|Yes, that's vodka in my bottle.|
My handler and I imagined that a return to this nightmarish vacation spot would provide a slight bit of needed aversion therapy. If I faced my fears here, I might be able to face other fears later, such as talking to dirty-looking people or having to drink house label champagne. We packed up everything in the house, Tetrised it all into the car, and then unpacked it into a much less sturdy version of the house, where I slept on the floor in a mix of blankets and dirt. To blend in with the local population I wore some clothes I found on the MAX and rubbed soot in my hair.
Yes, majorly disconcerting about this trip was the fact I wouldn't be able to wear my typical dress or cake my face in its customary beautifying sludge. I didn't even pack any exfoliant. Imagine my surprise, then, the first morning I entered the ladies' loo to find three fabulous women taking up the entire sink counter with their own cosmetics and various hair burning devices. My jealousy overwhelmed me when I realized they were expertly applying enough mascara, eyeliner and shadow to successfully avoid a raccoon attack (if you do up your face to look like them, they invite you into their family). I knew that my needing to put contacts in my eyes was not as important as their blowouts, so I gratefully waited for 30 minutes to have counter space. I was additionally happy at realizing how kind these ladies were to prevent me from putting in my contacts for that much longer, as any amount of time I could spend not being able to see my imperfect reflection was truly a gift. The bitches that kept trying to cut in to wash their hands had better check themselves next time, too.
|I can still hear the chattering.|
The main objective of this trip was to find the exact waterfall--there are ten in this park-- where I lost part of my toe as a child. In my more studious and responsible youth, I broke away from my character for a moment and decided to climb under one of the waterfalls. It was a inviting scene: a waterfall of reasonable volume, a smallish pool, and direct access that allowed me to wade into the water and directly under the falls. The pool came up to my chest and the refreshing and exciting falls cascaded over me. I was greatly enjoying myself until the boulder I was on shifted slightly, and caught my foot in between itself and the adjacent rocks. I attempted to dislodge my foot, but it was tightly wedged, and I couldn't simply pull it out of my shoe, because I had already removed my shoes on the shore.
It took approximately ten minutes of focusing away my panic and shifting all of the boulders with a rocking motion until I was able to yank my foot out of the water. I made my way back to shore, thoroughly frozen by now and shaken from the experience. I jammed my feet back into my shoes and started back down the trail with my family. Approximately fifteen minutes later I was feeling a strange dull pain in my right foot. I looked down and saw my white canvas shoe was now bright red, and leaving even more liquid redness on the trail. Upon removing the shoe I discovered that my little toe on my right foot was shorter than it had been before and had no nail; I hadn't felt the injury due to the cold water. My nail actually grew back six years later, strangely, but the toe is still slightly stubbier.
Anyway, my publicist and I traveled the entire system of trails until we found the devil falls. I was disappointed to not find my toe piece, as I know a really good plastic surgeon that could have certainly reattached it the next time I went in for a forehead sandblasting. Returning unsuccessful to the campsite, I desired some level of productivity so I again visited the restroom. This time, I found the sinks available, yet the outlet still was not. A teenage girl stood next to the wall with her iPhone plugged in, despite the fact there was no signal remotely near the park. I admired her devotion to her cause as she stood in that bathroom and watched her phone charge for the next four hours. Oh, the sights, sounds and smells she must have witnessed, that brave girl. Perhaps in 20 years she will return to the park and reenact her trauma, as well.
This installment is merely the first half of the camping trip. The second installment will outline the second half of the week, which was endured at Detroit Lake. I'll upload that adventure for my fans soon enough.
|The scene of the tragedy.|