I sat alone, on an endless beach, the sun setting far away in the horizon. The sky was painted a myriad of hues of orange, red and yellow. The waves washed in slowly, creating the soothing swish that had lulled me to sleep as a child. From down the beach, I could see a lone figure, walking in my direction.
The figure was female, though I couldn’t see her at all in the setting sun. As she drew closer, her features came into view. Her hair long and brown; body full figured; wearing a one-piece, solid black bathing suit. She looked familiar, yet totally strange. At once I knew her, and forgot her.
She sat down next to me, and did not say a word. She just stared at me. I stared at her. Somehow, we were locked completely. She leaned closer, and whispered something in my ear. Then she rose from her seat, winked at me, and then walked into the distance.
I felt unusually warm, actually, quite hot. That simple encounter had let loose every hormone in my body. My chest felt aflame. I looked down, and it was glowing red. I could feel fire licking up my throat, the intense heat cooking me from the inside out (... thou shalt not kill... ), smoke emanated from my mouth and nose (... thou shalt not lie... ), and then I was swooped up by a... VAMPIRE!?
I opened my eyes and glanced towards the door. Yes, I was awake, and hearing The Lost Boys. I shifted my head to glance towards the television. Some idiot had left it on, and I was watching The Lost Boys. Before I made any action though, I checked to see if the others were awake. James, Stuart and J were all out like lights. I checked the clock, 5:03.
Then I turned towards Chris. He was wide awake, watching the movie. This caught me slightly off guard, but then I remembered that he is prone to these things, pulling all-nighters for no apparent reason. He told me of two other movies he had seen earlier (which really sucked), and I went back to bed.
When I re-awoke later that morning (somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00), Chris had shifted his position to the outside, where he had taken one of our chairs. Then we all got our butts in gear, getting ready to move out for breakfast (which I really needed again). Once the bulk of us were ready, we headed down to the Sizzler for breakfast.
I hadn’t had a buffet breakfast for a long time, and this was a welcome change. This place had just about anything you could think of in the way of breakfast food, even some stuff that you couldn’t. After paying for the meal (all we could eat – J was the only one who ever really got his money’s worth), we raided the food area. I believe in the "don’t bother with the return trip – get it all the first time" method. So I basically heaped eggs, bacon, hash browns and a few other things onto my plate.
Once I was finished, I waited a few minutes, then hauled my stuff up (it was getting close to 8:15, the time we had to be at the bus so we could leave) and headed out. The others weren’t far behind though, no-one wanted to eat too much that morning. The buses were there when I returned to the hotel, and so was Dick. Yes folks, the dude had returned!
We boarded the buses and by about 8:30 or so, were ready to roll out. I sat alone that day, near the front of the bus. So long as we traveled on those Grey Line buses from the time we left Disney World until I arrived at home, I sat alone. It’s really hard to say whether or not it’s good being alone. It’s nice in the evening for me, but during the day, it ain’t so good.
Observer’s Log: Traveldate 40491.085
Soon we will be on our way to Cape Kennedy, brings back memories of "Space, the final frontier... ", not that I’d forgotten them. Following that, we are supposed to head off to Cocoa Beach, I hope it warms up a lot! Chris was up all night watching movies on tv (HBO). At about 5 a.m. I entered the world of the awakened for a few moments when I heard parts of "The Lost Boys".
Then we began our long trek to the East coast of Florida. Being in Orlando can be neat (depending on where your hotel happens to be located – ours was no exactly in an "ideal" location), but it is a real pain the ass when you have to travel to either of the coasts. It’s a long trip, and just about nothing in between. And if you think I’m just guessing about Orlando to West coast to justify my point, we traveled it too!
Anyway, I had purposely brought a few tapes with me to listen to, so I wouldn’t get bored. I remembered the trip vaguely from my first trip to Florida (eleven years ago), the Bee Line Express stood out in my mind, but the trip hadn’t seemed so long. Then again, I was sitting alone on the bus listening to music, not engaged in any conversation with anyone (aside from myself, being partially schizoid does have its advantages).
I won’t bother recreating any of the events on the way to KSC (mainly because I don’t remember any – and if I did, there would be too many to tell and this would be real tedious), but somewhere around 10 to 10:15, we approached a rather long bridge across the Indian River. From the top, way off in the distance, I could see the immense structure known as the Vertical Assembly Building. I reached for a cassette sitting in my camera bag.
Ground Control to Major Tom...
Ground Control to Major Tom...
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on.
If you haven’t already recognized it, these are the first three lines to Space Oddity, by David Bowie. This is one of my favorite songs, for several reasons. Had I a copy of the Star Trek theme, I probably would have played that too. We soon found ourselves passing by unused (or replica) rockets from the early years of spaceflight. Canals on either side of the road quickly appeared, one with an alligator (Emily was almost instantly on that side to take a picture).
Seconds later, we were turning into Spaceport USA’s parking lot. Dick pulled into a spot and we came to a halt. Then Beber got off the bus to smoke up (that long without nicotine must have been torture – poor soul!), Kathryn followed her. No, Kathryn does not smoke, no-one in our group did. We didn’t drink either for that matter. But please, do not call us "goodie-goodies", it just does not fit our attitudes. The only reason Kathryn left the bus was that she gets motion sickness, and she needed some fresh air.
Finally, after another long wait, our tour guide returned with instructions. We had to be at Loading Area ‘A’ at 11:00 (which was in about 15-20 minutes), but we could go gift shopping or looking around until that time. Remembering that my sister wanted some dehydrated ice cream, I booted over to the gift shop following James and Stuart.
I couldn’t remember the gift shop from the last time I was there, but it wouldn’t have helped anyway. After all, things usually change after eleven years. The place was crowded, yet the only thing in stock they seemed to be running out of was film. James and Stuart kept finding strange and unusual things, I found the ice cream (and strawberries and stew and...) but for the moment, didn’t buy anything.
Instead, I donned my shades once more, and headed for the shuttle we had seen on the way in. At first, I thought it was the U.S.S. Enterprise (not the one from Star Trek, but the original prototype space shuttle they used for flight tests!), I found out it was the Ambassador, a replica. That was depressing. It wasn’t even real. But I took a picture of it anyway, I had to.
Then I turned my attention to the forest of rockets that were all around me at that point. Some of them I knew from memory, a couple had their names printed right on them. I only took pictures of three rockets (not including the multiple shots of the segmented Saturn V we saw later on): an Atlas-Agena, the Ambassador, and a Saturn 1B rocket. That’s where I found Stothart. I went over to ask her a question about something (a men’s sectional if I remember correctly), and the two of us headed over to the Apollo Gantry.
The Gantry looks much like the real one (for obvious reasons), and has an exact replica of the Apollo capsule at the other end. Stothart was almost shocked when she found out how little room the astronauts had to move around in. I wasn’t even fazed, mainly because I knew most of this stuff from my early years of grade school.
By that point, our time was running out, and I proceeded to the loading area for our tour bus. The tour buses at KSC are really cool double deckers (I wish Oakville would adopt a couple for bus routes!), and a run by a company contracted by NASA to run tours, they’re not even government affiliated. Now that is most reassuring!
Eventually, the group all arrived for the tour. At first, I thought we would have a bus to ourselves. I quickly noticed that even our two buses couldn’t fill this one. We had other people on our bus too, who weren’t with us. I honestly thought this would lead to confusion... it did.
Our bus was soon loaded (Chris and I sat in the back seats of the upper level), and we headed out on the road. A semi- automated, pre-recorded speech soon came over the p.a. system (with periodic breaks by the driver) giving us the low-down on what we were seeing. I really didn’t know what to make of it myself, I had seen it before (at least, I think I did).
Our first stop was at the Astronaut Training Center, now a tour stop. The first room of the building contained an actual Apollo capsule (with both Command Module and Service Module – mated) and the Lunar Module (also with both Descent and Ascent stages). This was somewhat interesting, but to me, was a rerun of facts I already knew. For others, it may have been interesting, but I didn’t bother to ask.
Then we moved into the next room, which was a perfect mock- up of launch control. We were to witness the launch of Apollo 11 (one of those missions at any rate) from our balconies. It would have made more of an impact had there been people working the consoles though. Instead, we watched the progress on two large video screens.
Here’s a funny thing I noticed that day. Ever since I first listened to Space Oddity that morning, I had felt unexplainably saddened. During the presentation, I nearly broke down in tears. As much as I dislike Americans (though there are some rather strong oppositions, such as Dick), the flights and plights of the astronauts seemed to get me rather upset. To this day, they still do.
Following the presentation, it was back outside into the sweltering heat (which we hoped would hold out until we were at the beach) and onto a new bus. There was a weird rotation at the Center, our first bus was shifted to the end of the line, and we had to take the first bus in line, as we were all in group ‘A’. This time, Chris and I did not get in the top. We had to settle for the bottom, I was stuck with the aisle chair. This made taking pictures a little difficult (shooting through window glare isn’t easy).
We turned a corner and for a little while, double backed on the route we had just taken. Then we turned up another road, and headed north, towards the VAB. About halfway up the road (which was about six miles long), the driver interrupted the pre-recorded speech and told us to look at the VAB, which we could now see. Then he told us we were still three miles away. It still looked huge.
We shot right by it, and continued up the road. Some distance up, we turned down off the main route and down another, smaller, road. This took us to the runway at KSC. That’s no short runway, let me tell you. ‘Course, the shuttle has no reverse thrust when it lands, and the 747 that piggybacks the shuttle from California needs a longer runway as it’s much heavier with that thing on its back.
We buzzed through that place (didn’t get off), and headed back out to the main road. Then we double backed on our route again. This time, we turned at the VAB (about where the Crawler was supposed to be, but our driver informed us that the recording was wrong that day, the Crawler was parked elsewhere). Again, we passed the VAB, again on our right side (the only side we passed it on). On the left, just for humour’s sake, were a line of liquid hydrogen railway cars, on which was printed:
DO NOT HUMP
I can’t help it, this has to be said! Any male stupid enough to hump one of them (and believe me there are those who are not only stupid enough, but desperate enough – fortunately I don’t know any) would get their dick frozen off. It’s crude, I know, but it’s also built into my genes, I can’t help it!
[Ed. Note: It wasn’t until years later that I realised what this meant. It’s a railroading term. Basically, it means the car should never be sent through a hump yard (where trains are broken-up and reformed), as the impact of the car when it connects with another could cause an explosion.]
ANYWAY, we followed the Crawlerway until we were a mile from Pad 39B, where Discovery was prepped for launch the following day (that cheesed me off, why couldn’t we go the day after and catch the launch?). That was where the other crawler was. PIT STOP! Most of the people on our bus piled off to take pictures. I took on of the crawler, one of the shuttle way off in the distance, another with Mr. Davidson’s telephoto lens (one of James with the telephoto lens), and one of Roser, Crewe, Bird and Davidson. Then I got back on the bus and sat down next to Chris.
Chris is one of a small group of people who can fall asleep on buses. I hate sleeping on anything that moves on the road, but I too get very drowsy. But if you also remember, Chris was up all the night before, so this probably compounded the problem.
After all had returned, we moved out once again, doubling back on the route. This time, we stopped just next to the VAB, and a segmented Saturn V rocket. I took a picture of the VAB, but it still looks unproportional. What I mean is, I need a person standing on some section of it to put it in perspective. I did that with the Saturn V though. I had Therese stand at the engine end. Why Therese? Be damned if I know, that’s how strangely my mind works. To use a euphemism, my right side of the brain didn’t know what my left was doing (or vice versa). Anyway, Therese only stood about one tenth to one eighth of the width of the base. I didn’t bother with height.
I whipped around the rocket, taking pictures here and there, and was about to head back to the bus before I was blinded (I left my glasses in the bus) when I caught hold of a sign that gave all the specs for the rocket. The last line read:
Explosive Potential: 453,600 kgs. (1,000,000 lbs.) of TNT.
How’s that for a firecracker?
Chris was still on the bus, seconds away from dropping off. People began to return, one by one until the bus’ complement was full once more. Just before we left that area, the driver let us in on a couple facts on the VAB. Each of those stars on the American flag? Six feet tall. Each of the stripes could run one of the tour buses down the middle and still have nine inches on either side. Then he told us of an American Bald Eagle nest near the south entrance to KSC. According to the driver, it weighed some 43 pounds. We did see it, when Dick hauled us out to Cocoa Beach. That thing was huge.
We returned to Spaceport not long after that, we had about fifteen minutes to do whatever before we had to go back to the bus. I was in need of film, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get any before we got to the beach. I made a beeline for the gift shop. I bought a shirt while I was there too, I liked the way it looked. It turned out that I didn’t need the film, I only used two rolls the entire time I was there.
Upon returning to the bus, no-one had arrived. Roser showed up about a minute after myself, and opened the bus (I kept watch as to how he did it, for future reference). Dick was in Warren’s bus, and when he saw us get on ours, returned to get it started. Dick was never bothered with other people opening his bus, if he was her certainly never showed it.
Observer’s Log: Supplemental
We just finished a somewhat interesting tour of KSC, I finally got a hold of a roll o’ film (which I really needed). We’re due to boot out to Cocoa Beach soon – lunch, sun & Ron Jon’s Surf Shop.
After a few stragglers finally made it back, Dick shifted the bus in gear, and headed back out to the main road. Dick had mentioned that he had made this trip several times, we had nothing to worry about. Warren managed to out drive Dick a little, but getting in front of us. I didn’t care, somewhere in the back of my mind I kept thinking that Warren was going to get them lost. He didn’t as it turned out.
I couldn’t remember how far it was to Cocoa Beach from KSC, but we had to traverse most of Cape Kennedy before arriving in the town of Cocoa Beach. As soon as we saw the sign that announced our arrival, about half the bus immediately started scanning for the Ron Jon Surf Shop. We had made plans to go there long before the trip to Florida was even paid for. Mind you, plans were also made to go to Daytona Beach and the Hard Rock Cafe, but we didn’t get there.
Turning corner after corner, Warren’s bus finally came into view pulling into a parking lot. From there, we could see the mondo huge waves makin’ totally awesome surfing conditions. Bummer dude, I can’t use a board! Dick followed Warren in, and then beat him to a parking spot.
Before we went anywhere, we checked out the location of Ron Jon’s. About a block away rose the sign, like a beacon to the temple of surfing worship, a light shining through the dimness that surrounds we Canadians, as it is so hard to surf on Lake Ontario.
However, food took precedence. We were starving. Food will take precedence over just about anything, there is only one thing I can think of that would make me forget food. Just what is this one thing? Use your imagination, it ain’t too difficult to figure out!
We zipped by the front of Ron Jon’s, but did not go in yet. First, we snagged lunch at the local Raunchy Ron’s. I’ll say one thing for America, their food is generally cheaper than in Canada. One good reason for moving! Although it took a while, we finally got our lunch. Then anticipation set in.
It took us some time to get over to Ron Jon’s, we had to wait for a few people to get themselves all cleaned up (I shall neither mention name or sex). Chris and I stood out front with Janet Bachelor, just staring at the shrine that lay across the road diagonally from us. Jan kept Chris and I from kneeling down and praying to the place, she couldn’t understand all the fuss we were making (as young minds seldom do).
About ten minutes later, our chance with destiny had arrived, we were standing in the doorway of heaven on Earth. We reveled in the glory, then made a break for the clothes. I’m not sure how long we actually spent in there, the opulence made time completely meaningless to us.
James had his heart set on one particular shirt, but could not find it anywhere. His hopes and dreams were dashed on the rocks of suffering, thwarted by some stupid manager who thought the shirt was out of style. Somewhere, someone was having a cruel laugh.
Everyone was everywhere in that place. Somewhere in the span of two hours (give or take fifteen minutes), I ended up with two shirts (one for my sister), a pull over, keychain and hat. This stuff alone came out to $64. But it was $64 of pleasure, and I loved every penny of it!
Finally Linda, Jan and I had enough (for now), and wanted to get to the beach before the sun set (or we had to leave, whichever came first). I needed to make a quick stop at the bus to drop my newly bought booty off, and head off only with the bare necessities (towel, camera, shoes, shorts and t-shirt).
This is where my abilities as The Observer came in. Remembering what Mr. Roser had done earlier (Dick was not around, nor was Warren), I went to the fuel hatch near the door. Opening it, I peered inside to see what Roser had pushed. Sure enough, a small silver button lay just to the side of the fuel cap. To myself I thought: "This is either a self destruct button, or it opens the door!"
I pressed it anyway, and a swishing opening of the door let me know that it was not a self destruct button. The three of us climbed in, only to realize that it was Bus Two, not Bus One. We got back out, I closed the door and went to the bus immediately next to it. I opened the door to that one, and this time got it right. Two minutes later, we were on the beach.
Five minutes following that, I was working my way into the Atlantic Ocean. My Speedo must have adjusted to me once again (I had been wearing them all day), for I received no shock from them. The water took a bit to get used to, but then it was COWABUNGA DUDES!
Several people from our group were out there (Jen, Neil, Geoff, Kara, etc.), most of us were trying to body surf, only most of them were too far out and catching the wave wrong. I hadn’t body surfed in about five years, but it’s like riding a bicycle (not only don’t you forget, but you wipe out a lot too).
Half an hour and ten kilos of salt later, I emerged from the ocean to find only a couple people in the group I had sat down with left. Chris and James had still not appeared, they were taking their sweet time. So for a little while, I took time out to dry off.
Chris and James appeared not long after I was mostly dry (not mostly dead Hil, mostly dry!), having come from one end of the beach, making sure they took long, hard looks at people sunning on the beach, just to make sure they weren’t in our group. I wished I had hung behind and gone with them.
I decided almost immediately after that it was time to take a few pictures. I whipped out my camera and began my hunt. I got one of Chris; one of Chris Stratten, Paul and Andy; one of Hil and Shawn (boyfriend and girlfriend by this point incidentally); one of Roser flat out on his back with his shirt still on (the guy must not be able to relax!); Davidson fell victim to my shutter too. Once I returned to my towel (and friends), I took a picture of Linda, about two feet from her head. When she saw the photo later on, she hated it, but I knew that if I had asked, I never would have been able to take the picture.
Then came the two hardest photos I have ever taken. Kathryn is the hardest person I know to take a picture of. Every time she sees a camera, she hides her face. I don’t know why, she looks rather pretty to me. This took careful planning. I focused on her body with the camera up, the dropped it and waited for her to look up. Then I took the picture. I’m surprised that she didn’t want to kill me.
Finally, was Therese. Stuart was out cold, so I didn’t want to bother him. Therese was almost as bad. But once again, bullshit paid off. The angle I was taking the picture at almost had the sun right behind Therese, looking not quite down the lens. So I explained to Therese that she would simply turn out as a silhouette. This wasn’t entirely true, there was too much light for that, and the angle didn’t have the sun coming straight on. The image I ended up with made me feel like a good photographer, even though it was the wind that made Therese look so "modelish" in the picture.
Immediately, I took the camera back to the bus, before it was irreparably damaged by sand (even though, I still managed to get something in the camera, a couple parts got gummed up with something). When I returned, most of the female population had disappeared. They had gone for a walk down the beach. It was then I noticed for myself that it was getting a little cool. Not only a little, but increasingly cooler. This made the humidity stick to us like glue, making us feel rather sticky.
I only spent about another fifteen minutes on the beach before I went back to the bus to get out of the coolness and stickiness, it was too much for me. Several other people had already concocted the same idea, and were already on the bus. Warren’s nap was unfortunately interrupted, he retreated back to his own bus.
I looked out my window, back towards the beach, waiting for the women to return. I needed to talk to Therese about a particular someone, and preferably before the bus left (and Stuart came back, and I say this only because I don’t want to make him mad at me for talking to Therese about things like that). When I did finally catch sight of the missing females, I booted out to the beach before Therese disappeared again.
Before I got much out, she had me viewing her seashell collection. Only three of the bunch were in perfect condition. Therese liked shells with deformities (she’s weird like that), and most of them did have something odd about them.
I got my request in, and she agreed to hear me out. This was nothing to do with Therese herself, but I had to ask her. Why? Several reasons. I was asking about one particular female on the trip, and I knew that Therese was a good person to ask for information (I knew this from long talks long before the trip ever began). I was informed that asking out this particular person was not a wise idea at that point in time. I could feel my heart slip a notch, I needed someone to care for then.
So I returned to the bus in defeat, taking my seat, brushing the sand from my feet (HEY! I’m a poet, and don’t know it!). About five minutes later, the population of the bus had returned to its normal number, the head count made, and we rolled out. It was now somewhere around 18:00, and the sun was setting quickly. It would be dark before we got back to the hotel.
Observer’s Log: Second Supplemental
It’s not easy to be an unbiased observer, as I was in the Soviet Union, when you’re emotionally hung up. The Ron Jon Surf Shop was unofficially declared a shrine of worship by Chris and I. The beach was dotted with groups of our people, most of the women wearing rather skimpy outfits (one reason I’m glad I’m single – actually, it’s the only reason).
It wasn’t long before Dick hit the highway and put the accelerator to the floor. The signs on the highway read a maximum of sixty-five miles an hour, but I’ll be a march hare in a den of hungry wolves if we actually did sixty-five, probably more like seventy.
HELLS BELLS! YOU GOT ME RINGING...
I listened almost solely to one tape while in Florida. One side was a compilation of the AC/DC albums "Who Made Who" and "The Razor’s Edge". The other side was Sting’s newest album, "The Soul Cages". I really love that album, Sting did a wicked job on it. Anyway, I was listening to AC/DC on the way back to the hotel, so I could stay awake (which doesn’t always work, even that seems to make me drowsy – go figure!).
About forty-five minutes or so later (and a substantial distance from Bus Two), we pulled into the parking lot of our Days Inn. We booted up to our room o’ five, returned the stuff we had brought with us that day, and picked up stuff we needed for dinner (like money!). Then we headed out for some grub.
I picked either a bad night or a bad time, for I only made it as far as the Red Lobster just down the road. When we arrived, the place was packed, and there was a forty minute wait for a table. I lost my appetite at that point, I didn’t feel like eating. The others tried to get me to come, but I had to turn them down, I really didn’t feel sociable at that point.
I returned to the hotel room, passing Chris and James along the way (they had been taking their time) and got the key. Once I was there, I checked the time (we had a men’s sectional at 21:00, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t go too long listening to music), grabbed a chair and my walkman. Then I took my place out on the balcony and listened to music. It was then I noticed that the room beside us had suddenly lost its vacant status.
We had neighbours, and they weren’t from our group. This meant that we had to keep our activities down to a dull roar, so we wouldn’t have any complaints (not that we hadn’t received any already – we could be really noisy). The rooms were soundproof enough, but the walkways weren’t.
I paid no attention to them, I was more interested in relaxing. Sitting there, listening to the dulcet tones of The Soul Cages in a cool Florida breeze is a very peaceful way of relaxing. I had first discovered this technique when I was in the Soviet Union, but had not the chance to use it since. I hadn’t felt that relaxed in a long time.
I sat there for about an hour, until 20:55 rolled around. Stupid me, I thought Stothart would be back from dinner by now for the sectional. I think I trust her too much. She had not yet returned. I waited there a moment or two, then went up to the second floor, walked to the building break (a small passageway between the two hotel room blocks) to see if anyone was returning from dinner. A few from my room were appearing, and I could hear Stothart just off in the distance (across the road).
At 21:10, the DX-7 and an amp had been moved into Stothart’s room (#135 if my memory serves me correctly), and the "men" began to appear. Mind you, not all were men. Because some of the tenors (and three basses – not that it mattered anyway) were unable to come to Florida, Stothart created the female tenor section. This was made of Jessica Wallace, Cindy Merson (and sometimes Hil). The only other tenor present at that sectional was James. Ryan had disappeared somewhere.
As for basses, J was at dinner with his grandparents (a legitimate excuse, for once), which left Chris, Stuart and myself as the usual basses who were on the trip. So once again, Stothart recruited more singers. However, there were no females that could sing as low as we had to, so she nailed Paul and Dave. Stuart and I were almost on our own for True Colours, Chris had a solo to do (which he did really well – I envy his voice!). Dave and Paul could read music, Stuart and I could not.
We spent about an hour and a half going over trouble spots (yes, the men caused a lot of havoc in our three songs – we managed to screw up a lot, as most of us couldn’t read music) before we were satisfied with the results. I personally thought that the entire choir should practice, we did need the work, but there was no way to cram us all into one room, and something told me that the hotel management wouldn’t take kindly to us practicing that late at night outside.
So we broke from practice, I and whipped back up to the room for my walkman. Then I was confronted with the question of my life – did I want to watch Predator 2 at midnight? It came on the pay-tv channel. Seeing as we didn’t have to be at the bus until 10:30 the next morning, I thought: "What the hell, why not?"
James and Stuart booted down to the front desk to put in a deposit of $25 (for what, I have no idea!) to make sure we could watch the movie. I grabbed my walkman, rewound the tape a few songs, and retreated to the grassy area between parking lots. The walkways had become too noisy by this time, and I could sink into the music.
I didn’t listen too long before it came too difficult to listen to. I have found that listening to certain songs under particular conditions really make you feel rather nasty, and I just wasn’t up to feeling nasty at that point. So I headed back to the room. I ran into Linda on the way up (not literally, she just didn’t want to go in the room), so we sat down and talked a while.
I’ll say one thing for Linda, she loves to know how your love life is going. It started when I asked Linda why she wasn’t in her room. That was ’cause Shawn and Hil were in there (common courtesy to not enter like that). I knew where J and Ali were (our room), and I knew where Stuart and Therese were (though I can’t remember now). This left me with Kathryn, and I was genuinely interested (but keeping in mind a recently learned fact), so I asked where she was.
This piqued Linda’s curiosity something fierce. So I answered just as genuinely as my curiosity. This lead Linda to another question: "I thought you were interested in Danica!"
What would you do if you were asked a question like this, knowing who you were about to answer to, also knowing that your best friend has the hots for the same person? Right, you lie your ass off! This is something I can do rather well on the spur of the moment, it’s kept me out of several uncomfortable situations.
So I answered with about the best fib I had ever concocted. I told Linda that the only reason I was ever interested in Danica was because I had found someone who was more of an enigma to me than myself, and believe me, Danica is strange (no offense Dan!).
Now, you must be wondering why I did that. I had good reason. The last time I was interested in "that way" with someone (who also happened to be in the same family), I was defeated in my attempt. This defeat almost turned me against one of my best friends, who I had known for some time (fortunately, the situation has since subsided and we are back to normal, almost). This was not something I wanted to go through with Chris, he’s one of the last people I ever want to lose as a friend.
During our talk (which lasted quite a while, I don’t know how long), I offered Linda one of our Pepsis (I was feeling rather thirsty), she perked up somewhat at the offer. She loves Pepsi. As I was about to enter our room, I saw J and Ali (on Chris’ and my bed too!) doing whatever (sorry, no detail here!). So, I closed my eyes (hand clamped over top), and walked through the room blindfolded. This was not easy, I was surprised I didn’t trip over anything, but I did bump into the counter at the back of the room.
The cans were ice cold, but Linda didn’t drink too much. We continued chatting until about lights-out (somewhere in that vicinity), and we had to return to our respective rooms. This gave me my first chance to boot someone from our room. Ali had gotten the picture via one of the chaperones, and passed me on my way up (not that I disliked her or anything, I was just feeling a little vicious – nothing serious).
Observer’s Log: Third Supplemental
We creamed the other bus getting back, Dick (our totally bitchin’ driver) drove like the blue tails of hell. I had a shower, removed the crap from my hair. At first I headed for dinner, then backed out when we couldn’t get a table at the Red Lobster. Instead, I went back to the hotel & listened to Sting until men’s sectional at 21:10. That went fairly well. Chances with K? Up in the air at this point. At midnite, we see Predator 2, we don’t have to be at the bus until 10:30.
At midnight, on came Predator 2. This was the third time for me, I had seen it twice back in Oakville. The picture was a little fuzzy, but was good enough for our purposes. A strange thing beset itself upon me, about a third of the way into the movie. I fell asleep.