i grabbed the bus once more to get the car from my parents' place, so i could drive down to providence and catch the puppet show curated by marsian, who asked me weeks ago if i could come and take photos. with only my sister living at the house until my parents' come back, i figured the whole place would be buried i snow, but i was surprised to see that she had neatly shoveled all of the sidewalk. the car, unused since the blizzard from last weekend, was partially covered in snow which i easily cleaned off. after filling the tank with gas, i was on my way.

traffic along 95 around greater boston was a bit congested, but once i cleared that perimeter things moved at a quicker pace. as is the custom with anytime i take a road trip, i made a mix cd. the one that i had was filled with really sad songs but i seemed impervious to their effects until yeah yeah yeah's "maps" came around for the second time, i got a little choked up. the exit marsian told me to get off at wasn't the exit i'm familiar with, so i got a little bit lost before i regained my bearing and found his apartment eventually. marsian was having a crisis between moving the new furniture he inherited from his sister and getting ready for the show after running late, and greeted me at the door in his bathrobe with shaving cream on his face. i thought he was joking when he told me it'd take another hour before he was ready but he was quite serious, as i sat in the living room watching television. i discovered VH1 classic with it's wall-to-wall broadcast of 80's videos: morrissey's "girlfriend in a coma," simple mind's "sanctify yourself," and tracy ullman's "they've never heard of love." when marsian was finally ready, he came out in drag sporting furry black platform boots. we grabbed his stuff and left for vanessa's place.

vanessa is marsian's partner in crime at the "blood from a turnip" show, and we arrived at her place nearly 2 hours late for dinner (the only thing i had to eat today was some scrambled eggs in the morning). i brought a small watermelon as a present but it went unnoticed on the kitchen island. there were other people there, people who'd be performing at the show. it felt very "backstage access" and most of what they were talking about i was pretty much clueless and smiled politely, answering questions when asked. i was introduced as "the guy who's going to be taking photos of the show." dinner came in the form of some soup (sweet potato?), some bread, an apple crisp (i think that's what they're called), and some seltzer water to wash it all down. everyone then crammed into a car and left for the perishable theatre.

while everyone got ready for the show, i picked the best seat in the house to get the best photos (dead center front). there was a frantic rush of people setting up until 10:30 when the doors were opened and the audience filed into the theatre. i had a fantasy that renata would come and rescue me but she never showed up. marsian and vanessa started the show, introducing themselves through the use of cardboard puppets that fell apart (i was with marsian when he tried to fix one of the puppets back at his place). sitting next to me was a woman with a digital camera, indiscreetly taking flash photos that seemed to bother some of the performers. the first number was an interpretive piece exploring adolescent rite-of-passage (i didn't quite understand it myself), followed by a musical interlude from a lip-syncing opera singer. next came the first puppet act of the evening, a marionette named giovanni waking up from a hangover. 2 RISD girls did the following act, a marionette puppet talent show (which i thought was the best piece of the show) featuring a bellydancer, a troupadour, a showgirl, a girl singer, and a puppeteer. the last performance was cokie the clown, "about a [gay leather] birthday clown addicted to cocaine suffering in a co-dependent relationship."

after the show, i got a ride back to my car with marsian's neighbor kevin. purely through navigational instinct, i made it back to the highway without once stopping to check the map, through a frosty windshield that provided zero visibility (it'd clear up eventually). the drive back was effortless with little traffic on the road. the temperature gauge kept on dropping, until it eventually read 0 degrees fahrenheit. i decided to return via 93, which turned out to be a mistake as the entire big dig underground tunnel was closed for some reason (probably to patch up more leaks). i took a forced detour that lead me to chinatown, then made my way to cambridge. once i got back, it took me 30 minutes and circling the neighbor 4 times before i found a parking spot. wedged in between two snow banks, i was afraid in my attempt to squeeze into the space, the car exhaust would be blocked and i'd slowly succumb to the silent killer of carbon monoxide (not to be confused with that other silent killer, hypertension, which i'm slowly dying from).

tired, cold, hungry, i went to bed immediately.