CAMP. I’m going camping! I’m all too quick to latch onto the identity of a camp person (vis a vis This American Life), but I can’t say that extends much towards setting up a tent and praying not to be mauled by bears (unless they look like this). I’m ever hopeful that my life excludes bear attacks, but this weekend I’ll be on an island under a canvas dome, with no sturdy walls to protect me from the elements. Is a bear one of the elements? Enough about the bears, this is becoming un… hah. I bet you thought I was gonna say “unbearable” right? I’m not that ursinane. Bears won’t feature this weekend, unless burly hairy gay dudes happen to come along to the event too. In which case I’m sure they’ll be respectful and leave the mauling for someone else. They better not steal my pic-a-nic baskets though.
If you couldn’t tell my the opening caps, I’m excited. It’s an organised event called Playground Weekend being held in Midlands, Ontario. It feels “burner” aligned, in that there’s gonna be constant art, music and bright fuzzy clothes all around. Yoga and reiki on the beach, colour wars, movie screenings and an assortment of communal activities. There’ll be midnight guitar sing-a-longs and DJs on rotation from dawn to dusk to dawn. I can’t wait to bust out a bunch of running games I learned teaching gymnastics. Playing Elephant Tag and Stuck in the Mud with other large people is high on my list of priorities, because I don’t know how to be an adult. I wonder if I can rope anyone into playing tapu ae. It’s a leave no trace event and frankly the idea of being out of the city, surrounded by nature and well meaning people lifts my heart like a shot of helium. In retrospect, I think that’d kill me. With kindness? Or just excruciating air bubbles complicating my blood flow? Once again, I’m adopting “don’t die” as my mantra. If that ain’t life affirming, I don’t know what is.
Because of a weird experience with an ex-girlfriend clearing stuff out from her house, I now own a tent. Setting it up on my front lawn, I learned that it sleeps up to 6 people. Given this recent discovery and lack of sleeping partners, I currently have all the room to myself. My starfishing will know no end. I wonder how much it’d cost to fill the thing with plastic coloured balls. Or jello. Or infinite soft things. I’ve ever desired a pillow pit, maybe now is the time. Except that it’s not. At present this tent is kinder surprise instruction level easy. I’m surprised it didn’t just pop out of the bag and set itself up. Still, because I’m incompetent at anything practical it took me about 20 minutes to figure out (because one piece is missing. Is this an IKEA tent or something? As it stands my fly will be without a significant awning. As if that mattered when I’ve ended up with a free 6 person tent. I even went out and bought a tarpaulin, because everyone with more camping experience (so, everyone) than me told me to. Who am I to argue with knowledge? I’m no buffoon.
So here I am, counting down the days until I can get up and board the camp bus to Midlands. If it’s anything like the summer camps I once knew, I’m awaiting songs and bus candy and general cheer. Cue all of my dreams being dashed with a rough clique-y crew, having to prove myself through interpretive dancing with wolves and stopping people from putting babies in the corner. Or leaving them unattended around dingoes and bears. Camp. It’s a hard life, but someone’s gotta live it.