Part 2, Going Camping


Two campers with gear hiking through Bear Moun...
Image via Wikipedia

Going Camping, Trouble in Town

At six in the morning I strolled down Main Street,

Admiring the small shops, enjoying the sun’s heat,

I went into Roger’s, a café with customers waiting in line,

I was told by a waitress, “It’s always like this, rain or shine,”

Inside on a wall there was a sign bright and bold,

WEAR SHOES AND A SHIRT AND DO WHAT YOU’RE TOLD,

A sudden thought whizzed around in my head,

“It doesn’t sound positive, it sounds negative instead,”

Another sign, “If you ain’t hungry, you’re wasting a place,

We only serve those who’re feeding their face!”

I was tempted to order the Sasquatch Special Plate,

But I was sure the special was meant to feed at least eight,

I ordered the smallest dish, called the Redwood Tree,

Aware that several people were casually watching me,

The waitress sashayed by, several times or more,

Then she stopped and said, “Before you go out that door,

There are three men in the corner with words to say,

And they look serious, they don’t have time to play,”

I was still feeling positive so I strolled over to see,

“Good morning, Sheriff, officers, you wanted to see me?”

“We’ve been searching all morning for three of our friends,

We thought you might know just where we should begin,”

“I’m sorry, sir, I really don’t know where they went,

They came to greet me but little time was spent,”

They looked at me dubiously, “We’re watching you double,

You can’t come into this town and start causing trouble,”

“I’m on my way to the Prairie Creek campground,

As soon as my pickup is finished, I’m leaving town,”

“If our buddies don’t show up, we’ll be looking for you,

There’s a connection, even if you’re just passing through,”

I didn’t know what to say so I turned and walked out,

But before I got through the door I heard the sheriff shout,

“Remember, don’t go far, we’ll be watching you, Stranger,”

Something inside of me kept saying, “Danger, danger, danger,”

If I could get my pickup I would hurry and get on the road,

I didn’t want the sheriff and his deputies to add to my load,

The mechanic was still working, meticulous but slow,

“It won’t be done today, sometime in the morning though,”

What point was there to argue if the results would be the same?

A man entered the garage, “I don’t think I gave you my name,”

“I’m Nathan,” he said, “I drove you here late last night,”

Even without his hard hat he was a welcome sight,

“My wife and I would like to take you out to dine,

Then show you around our town, we won’t let you decline,”

He got into his pickup, waved, “I’ll be back at six,”

I found a motel, checked in, “I hope this isn’t a trick,”

When Nathan and his wife, Melissa, arrived, I was at my best,

“The food is delicious, the people great at The Logger’s Nest,

You’ll like the long benches that fit at each table,

We all crowd together and talk while we’re able,”

The conversation was lively, between Nathan and some guy,

While Melissa and I talked quietly, squeezed thigh to thigh,

She plied me with questions about my city life,

She wanted to know everything, why I didn’t have a wife,

Later they showed me what they liked about their town,

Stopping at bars to visit friends and throw a few drinks down,

 I became the designated driver as the night took its toll,

Water and sodas had been my fare, so I was left in control,

Finally I drove them home, determined to walk to the motel,

“No, no, no,” Melissa said. “I’m almost sober, as you can tell,

Nathan can put himself to bed, there’ll be no debate,”

I didn’t want to argue, I was tired, and it was late,

On the way Melissa slid to the middle of the seat,

Then closer, thigh against thigh, I could feel the heat,

She leaned her head against my shoulder and sighed,

“I can’t drive with you close like this,” I lied,

“Nathan neglects me and leaves me all alone,

Why don’t you stay a few days and your camping trip postpone?”

I got out quickly at the motel but I heard the other door slam,

“I’ve got to use the girl’s room,” she said, and I was in a jam,

“I’ll just be a minute or two, and then I’ll be on my way,”

“Okay, I’ll be waiting at the truck, so please don’t delay,”

Time passed slowly and Melissa never came out,

Maybe something happened, although I had some doubt,

She was in bed, the covers tucked up under her chin,

“I’m cold,” she whispered, “so hurry up and get in,”

I shook my head, “Melissa, I can’t betray Nathan’s trust,

You and Nathan are my friends, I won’t give in to lust,”

She looked at me as if I had arrived from deepest space,

“He’s drunk and asleep, you can have me and leave no trace,

I’ve been waiting all evening for you, don’t you want me too?”

She was beautiful, I was needy, both of those were true,

“I’m sorry, Melissa, I’ll wait in the pickup until you get dressed,”

That was not what she expected for she looked quite distressed,

I shut the door behind me but not before I heard breaking glass,

Finally silence, I was sure positives won’t let negativity surpass,

She stormed out, her hair disheveled, her blouse torn,

“You could have made this easy and fun, now you they’ll scorn,

When I made plans to be with you, I must have been dreaming,

Now get out of my truck before I start screaming,

I’ll tell Nathan you laughed when my blouse was torn,

I’ll make you wish you’d never been born,”

One day of vacation used on this camping trip,

Negativity is winning, I’m in its grip.

(Part 2)

Going Camping, Thinking Positive


A white-tailed deer
Image via Wikipedia

My first impression of the north woods town,

Was not one in which beauty was found,

Smoke rose from the pulp mills and rising dust,

Logging trucks bulging with logs, ready to bust,   

Surely that is what all tourists chance to see,

Or were my negative thoughts playing tricks on me,

It was early evening so I decided to stop for fuel,

Don’t get stranded without gas is my first rule,

And in the woods where fewer people were found,

Gas stations were rare, and at night were shut down,

While my pickup was filling I strolled inside,

Bought a coffee and some chips to ease the ride,

On my way out I glanced at a car pulling slowly in,

The driver was scowling, anger showing, no grin,

“Whatcha lookin’ at?” he snarled as he passed me by,

“You got some kind of problem? Should I black your eye?”

I hurried on past without stopping to converse,

I was on vacation, no reason to argue or worse,

Sipping a hot coffee and munching my chips,

Singing loudly to no one and enjoying my trip,

When the pickup sputtered, coughed and died,

I coasted to the edge of the steep mountainside,

I mused over my predicament, it was not to my liking,

I could stay all night there, or I could begin hiking,

Two logging trucks roared by, shaking my truck,

“If I stay here on the edge, I could just be out of luck,”

A car approached in the darkness and came to a stop,

The driver got out, it was the rude man from the shop,

He glared, “Hah,” he said, and on the ground spat,

“Serves you right for staring at people, and that is that,”

I started to protest but he was already on his way,

“I’m not going to let you ruin what’s left of this day,”

I hiked north along the road, hoping to find a town,

But several hours passed slowly with no one around,

A commotion in front of me, something in the road,

A deer, still alive, stunned and scared, towards it I strode,

I talked to it calmly, quietly, urging it to relax,

Amazingly the deer ceased kicking, and listened to facts,

With my heart in my throat, I checked out the deer,

“You’re going to be fine,” I said, “when you’re over your fear,”

I lifted and pulled as the deer struggled to its feet,

It looked at me for a moment, its recovery complete,

It stumbled and then bounded away into the night,

I was alone once more and feeling all right,

Dawn broke silently and quickly, the sun touching the trees,

I thought of the emptiness of my life, in varying degrees,

I caught myself, “I can’t let negative thoughts slip in,

Negative brings negative, lets the erosion begin,

I must think positive, for positive forces I need,

What can I do right now, that would be a good deed?”

I began picking up cans and paper lining the way,

“I’ll do this while I’m thinking of places to stay,”

Several times I heard footsteps in the forest nearby,

Yet when I stopped, only birds and wind caught my eye,

A car slowed, stopped, and seemed waiting for me,

It was the rude man with two others, now there were three,

They were carrying baseball bats and I felt a sudden chill,

I was the target they wanted, they were after a thrill,

“Whatcha lookin’ at?” he growled and for once had a grin,

“There’s no way to escape this group of men,”

Now this is where my story sounds confusing and surreal,

Out of the bushes shapes came hurtling, it didn’t seem real,

The three men were knocked down and thrown aside,

I started running, but there was no place to hide,

I ran, I jogged, I walked, exhausted but continuing on,

Trying to separate fact from fiction, all reason gone,

A pickup pulled alongside me, two men in hard hats,

Offered me a ride into town, and that was that,

A short conversation of which they could make no sense,

About positives being better whenever I’m tense,

I arranged for a tow truck to take me back,

We collected my pickup and I was again on track,

I saw the rude man’s car still waiting where he parked,

I wondered a moment where they had embarked,

There was too much I didn’t understand about this night,

Later on I would wonder how I came out all right.

(to be continued)

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