It was dark. Not city dark ; country dark, black as coal and without streetlights or the steady glow from sodium bulbs, the next block over. No passing headlamps show the way, no neon bar signs, or bright red ardor of LED announcements from the massage parlor. Not here – no, we had a bonfire.
A bonfire at summer camp attracts kids like moths. You wait, with bated breath, for certain death when one’ll run into the flame. Instead, you get the preacher standing to exclaim.
“My name,” he says, “is Pastor Grey, I hope you’ve had a good first day. By now you’ve found your places, recognized familiar faces, met new friends and found your way. Please bow your heads, let’s pray.”
No way, I thought, “I’m not here to pray. No fucking way. I’m here to play. Fish, canoe and swim all day; baseball, crafts, and funny skits.
“I want to steal across the river to the girl’s cabins in the middle of the night. I want to steal a kiss from Liz DeVries, and maybe, if I’m lucky, touch the soft, pale, delicate, and enticing bare skin of her thigh.”
But then, to my surprise, or maybe my dismay, I found myself begin to pray. I prayed we wouldn’t have to stand in a circle , and that we wouldn’t have to hold hands. God left me swinging in the wind; with both of those demands.
In a moment of desperation, I tried again. I made a deal with God, “I swear to quit hitting my sister, if we don’t have to sing Kumbaya.”
That didn’t work out so well either, not for me and not for my sister.
Sorry about this – I had fun though!