Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday Forays In Fiction: In Field Research

Update: most of the 'pictures' I took at the track Friday turned out to be videos as I didn't notice the setting had been changed and can not see the LED screen in daylight. So when I aimed and clicked the first time I started the video and the second click stopped it and the third click started it again and so forth. Thus I didn't get most of the pictues I thought I had and got many I didn't expect. I couldn't figure out how to take a single frame out of a video to post as a photo--is it even possible? I tried to upload this 8 second video with Blogger's service but after waiting 2.5 hours for it to finish, I canceled and used my YouTube account instead. Why didn't I think of that first?

Anyway this video is of a group of men rolling a car over onto its wheels after it had flipped onto its roof right in front of us. The driver was fine. So fine he climbed out and ran across the track to get in the face of the driver who he blamed for the flip over. But this driver was the aggressor as he'd been crowding the other car against the wall and that driver had then turned into him. Both drivers were black flagged.

I went to the dirt track races with my husband and his folks today. A good part of my motivation to do something that triggers all my anxieties (noise, crowds, sensory overload, social settings) was research for a story idea I'm kicking around. After today I'd like to kick that story out on its asterisk.

The NOISE!!! OMG!!! THE NOISE. It vibrates your bones. Your skull bones. Your rib bones. Your pelvic bones.

And the DIRT. Yeah, they do call it dirt track races. Should have been a clue. And its not like I've never been before. I've been at least twice before. But the last time was over eight years ago and I must have been suppressing my memories. I wore white pants!!! And I took my crochet!!

But I also took notes. I learned some of the vocab and rules and the stories that go with the people behind the wheels. I got interested enough in one car to follow its progress during a fifty lap race. First noticed it because of its colors--neon blue and either orange or pink. Number 37. Its bright number was easy for me to follow across the back side of the track. Then I notice it had passed a car. And soon another car. And another. That seemed unusual to me. I began watching closer. Soon I saw 37 pass what look very much like the same car I first noticed it pass. And it registered on me that must mean the driver had 'lapped' that first car and was at least a full lap ahead of it now.

Among the gritty details of the day that could be fodder for a story: I got clobbered by dirt clods slung by the back wheels of the cars taking turn one just in front of us. Severl hit my head. One hit my collar bone and I caught it just before it went down the front of my shirt. It was of the size and texture of fresh cat poo and I flung it away exclaiming 'Gross!' before I realized what it was. I almost hit the person sitting in front and down the row to our right.

Later, durring the last race, the sensation of vibrating head bones got worse and I could have sworn something was crawling inside my ear. Guess what. There was. I thought at first the sensation was of water being dislodged from this morning's shower and I reached up to tug my ear but the crawly sensation intensified and then there was a sting and more crawling. I poked my finger in my ear and felt this thing wriggling under it. I pinched it and pulled it out. It looked like a moth with folded wings or a termite but Ed said it was a chigger.

I'm a die hard Trekker and thus the images of that thing crawling into Chekov's ear early in The Wrath of Khan are as fresh today as they were the first time I saw them. I thinking I'm in for a nightmare. If I can even get to sleep. The heat at the track was like a furnace with an occasion soft breeze. It was relentless for six hours. By the time we left the track near midnight it was plesently cool. But the trailer house was a muggy oven and I couldn't bear to get near my laptop even if I could have. And I couldn't until I could clean up the 'gift' our Merlin left on the bed right in the spot where I sit at my desk.

I took pictures but don't feel like messing with the camera or image ap right now. I'll add them tomorrow when I do my July 4th post with the pictues of the fireworks they had there tonight. If they turn out that is.

I may also add info from my notes when I add the pictures. I set out to do a quick off the cuff post here. I'm barely conscious as I type.

0 tell me a story:

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