The pitter of rain hits the tree tops, with hardly a drop breaking through onto us. Dusk is falling. I sit around the campfire, with husband, friend Ira, and the ex-boyfriend, the man I lived with for seven years and have seen twice in the last ten. It is a cozy scene, that fire burning light onto our faces. The sips of wine and beer. The reminiscences – how is so & so doing, how’s your mom, your dad? And the rain – it never does hit us.
Until – the crackle of the fire is overwhelmed by the crackle of thunder and we run to the picnic table and huddle under the orange tarp hanging from tree to tree. We are sheltered.
The other wives [Ira’s, the ex’s], the four kids, all girls, ages 6 – 14, return [dare I say from Bingo?] And now there are 10 of us, all under the tarp, close, very close. A long discussion on – should we stay or should we go? It is a given that husband and I are going – we do not camp – but the others have tents set up in this campground just 9 miles from Ira’s house. There are votes. Everyone talks over everyone. The 14 year-old is cutting deals with her dad (my ex). Or trying to. Ellen, Ira’s wife, is yelling – “it’s too loud!”, her hands over her ears [she wants to go home.] Ex is saying to me – “hey you know this would be a great movie scene you should write this.”
Finally, some decide to go back to the house, some decide to stay. Ellen & Ira & their daughter will sleep at home, shower, and return to the campground tomorrow. As will myself and husband, but that was our plan anyway. The ex and his wife decide to stay. They are the true campers.
The rest of us – we are faux campers.