Thursday, June 14, 2007

Best Laid Plans

My first year on the staff at Odyssey I was very close with one of the other staffers, Somwell. Somwell was large and gentle, always gave people his full attention, told the truth about how he was feeling (most of the time), and was basically magnetic. We were attracted to each other, and it felt, that week, as if we were attached at the hip in the few off hours that we had during camp. I remember one time when we sat so close that I felt his beard on my cheek while we were chatting with some other staffers.

Many of those hours of chatting happened late at night. The youth staff took over around 10pm, and the younger set of the adult staff would hang out in the lodge for a couple of hours afterwards. During training Somwell and I had hung out until the early hours of the morning, and during camp we did too. Camp was emotionally and physically draining, but it was hard for me to wind down at night, and I had never liked going to bed anyway.

We had a staff meeting every morning directly after breakfast. Halfway through the week, at the meeting I made an announcement asking people to encourage me to go to bed by midnight. Everyone agreed. That night, while shooting the breeze in the lodge, several people noted that it was creeping toward midnight and that I had asked them to tell me to go to bed. I agreed that I had, and I thanked them and headed out.

Sitting on the picnic table about ten yards from the lodge was Somwell. He was looking at the night sky, and it seems that I can remember he was looking at the moon or that he was looking at the stars. The place where camp was held was in a pretty rural area, so the sky would have been lit up either way. He called to me, and I walked over. I hadn't seen him as I had passed the table. He asked me where I was going "so early" and I explained that I had asked people to help me go to bed at a reasonable hour. He didn't remember that; it turned out that he had missed the staff meeting that morning. Of course if anyone was going to keep me up it would have been he, and we talked for at least an hour.

I got back to the bunk cabin I shared with some other staffers, crept in to get my toothbrush and paste, and went to the bathrooms to get ready for bed. As I walked away from the cabin, again I heard my name called, this time by one of my bunkmates. She had followed me out because she really wanted to talk about something that she felt she could only share with me. She'd heard me ask for support for my relatively early bedtime and had been waiting. That led to more conversation in the bathrooms after I was done brushing my teeth.

I remember this specifically: The clock by YaYaWOT's bunk read 2:20 when I climbed into my bed.

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