Yesterday morning I woke up at a normal hour to feed the cat, because he’d been harassing me about food for at nearly thirty minutes. Once he was fed, I crawled back in bed, burying my head under the flat sheet in effort to shield my eyes from the morning sunlight peeking around the curtains. I figured I’d give myself a couple more hours to sleep off the soreness in my neck muscles from hooking the entire game and the general achiness of rugby and dehydration that still lingered in my bones. Being outside in the summer sun the entire day didn’t help my fatigue.
The morning had slipped away by a matter of minutes by the time I woke up again. I opened the french doors to friends up and dressed at the dining table and the invitation of warm cinnamon rolls. The smell of breakfast filled the house, complementing their smiling faces, like it had the last three mornings.
“You still wanna go camping?” Zoro prompted, adding, “We’re gonna leave in like an hour.”
I dug the side of my fork into the soft dough of the cinnamon roll as she asked, but didn’t answer before I’d had my first bite.
“Backpacking?” I asked, wanting to go, but knowing that my backpack had seen better days. I remembered the heaviness of it on my traps through the last days of Europe, and still haven’t figured out if the strap mount is repairable or not.
“Nah man, just car camping. So she can be at the airport in time tomorrow,” Zoro responded nodding at Ariel.
I looked up from my plate and at the crew, who all looked at me now, anticipating my answer. I pursed my lips and nodded slightly as I answered, smiling, “Yeah.”
What better place that to spend a night in the woods with like-minded friends, a cooler of beer, shish kabobs, a little bit of whiskey, a ukelele, and a new campfire song stolen from Liv’s mom and her kindergarteners?
‘Goin’ on a bear hunt/Goin’ on a bear hunt
I’m not afraid/I’m not afraid
Sittin’ round the campfire/Sittin’ round the campfire
Hangin’ with some babes/Hangin’ with some babes’
And a poem for good measure:
Campfire songs and goofy jokes
Illuminated our cheeks in between
The ebb of our burning wood
Left us silhouettes in the night
‘New relationship, who dis?’ & ‘Damn, Gina’
Thrown around lightly as each of our
Outfits became more and more gay
With the setting of the sun (warmer too)
Five camp chairs and a cooler for our leisure
Synchronized standing to replenish our drinks
Swing dancing in the crescent moonlight
Until a dip ended up as a fall
We all laughed, often and loudly
Our voices overflowing the air around us
Louder than the fast rushing whoosh
Of the creek behind our campsite
Ukulele accompaniment and campfire songs
We made plans for karoake later in the week
Being thankful for each other’s company
Embracing already new good people in our lives
I wandered away from spot 10 each time
More comfortable with the darkness
Less worried about the black bear who’d made
Camp Dick his home, taking time
To look up at the twinkling stars
The crescent moon, our fire that burned
Like a beacon over my shoulder
Leading me back to my home for the night
It would be home no more
We’re going to Alaska