My seventeenth birthday. New school, not yet cemented as part of the social circle, feeling odd. We visited a place called Sweetsmill. An old mill that had a great mill pond, a rope swing, a steam hut that was made by piling dirt into a hill and covering it with concrete and bottles poked into it for light, then hollowed out. It made a cool dome room with the steam-pit in the center. Amazing place in the mountains. They were having a bluegrass festival, so there was music all over and interesting people everywhere you turned. We... my school was there to sell veggie burgers at a stand. We were taking turns fixing them and playing around. The smells were fantastic too. We were not the only stand selling food.
People would go sweat in the steam hut, then run out and jump into the mill pond. Most of these were naked. Admittedly, I was not used to large populations of naked adults. But it was a curious thing to study, and I did, being a curious person. Why lie? Of course there were many, many clothed people too, but you know, I had seen the clothed kind before. This was a bit of a shocker, this naked thing. I was very naive. My eyes were big, big.
We had arrived the day before toward sun down. We had sat around a fire and sung songs as a group, then broke into small groups to wander the crowd. I had no small group. I watched a boy from school play his guitar for a bit then wandered off instead to find a place to sleep. The people in my group knew each other pretty well. Boy-girl relationships were pretty well established. I was an odd wheel on the cart. Not that much fun when people broke off into twos.
Inside the mill house I found a spot next to the big picture window that overlooked the mill pond, and rolled out my sleeping bag. I lay down and listened to the sounds and took in the smells (I enjoy smells and often use them to help me recall things... or a smell often triggers memory.). I was thinking about being lonely. Wishing for a boyfriend of my own. That was my last thought as I drifted off to sleep.
I had a funny dream about it, but could not see the boy in the dream's face. I came to awareness slowly, realizing that my dream and reality had merged. The dream was based in part on the sounds and smells my coming-to-awake mind was collecting. Someone outside yelled "My name is Pierre and I sleep wiz meen!" in a terrible phony french accent. My eyes opened as the palest male naked body I have ever seen in my life to date... whizzed past on the swing rope right next to my head and dropped into the mill pond below. I swear his body was the color of the underside of a lizard. He was wearing one thing... world war one style flying goggles.
My brain short circuited. My wish for a boyfriend, my dream of said boyfriend and this weird, goggled lizard guy all rolled into one very confusing moment. Was this what god was going to send me on my 17th birthday as my wish? The thought was too big for my brain. I had to go have a cigarette. Too much. As vivid in my head today as it was then. What a birthday!
deadwood be done
1 year ago