Monday, December 30, 2013

Bedlam 2013

This is my final post for 2013, and I'm going to use it to continue an annual tradition I started two years ago: by summarizing where I've slept this past year.

I refer to this as "bedlam" because: a) I'm on the road a lot and have a chaotic and confusing distribution of sleeping arrangements; b) some think that my travel schedule is prima facie evidence of mental illness; and c) I have a congenital weakness for word play.

So here are the highlights of where I was when the lights went out each night. (Hmm… maybe that makes these "lowlights.")

o  I slept in my own bed at Sandhill 104 times. While that was up strongly from 84 the prior year, you have to take into account the 40 nights (in the wilderness) that I slept at home from July 14—when Ma'ikwe divorced me—through Aug 27—when she agreed to undivorce me. All together, I spent 28% of my nights at Sandhill.

In addition, I spent 81 nights (22% of my total) at Moon Lodge—20 of which were in December, the month Ma'ikwe and I started our experiment of living in the same house. That means that 50% of my nights were spent in the 63563 zip code, just as last year. I find it satisfyingly symmetrical that my comings were exactly balanced by my goings.

o  Slicing the data another way, I slept with my wife 126 nights last year, or 35% of the total. It's remarkable to me that that was essentially the same as last year (when the total was 128 in a leap year), suggesting that the impact of my summer divorce (when the tide of intimacy was clearly ebbing) was mostly canceled out by this final month of cohabitation (during which the tide is decidedly flowing). Interesting. 

While there were Bay-of-Fundy-sized tidal swings my marriage this year, the net effect was no change when it came to sleeping with my wife—kind of like the person with one foot immersed in a bucket of ice cubes and the other in a pot of boiling water: on average his feet were pretty comfortable.

o  I slept in the home of clients (usually in guest rooms) 16 times for 62 nights in all—up 30% from the year before.
o  I slept at the house (or apartment) of family members 10 different times, for a total of 40 nights, up from 28 the year before. It's nice to be seeing family more.

o  I slept at 17 different friends' homes for a total of 41 nights, which is in the same ballpark as last year.

o  I slept 11 times at places associated with FIC meetings or events (a mix of community-oriented conferences, commingled with festivals slanted toward Sandhill's food products) totaling 30 nights, down a hair from 2012.

o  I ended up in motel beds (or paid accommodations) a whopping 12 times last year. While I realize that that's not much at all for a road warrior, it's my least favorite place to close my eyes, and I'm semi-alarmed that I haven't managed to manifest more friendly beds when I needed them to appear.

o  I was on overnight trains 20 times, which is a typical amount of my trying to recharge my battery while rumbling along at 60 mph.

o  Most nights I was in a real bed. One night was spent on an air mattress, one was on a fold-out camp bed, and 32 were on couches (mostly when visiting my son or daughter).

o  All together, I slept in 44 different locations outside of Rutledge (down a bit from 52 last year), which placed me in 17 states, one Canadian province, and four time zones. Whew.

With all this coming and going there were occasional nights when I woke up to pee and had no clue where I was. Fortunately, by the time I'd actually peed I could usually figure it out. Which is good, because it's important to know whether you're coming or going.

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