Please note that this excerpt comes with a minor content warning for mentions and allusions to animal cruelty and abuse. If you choose to proceed, please do take care of yourself.
I was barely awake, eyelids heavy, outside flittering through the windshields. The rain fell in large, heavy drops on the metallic roof of the car. I fell in and out of wakefulness as Leif talked on and on about his childhood. He was rambling on to keep himself awake, sipping hot gas station coffee from a thermos and sporting what I ended up calling his “adventure beard.” He confessed afterwards being amazed our relationship survived that several days’ drive soliloquy. During my more wakeful moments, I remember his stories about summer camp best. He’d gone to theatre camp and been a part of the boy scouts. I learned that sleep-away summer camps depictions on television were probably fairly accurate. My closest run-in with going to summer camp had actually been a day camp when I was probably ten or eleven years old. I hadn’t thought about the experience in a long time — it was a horseback riding day camp that anybody who was anybody (or so it seemed to my kid self) in the village seemed to be obsessed with.