We are camping and we’re having a blast! The sun is shining, the children are getting along, everything we cook is delicious, and at night we watch the sky fill with stars from our warm tent. We roast marshmallows without burns or poking-stick injury, no one’s been attacked by squirrels, I have several bottles of Bailey’s, and everyone remembered all the words to “Iko Iko.”
This is complete bullshit.
I’m trying that “visualize success” thing, but a huge clap of thunder just made me spill my drink, so clearly that “positive thinking” thing doesn’t work. Stupid positivity.
I am writing this sitting on a soggy camp chair next to a campfire which burns only because we have the entire area covered with an assortment of tarps and E-Z- up tents. Our campsite looks like a cross between a hurricane disaster zone and a refugee camp. Every few minutes there is huge splash as the tarps fill with rain and then collapse their heavy corners under the load of water they struggle to hold.
We’ve been here 24 hours and I am fighting the urge to eat my children.
My daughter is sitting in the car, staring straight ahead. I can see her; her teenage disdain fogging the windows. My son is in the tent, rolling around in his filth and the filth of animals he’s befriended since we arrived. My partner had to sleep outside last night after someone had a dream they were peeing and well, peed. (We’re not about blame here. Stop looking at me.)
The sleeping bags won’t dry on the clothesline because it won’t stop raining, and we can’t decide who gets the thrill of visiting the small town Laundromat. I checked it out briefly, and it was pretty scary. Most of the washing machines were missing lids and several dryers were held closed by hacked up 2×4 pieces. The coin machine was broken and the guy manning the change counter looked to be handcuffed to his chair. He gave me a milky eyed stare and puffed on his pipe when I asked if he had any quarters. A nearby town houses a maximum security prison and I think this is where they operate a work-release program.
Before I left, I peeked into one of the washing machines. It was full of water – greasy, stagnant water that smelled of dollar store detergent. A G-string floated amidst the foam on the surface. While normally I’m all about free underwear, I refrained from taking them as the bullfrog floating within seemed to like his home there.
Back at camp Mr. X had been stung in the face – twice, by bees – right above the left eyebrow. Now his eye won’t open and it’s swollen down to his cheek. It hurts like hell he says and he looks like Sloth from “The Goonies,” although this is proving useful for scaring away other people’s children who approach our campsite uninvited.
I don’t think I’ll wash those sleeping bags after all, because isn’t urine good for stings?