Wednesday October 16 2013

Feliz Campistas in the Carolinas (Oct 16 2013)[i]

Waking up at 1:23 p.m. Dad and Patty went to the store to get food for camping tonight.

I make myself some breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Toast, Grapefruit, and Orange Juice.

Jennifer just arrived home from school. We chat in the kitchen like stepbrother and sister. She tells me about how a girl got jealous of her because she was talking with the girl's boyfriend or something.

Jennifer: "Mexican girls jealous of me for some reason."

Eventually, dad and Patty get home. I had mentioned yesterday about why he never had a basketball goal in the driveway. So he bought one but it turns out to be a junior size. I'm delegated to drive back into town to return it and buy the official size. I take the wheel of dad's old pickup truck. It's a 90-something with over 240,000 miles on it, the only vehicle he'll never sell or give up. Jennifer and Patty come with me.

Back at the house. Using the picture instruction manual I spend a few hours constructing the whole thing. It's quite a production but with the proper tools and patience we complete it. Everything's set up and we all shoot the balls around. Apparently, Patty used to play ball in high school back in Honduras. Dad attempts a few shots but his foot prevents him from running around.

A bowl of Raisin Bran Cereal with Bananas.

Out in the backyard the campground is in high gear, the picnic table with grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, and baked beans laid out, my dad with tongs for the grill in hand, and the neighbors socializing. The radio from the garage is blasting classic pop tunes and there's a general happiness in the air. Chugging down a few beers. I grab a Hot Dog for myself and try some of the homemade Baked Beans.

Feliz Campistas in the Carolinas (Oct 16 2013)

Feliz Campistas in the Carolinas (Oct 16 2013)

Feliz Campistas in the Carolinas (Oct 16 2013)

Feliz Campistas in the Carolinas (Oct 16 2013)

Feliz Campistas in the Carolinas (Oct 16 2013)

Keith, the gentlemanly redneck neighbor, offers some moonshine, which usually happens anytime I'm here. I take a shot. We all gather 'round the fire. I pick up the guitar and try my best to entertain and lead us in song. A few oldies classics satisfy our vocal cords.


Later, Keith offers some bud. I normally don't smoke but on this occasion it's nice. I light up a few hits and enjoy the green smoke traveling inside and out. I feel a mild internal pulse in my head; the buzz is on its way. Keith catches me staring deep into the fire pit.

Keith: "It's startin' to creep up on ya itn't it?"

I smile with contentment.


In one moment I stare over at my dad inspecting his appearance and remembering how different he looked when I was a kid, how much he's changed and stayed the same, always attempting to rile you with a joke or smart remark with that great smile on his face.


Patty tries to verify my age and asks if I'm 28.

Me: "No. I'm 29."

Keith interjects, "You're scaring 30 to death!"

Me: "Yep. That's what it feels like."

"It gets better," he assures.

Me: "I'm hopeful."


My mind clicks on an idea to chow down on some Lay's Pickle Chips. It was a good idea.


The neighborly crowd begins to die out leaving Keith, my dad, Patty, Jennifer, and me to maintain the last of the fire. The radio gets shut off. And then...then I can hear the hypnotic sounds of the crickets and the night's stillness. Some brief politics are discussed and then the campers scamper off into their tents. While Keith and my dad are taking a leak at the edge of the woods I produce a few muffled fart noises with my hand over the shoulder.

"What was that?"

Jennifer and I can't stop laughing. I can hardly breathe and begin to snort.

Feliz Campistas in the Carolinas (Oct 16 

Everybody's off to sleep now. I'm alone by the fire. I can hear the faint abrasive sound of a dog barking miles away. The yell echoes through the woods, drenched in a natural reverb. It's a beautiful and peaceful feeling sitting here by myself. After 20 minutes I start to hear the rumble of my dad's snores in competition with Keith's snores. I can't imagine Patty and Jennifer are comfortable all cooped up in that one tent. I revert to the guest room and settle down there for the night at about 3 a.m.

[i] All images by me.

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