Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Light

It is a mild morning at first light. The bus windows above the bed--four dark blue panes of muted dawn hanging like portraits on a wall--are my first indication that I am opening my eyes 'somewhere else,' that is, in an alien bed. The day is right there, segregated from me by two thin walls of metal and a few inches of rotted fiberglass insulation. I remember the wind howling last night as the rain tentatively spattered against the roof. But I didn't feel a thing. Nature was like a bratty nephew...I liked to be close to it. But not too close. The bus seemed to be just fine.

I put water in the charred pot for tea. I had tried heating the pot over the 9-wick candle I had made last night, a snarling medievil candle snorting wicks as thick as fingers. The water in the pot boiled fast but the candle creamed the bottom with soot. When I went to clean the soot in the dishpan, it made the water black. I poured the dirty water in the sink for the first test of the sand filter. It failed. The water came out just as soapy and black as it was before The sand and charcoal is in a two liter bottle and I am guessing it is not enough to clean the water. Luckily I have another hundred pounds of sand I can use to make a bigger filter. The sink also leaked around the base, so I will have to caulk that today.

I slept well, did not fall off the bed. It seemed to be a mild night, no need for the heater. I wore a wife beater to bed and when I got up to pee in the carbon/sand urinal, I was not cold. To save on propane when it gets colder I am going to run the car heater and the 12v heater while the alternator is running. I need to start the bus once a week anyway since it is just sitting.

The guy who owns the lot left a note for me and wanted to tow my bus. I talked to the other guy in the building, since he parks there too, and he said he would give him a call. After speaking with him, the guy said we can park in the far corner of the lot, which is fine with me. The front windshield and right side windows (including the side door) will not have to be covered since they face a fence-full of vines and scrubs. The rear windows face the street and will probably have to be covered, as will the left side windows.

I had to go to the bathroom this morning--of the solid nature--so it was time to test the sawdust-toilet theory. I lined the 5 gallon bucket with a trashcan and did what needed to be done. I was concerned at first since it smelled pretty bad. But after I had covered it with a few inches of potash and put the lid on the bucket, I couldn't smell a thing. I was very impressed. When I left the bus this morning I threw it in the trash like all those dog owners slyly dropping their doggy's business in unsuspecting trashcans.

The inside of the bus is not spacious, but it is not cramped either. I took the driver's seat out and put it in the basement just to free up some space. I slept well on the bed with the bamboo mat last night, and there is now plenty of room for storage of clothes and food and other things. At this point, I could probably put everything I own in it comfortably.

My food is simple fair for two to three days. Canned soup, bread, jam, rice krispie treats, tea, soy milk, peanuts. Nothing really needs refrigeration, which means it does not need electricity, which is nice. I dismantled and sold the solar panel; I ended up not needing it, but it was good experience building it. I light my space by candlelight and am very happy this way. I will probably bring in the battery packs next week just to give the computers some juice, but I am off to the coffee shop now to write and will charge them up there.

1 comment:

Lindsay Rae said...

if you coat the bottom of your pot with dish soap- just a little layer then the soot will come right off after you use the candle. :)