AuGuSt 12 2005
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12 August 2005 (Friday)

Today was very different for a Friday.  I’ve
worked Friday afternoon and evening every single
week for almost a year.  It’s ironic that for
many years I had it worked out so that I left
work early on Fridays, but now Friday is a late
day, and one where I double back Saturday
morning.  But not today.  I got my schedule
changed this week for a very special reason.

I headed out to the lake to meet my friends. That
was not the original plan, although I’m still not
clear on what the original plan was.  But until
recently, Stu, Yvette’s sother, was bringing his
kids down to Yvette’s and we were all going to
Six Flags.  But either he didn’t get custody for
today or had to work, so I didn’t see him or his
kids.  Now they plan to go tomorrow, but I have
to work.  Oh well.  As I told them, I can go to
Six Flags anytime, but can only see them when
they’re here.

It was a little confusing finding everyone
because there are several campgrounds by the
lake, and when I finally found the right one the
camper was different.  I was looking for the one
they used last time.  They actually had two
campers, but neither one looked familiar.

The first of the group I saw were Mindy and Josh,
and this time I got a big hug and kiss on the
cheek from Mindy and a nice hug from Josh.  I don’
t know if he was less embarrassed to hug me
without the others around or not, but I love
hugs.  Lorien and Becky both gave me a hug and a
kiss on the lips, which I mention specifically
because Lorien was teasing Mindy about it.  
Apparently she wanted to greet me that way, but
was “chicken.”  I jokingly told her she could
kiss me on any part of my body that wasn’t
covered by clothing.  This seemed rather safe, as
I was wearing a T-shirt, long pants, socks and
shoes, so only my head, neck, arms and hands were
exposed.  But then Becky said, “wait and kiss him
when he’s in his swim trunks.”  Then Yvette, who
hadn’t kissed me before, said, “I’d better kiss
you now, then,” and did give me a peck on the
lips, as did Dolly.

Dolly reminds me somewhat of one of my former
next-door neighbors.  She also was thin, although
actually thinner than Dolly, but gained a great
deal of weight in the belly and chest when she
was pregnant.  Dolly said she gained 50 lbs., and
I could believe it.

The man she had been with the last time I saw
her, Eddie, has apparently left her, which led to
Yvette ranting about child support.  But Dolly
makes no secret that Eddie is only the probable
father, and if he isn’t then he likely won’t be a
source of help.  I feel for Dolly, for she could
give birth at any moment and has no real support
other than her mother, and I’m not certain how
much support she offers her.  Dolly needs
financial, emotional and moral support, and I don’
t think she’s getting much of any of them.  She
acts like she’s happy and doesn’t worry about
anything, but that could be part of the problem.

Lorien is dealing with a “situation.”  I hope she
doesn’t mind me being frank as I plan to post a
version of this account on her site (I checked
with her; she doesn’t mind), but I think she was
a little more excited about seeing Allen than she
admits to either others or herself.  It’s
perfectly understandable, as he flirted with her
before and she broke up with her long-time
boyfriend right before she came out here.

But Allen was quite obviously hanging around
Becky; in fact, if I hadn’t know that Becky has a
boyfriend back home, I would have thought Allen
and Becky were a newly formed couple.  Becky
apparently has an open relationship with Hunter,
her boyfriend, which I am not in any way opposed
to if it works for them.  Allen and Becky are
both very physical, and even though much of their
physical contact with each other was of a
playful, teasing nature, they were obviously
interested in each other, and often had their
arms around each other or were kissing, often
while in odd positions.  They had something of a
game going to see who could kiss the other one in
the most unexpected manner.  But not all of their
kisses stopped at the level of pecks.

Lorien very pointedly avoiding looking at them
during these times, but then did watch them.  She’
s dealt with a lot lately, and talked to me about
it later in the day.  Mindy encouraged me to talk
to both Lorien and Dolly.  Becky of course has
suffered the greatest loss with the death of her
father, but the missing father seemed to be a
theme of our group.  Yvette’s children do not
live with their father and they apparently seldom
if ever see him--I got conflicting stories on
that; Lorien’s father moved out; Dolly’s father
is also gone.  And of course my father was just
recently released from the hospital.  I actually
thought it could be the theme for a play, but it
likely already has been.

I also met Marcy and her mother Pam, who have the
other camper.  Marcy is either a friend or
relative of Yvette’s; I’m not sure which.  Marcy
apparently has some type of disability that
qualifies her for assistance, but I’m not sure
what that is either.  I didn’t get to talk to
either of them much, but they seemed nice.

They had apparently planned to go fishing from a
boat, but didn’t today.  I got to talk a while to
Yvette, and learned some things about Stu, her
sother, at least from her point of view.  He’s
fun and has money, which apparently to her makes
him good marrying material.  What I didn’t hear
was how compatible they are, what common
interests they have other than dancing and
rodeos, or really much else about him.

I shot some photos of everyone, but still wish I
had seen the previous photos I shot before I did
these.  I still don’t know how they’re going to
come out.

Some of us decided to go swimming, and as
expected decided to do Lorien’s favorite water
game, where one person rides on another’s
shoulders and one team tries to knock the other
team down first.  Becky primarily rode on Allen,
although he did give a ride to Josh and I think
Mindy.  I gave a ride to Lorien twice, Mindy
once, and Josh once.  Allen is probably stronger
than me, but Lorien and I won against them on the
second “combat.”  Becky reached to grab Lorien
but extended too far. She lost her balance, with
the help of Lorien pulling her.  Lorien was very
happy about pulling Becky off of Allen, but I’ll
leave off giving my interpretation of why that
made her so happy.

Vickie and Dolly got in the water but didn’t
compete, Dolly for obvious reasons.  I’m glad she’
s not self-conscious about her highly pregnant
form, and she even wore a black bikini.  So many
women think they’re “too fat” when they’re
pregnant, which is a sad statement on our diet-
obsessed society.  I’m sure Lorien will describe
what everyone wore, so I will refrain.  I did
notice that my blue, green and black swimming
trunks are shorter than the current fashion for
guys.  It’s odd that shorts for girls and women
have gotten much shorter, but ones for boys and
men have gotten much longer.  They used to be the
same length.

Our group split at one point, with some of us
going shopping and some of us staying at the
lake.  Lorien, Mindy, Yvette, Vickie, Dolly and I
went, while Becky, Allen, Marcy and Pam stayed
behind.  It was a typical shopping trip until
Dolly announced she was having cramps and thought
she might be in labor.  I quickly learned that
none of us knew where the nearest hospital was--I
know of hospitals in the general area, but not
terribly close.  A clerk wasn’t too clear on it
either, so I used the phone book and got
information on the nearest facility and
directions on how to get there.  It occurred to
me that a pregnant woman camping by a lake who
was due in three days and had no idea where to go
when labor began was not a good combination.  But
fortunately it proved to be a false alarm.  And
while I am fanatically anti-ageist and believe
that some 14-year-olds are highly qualified to
handle adult responsibilities, I also believe
Dolly is not in that category.  It made me wonder
why her mother didn’t either keep her home, or go
with her.

Dolly wanted everyone to feel her belly at least
once, as she said it might be the last chance
anybody had to feel Clara kick.  She had me try
three times, but I always missed her unborn child’
s foot action, although I did once see it.  Dolly
is quite open about discussing the most intimate
details of her life, but has yet to gain the
wisdom to know how to deal with those
intimacies.  It’s a sad combination, and one that
reflects our society’s critical problem of not
preparing children and young people for life.  If
you’re physically capable of becoming pregnant,
you should have been given the knowledge to know
what that involves, and the knowledge and
resources to avoid it if you aren’t ready for
it.  I gently corrected Dolly on more than one
belief she had about pregnancy and birth and
raising an infant, and Yvette backed me up on
some of it.  But some of both Dolly’s and Yvette’
s beliefs are in conflict with what I know to be
accurate.  As I am no expert on childbirth, that’
s a sad state of affairs.

Dolly did have a couple interesting beliefs
concerning breast feeding.  One was that if you
nurse your child from the left breast, it will
become heterosexual, but if you nurse it from the
right, it will be homosexual.  I don’t know if
she sees that as a certainty or tendency, but it’
s a concept new to me.  Another is that breast
milk can cure cancer.  I suppose this idea could
have come from the concept of colostrum, the
early breast milk after birth that helps build an
infant’s immune system, but I never heard of it
being applied to cancer.

Lorien and Mindy have had something of a running
joke with me about being pacified, ranging from
keeping someone from talking too much to
preventing smoking.  “Shut up or I’ll stick a
pacifier in your mouth,” and “if you have to suck
on something, go suck on a pacifier.”  So I
brought a gift for each of them, a pacifier with
a string around it.  I didn’t want to leave
anyone out, so I brought a few of them.  I was
hoping that the others wouldn’t think I was too
strange, but reactions ranged from laughing out
loud to acceptance of the joke if not the gift of
a pacifier.  Mindy, Becky, Lorien and Allen wore
theirs around their necks and used them at least
a few times, as did I, and Josh and Yvette even
used them at least once.  We wondered how others
at the lake would accept it, or at least I did,
but no one seemed to pay much attention to our
antics.

While unforseen on my part but perhaps
inevitable, Allen and Becky (“Crystal”) made a
game of switching pacifiers, with Allen asking
“Crystal, want to suck on mine again?”  They were
amused and Josh found it hilarious, but I don’t
think Lorien was very amused by how “Crystal” and
Allen acted around each other.  I had some idea
how she felt, for I’d been in similar situations
myself.  Lorien seemed to hang on me all the
more, which of course I didn’t mind.  I like to
think it might have helped, but I’m afraid
affection from a friend doesn’t compensate for
affection from someone you’re romantically
attracted to.

I really wanted to stay with all of them, but
regretfully had to leave as I had to get up early
for work the next day.  At Lorien’s insistance,
Mindy did finally give me a peck on the lips,
which Lorien seemed to identify as some sort of
victory.  I think, perhaps, it had to do with her
feeling she at least some say over who and how
her best friends were kissing.  Becky, or rather
Crystal, and Allen continued counting the number
of positions they could “do it” in, “do it”
referring to kissing.

It was a great visit in one sense, and an awkward
one in another.  I have a drive to want to help
everyone, to save the world, but today I fear I
saved no one.  But I did at least have a good
time.
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