I just rolled back in from a weekend camping down by the river. Sometimes when I go it winds up a tent city, with a large group of folks, lots of activity and beer and singing by the fire. Sometimes it's more relaxed, a few core people and naps by the water. That's what I needed this weekend, and that's what I got.

Rudy, Togi, and I packed up (too much gear, as usual) and drove on down there, first on the interstate, then a county road, and so on down to sandy dirt where I'm always afraid I'll bog down and have to get help yanking her out of the hole. Smooth sailing this time, though. We pulled up to the property a little before sundown on Friday and between then and now I devoted myself to not worrying about school or bills or any damn thing.

You know how it is with close friends around a bonfire. Voices in the dark, the crisp crack of a new can of Pabst opened, the occasional flare when someone gets to fire farming. We talked about abortion, war, queer politics, music, and sex. We told a few dumb jokes. It was excellent and it was just what I needed. We cooked hotdogs in a tinfoil package filled with beer, and they were delicious.

Today we got up, packed up, and drifted back into town. On the way out of the Madison area we stopped into a podunk little Jiffy Mart and guess what I found. Cheerwine! Yes, that delicious cherry soda I fell for in North Carolina and haven't seen since, in glass bottles, all cold and waiting for me. I bought three and I'm drinking one as I type this. How cool is that?


Ms. Moon said...

Ah. That is very, very cool. I'm so glad y'all had a great time. I've been thinking about. I love you so much and you deserve that kind of a good out-in-the-woods-by-the-river break.
AND Cheerwine. Uh-huh.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Very cool

Magnum said...

Good post. There's definitely something intrinsic and ancient that a campfire stirs.

I came back from a very similar camping trip with friends. It's crucial for us now; these camping trips are our annual rekindling of a core of friends. it started with just a few dudes, then other friends, and girlfriends who became wives, and now children running and playing.
The scene has changed but the core of dudes around the fire remains, lying, telling jokes, cracking beers, adding wood almost instinctively.

downtown guy said...

Mama: I miss you. Lunch soon?

HWB: it was indeed.

Magnus: pretty much goes back to the start of people being people, huh? Before the fire, apes. Your camp out sounds like my parade parties, though. Started as a drink-up, and now there are bundled toddlers and happy grammas.

Jon said...

Fresh Market on Thomasville road north of I-10 actually carries Cheerwine. I know its not real close where you are, but some things are worth it. Like Cheerwine.

downtown guy said...

Turns out, it just spread into Florida last week so now it's all over. I'm stoked.

x-ray iris said...

Cheerwine. I have loved it for a lifetime. It is also very good with Wild Turkey. For some reason whenever I watch that D.A. Pennebaker Bowie and the Spiders from Mars flick I have to have this drink. Alas, in the PNW it is tres pricey. But worth it.