On the way to work today, for some reason I thought of the year Az. and I did a ride-share to Burning Man. You meet some crazy people that way. The guy who drove us was a dirty old man / epidemiologist named Tim. His big BRC project was creating a swimming pool using huge drums of water he picked up in Reno. He'd been doing this for a few years and viewed it as a way to seduce hot chicks. Nevermind that his ruddy features, hoarse smokers rasp and hefty waistline made it improbable that he'd go over big with "hot chicks"-- the mere concept of a *pool* at BRC seemed pretty gross. Wouldn't it get dirty in minutes?
Rather than voicing these thoughts, we just sat there and listened to him talk nonstop through the ride (which was interminable, because we had to stop and pick up all these barrels of water, and then drive at 40MPH all the way from Reno to BRC since driving any faster caused his trailer to fishtail.) Even though he was creepy, he did have some good stories to tell. He talked a lot about the horrors of med school and surgeon generals he had known. Bush's surgeon general Richard Carmona in particular has an amazing life story, which Tim related to us with relish. "This man COULD KILL YOU WITH HIS BARE HANDS... he was sitting there in a foxhole in Nam COVERED IN BLOOD... but that wasn't the end..."
Of the other ride-sharers crammed into Tim's car, the only one I remember clearly is Miles. Miles was a comedian/actor from Sacramento whose BM camp specialized in high velocity pyrotechnics (I know, join the crowd.) In the course of the ride it turned out that he used to be a speed freak. Az. and I were naturally curious about this. He talked a bit about the drugs, and how he used to live in the midwest but had to leave.
"Why did you have to leave?"
"I owed money to people and they were going to kill me."
It's strange how memories float into your head like that. Driving is a good way to find out what's in your mind.