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Camp Lore - 46. Chapter 46

“The thing is,” Brian said, as we were paddling back to camp, “is that as bad as I messed up, I still didn’t mess up as bad as I could’ve.”

“Is that like being a little pregnant?” I joked.

“If Laura got pregnant from what we did tonight, you better keep me away from the Romans.”

“I think you’re mixing your gods and saints.”

“I’m drunk!” he hollered – so loudly it might have woken the camp. But we weren’t close enough.

“Okay, so you only dropped your pants.”

“Not even close.”

“She dropped hers?”

“You’re fishing.”

“Well, we’re in the right place.”

And we both laughed.

“We did a lot of kissing,” he admitted. “ With a lot tongues – way down deep. And hands all over the place. Under. Over. In.”

“You can stop there.”

“That’s where we did stop... There was a moment where we both needed to breathe... and in that maybe half-second, we looked at each other... kind of... it was dark behind the Rec Hall.... you know downstairs?... where it’s built into the side of the hill?... with the stables underneath?”

“I think they used it for cows.”

“Then we were in the right place.”

“Under the Rec Hall?”

“Just behind it... in the shadows. Laura was kind of leaning against the wall.”

“I hope you didn’t take pictures.”

“It was dark as the island.”

“Might save you both from getting kicked out of school.”

“If they kicked out every kid who posts a dumb pic, the schools’d be empty..”

“Give us all a chance to grow up.”

He laughed.

“Anyway,” he went on, “there was a moment when we looked at each other... And we didn’t have to say anything... just looked. And we knew this wasn’t what we wanted.”

“Or it’s what you wanted, but...”

“It was exactly what we’d promised not to do.”

“Then what were you doing out there?”

He kind of shrugged. I could see that because he was sitting in front of me.

“Well, the Canteen was really noisy,” he tried to excuse. “The music was blasting... That counselor – the DJ? – was really breaking loose...”

“So you went outside for some quiet?”


“And ended up behind the barn?”

He hesitated. “Not believable?”

“Are you saying that sheepishly?” I asked.

“More pig-like.”


And we both laughed.

“Anyway, we looked at each other,” he repeated. “And I said, ‘I’ve got to take a walk.’”

“Not another swim?”

“I just wanted to be out of there – away from camp – like in Binghamton?... So we got ourselves all zipped and buttoned, and went back to the Canteen, and said ‘good night,’ and when she went inside, I went out the main gate.”

“Headed where?”

“Just out... no place in particular. I’ve always liked to walk at night – I did it all through prep school.”

“Around campus?”

“That and the town.”

“With Julie?”

“More by myself – she goes to sleep earlier.”

“It was safe – the town?”

“Oh, yeah – it’s pretty small. There was no one around but me and an occasional drunk – passed out on the grass. Not at two AM.”

“Sounds nice.”

“And the occasional cop – pulling over to make sure I was all right.”

“And not robbing houses?”

Brian laughed.

“That almost happened once... One cop – he probably wasn’t much older than we were – who else would get night duty?... Anyway, he called and woke up our headmaster... ‘All ‘cause I was looking in the windows of a bank – checking out the architecture.”

“Dumb thing to do at two AM.”

“And I was sober.”

“You were sober on your walk tonight – at least, leaving camp.”

“Yeah... but I crawled back.”

“Did you really?”

“No... but I stopped and held up a lot of posts.”

I grinned. “Good thing you didn’t see a cop – a local one.”

“I think Guilford Center only has one... and she was drinking in the bar.”

We laughed.

“So if you didn’t really do anything with Laura – and it sure doesn’t sound like it – what were you beating yourself up for?”

“I wasn’t really... not at the start. I was just a kid, cadging beers... But the more they gave me, the more I drank... And I beat a couple of guys at pool – older guys – well, slightly older... And they paid me with a drink – a real one. Then they bet I couldn’t chug it... Well, I could – but jeez – there must’ve been four kinds of rum in it... Strong rum... sweet, and it went down smooth... but then – Bam! And of course, they challenged me to another game... I somehow won that, but probably ‘cause they let me... ‘Cause their real game was ‘getting the kid plowed.’”

“Sounds like they won.”

“And I helped – ‘cause then I had to buy them both drinks – keeping up with the big guys... And we had another... and another... and then – at some point – we got cut off – ‘cause we were having too much fun... And they argued with the bartender – who was a friend of theirs – it seems they were in there all the time. Then we got kicked out – that’s how I knew the cop was there... And we staggered outside – laughing a lot more... And they offered me a ride – a way back to camp... But I knew better than get into a pick-up – or anything moving – with them – when none of us could really stand... So I waved them off and then worked my way back to camp... And somehow, I reached the bunk... But I was getting mad at myself along the way – madder and madder... For doing exactly the sort of thing I’ve always promised not to – promised myself, anyway... I thought I was above that.”

“Pride’s a nasty thing.”

“Tell me about it.”

He hesitated – maybe trying to get back on track.

“Oh, yeah... And it seemed like I’d been walking for days – but it’s really only a mile-or two... And by the time I tripped into the bunk, I was furious at myself – and I think ranting.”

“That’s what the guys said.”

“I wish I could have seen that,” he said, laughing. “I’ve never been this drunk... The one great thing is I can’t tell you how great the lights look – even the ones in camp...”


“Ohh yeahhh!”

By that point, we’d made it to shore.

“So anyway... technically... once you get past all the rude stuff... I never really did break our handshake... I followed our scout oath.”

“Good little Cubbie.”

“No... it means something to me... it really does...”

I wanted to laugh. But it would’ve been the wrong time.

“Still, it sounds like you broke a couple of nails in there,” I told him instead. “Lost a little skin.”

He flexed his arm. “Bruised but firm.”

“Sounds like fruit.”

“You getting personal?”

And we both laughed.

“How much did you tell the guys?” he asked, as we beached the canoe.

“Not much,” I was able to admit. “Almost nothing really. They knew a lot already – more than I did.”

“Good,” he said. “Less to be embarrassed by.”

I nodded. “I still can’t get past the fact you beat yourself up like that... over nothing.”

“I told you – it’s not nothing – not to me... Maybe it’s a mess of small things – tiny, lousy choices... But they came together – big... I understood that as soon as I came to... woke up... almost giggling.”

“Were you really?”

“Oh, come on... As soon as I realized where I was... And how I was... I started laughing. If I could’ve wiggled my way free... and swam back... I would’ve been fine.”

“You might’ve drowned.”

“I managed to walk from the bar.”

“You could’ve been hit by a car.”

“A drunk driver?”

We both laughed. Then we realized how much that was echoing in the mainly sleeping camp.

“But I couldn’t break the handcuffs,” he went on. “Then my arms started to hurt... And it was getting a little cold.”

“I hope it wasn’t long.”

“Who knows? I think I passed out again and dreamed... weird dreams. Drunk dreams – you know how they are.”

“Not really.”

He chucked.

“Either did I – before... And the interrupted sex didn’t help – well, you saw that... It was all I could think of... all I had to think of... I was really pumping the air.”





And he took a moment to look away from me and glance around the camp – at I guessed what were the really pretty lights.

“I’m just surprised they kept serving you,” I told him, as we finally crossed the camp road.

“Well,” he said grinning. “I had this credit card.”

And we both laughed.

Copyright © 2020 RichEisbrouch; All Rights Reserved.

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