A cold and rainy hell

I don’t know what time we went to bed or how we got there; it wasn’t my bed, anyway, it was four of us crammed into the tent Michaela had set up in the back of her $800 Ford Ranger. Four of us and the dog in a tangle of limbs and confusing body parts and bad breath and treeplant smelliness. We had to evict one after it became clear he had sleep apnea; we laughed relentlessly at the ground shaking snores and then gave him a headlamp and the old heave-ho over the side of the truck, listening to him crash away through the brush and party detritus. It had been cold and damp for longer than seemed fair and the bare metal of the truck, under only a layer of tent canvas, seemed aggressively chilly. At one point I fought my way through the layers of tarp and fly and tent to lay my head disconsolately along the bed and puke red goon sack wine and acrid Baby Duck and tomatoes (tomatoes!?) into the grass. When the chill of the metal became too much to bear, I left Jude, glaring at me balefully, and stumbled out to the dying embers of our fire, free of spectators, and turned myself around it like a slow spit roast, trying to get warm and occasionally spitting surprise bits of puke into the sand, suffering the worst psychological and physical agony I can remember experiencing.

This was still preferable to the hangover day spent on the side of a logging road in temperatures hovering near zero, the bus overheating and leaking coolant and the grey sky spitting out an incessant drizzle that made our clothes smell like wet dog and plastered our frizzy hair to our blackfly bitten foreheads. This is hell, I thought. A cold and rainy hell.

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