AS NEW Year’s countdown receded, the cold came.
It stabbed through our saturated clothes with a silver, sorrowful feel. We stood around and debated where to go to get warm, but with a goofed group accord was always going to be a noble but elusive ideal.
Already casualties drifted in the dark, swallowed, their attentions spans fractured, their serotonin smashed. In my mind Dan and Jacob loomed large, so when they announced they were heading back to camp for a change of clothes I attached myself to their intention.
On the walk I was all spangled big brother:
feeling good? you guys good? - squelch, squelch - here, have some gum - slurp, suck - it helps with the jaw - slurp, suck, squelch - have you drunk much water? - squelch - make sure you drink - squelch - but not too much water - slurp - not too much okay? - suck, suck, slurp - good, you guys feeling good? - rrrrrrrruuush - gum? Anyone want some gum? -
But first that great tribulation of open-air festivals, unwanted but unavoidable: a night time rendezvous with the portaloos. It was a rite of passage. A passage to where? Nowhere good. I came up on a line of them.
In the murk they resembled tombstones, and to get to one first I had to negotiate a small lake in front, opting for a tippy-toe run I fondly imagined might skip me across the water. It didn’t. Sigh.
But still worth it.
Everything was worth it, for the fun.
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