Spending a night in an RV with a Mormon is a rather unique experience, esp. in the duplicity department. The amiability was most welcome however considering that I had been ejected from a cottage next to a hot springs by my host who avoided me for three days after my arrival , until I ran into her at the restaurant across the street. "You can't stay here." She bomb dropped me at the table, her dragonfly brouche surrounded by dribble stains she made a futile attempt to brush away, when she noticed me checking them out. "I'll put you up in the bookstore. You can sleep on the floor. Go chat with customers, socialize." She delivered her finishing punch. Trying to process what she just said, I waited and remained silent. "Go to Pocotello for the day-go watch a movie." She then suggested as an alternative.
Sitting with my makeshift friend in the 'living room' in a comfortable swivel chair, I did my best to relax. After telling him what had happened, he conveyed to me some rather revealing news: "He was walking down some stairs carrying a tea cup when his camera strap snagged on something. Couldn't get his hands in front of him to break the fall. Hit his head and died." It then dawned on me that he was referring to my host's husband. Apparently the fateful plunge took place only a month prior.
We watched some Polanski movie about a ghost wrtier on his high def flat screen t.v. mounted above the driver and passenger seats. I managed to sleep on the fold out bed fairly well,thinking that Moroni was going to hand deliver me some angelic communiques indelibly etched into Tupperware bowls as I fell asleep. During the evening visit, my RV emcee suggested I go to Temple Square in Salt Lake City and check out the Mormon Tabernacle Choir who then chorused in my head, unbeknownst to him, a sublimely polyphonic red flag about the invite.
The next morning, at the same restaurant, I confronted my host. "When did you change your mind about me coming here?"
"Oh...about the second day of your driving. I didn't think you had a phone so I didn't try calling."
Originally, she had given me an assignment to write about her hot springs from a 'Secret of the Golden Flower' perspective-i.e. Taoist alchemy. So as I was soaking in the splendid springs, I conjured up all sorts of oriental niceties about aquatic hexagrams one could contemplate in the ripples of the springs amongst other tidbits of rarefied spiritual bullshit that even Lao Tzu would fall for. But she changed her mind about that project and said she was no longer interested. Perhaps my proprietarian bumpkin host was still offended by what I said to one of her employees about the eviction stunt she pulled on me.
Prior to me leaving Minnesota, she was going to let me stay downstairs at her house and help her get the place ready to put on the market. Instead she replaced this invite with telling me my job would be to write about the springs, mystically speaking. When I reminded her of this while leaving the restaurant, she said rather shrilly, "I could never have you live upstairs." But I tactfully refrained from telling her that what I was seeing at the moment, walking directlly behind her, that that would never be possible, even in one of my most steatopygously mashochistic moments.
She then launched into a peculiar bit of damage control to cover her fuck up. Shifting into crone wisdom phase, she told me that I needed to face reality, suggested I get my hair cut and work at McDonalds. She handed me a meagre hundred dollars to cover my gas costs and suggested I go to St. George Utah to start a new life. I made her put me up in one of her motel rooms and left the next day, braving it through ice and snow until I hit the desert burg that evening.
Camping in Snow Canyon helped me unwind a bit from my host's dysfunctional little circus in southern Idaho. A doe eyed park ranger showed me some Anasazi petroglyphs behind my site and I found a piece of pottery shard and could sense the utter oneness in which the potter had with the pot while making it. She seemed to be receptive to my experience and watched me hide the find under some sand. Hiking in the canyons beyond the resort town was the bit of ambulatory therapy I needed, considering.