute to hotels of the Wild West.  

After the auction, people re-gathered for a group rendition of "Faded Love."  The entire audience mouthed different words at different times -- the verse they particularly loved, the chorus, the cry break.  Meanwhile, I got a moment to appreciate how much they appreciated the arts, whether it was the paintings they had made and sold, the illustrated poetry broadsides auctioned off, or the music they sang and were now going to deliver to a student.  A $150 pan of cinnamon buns seemed a small price to pay. 


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