I’m at an army camp as a teenager. We all need to meet at the river before moving on to the campsite, which is on an island. Our sergeant tells us, ”You’re going to want to stop rowing. You’ll think you went the wrong way. You didn’t. Keep moving.”
I need to pee, so Peter and I stop off at the lodge first, getting there by walking along a concrete wall, using the fence to stabilize.
The barracks are bustling with people, and there’s one toilet in the middle of the open concept room.
Eventually I’m able to start peeing somehow, and in the middle a guy begins searching for an item right next to me. I lose my balance then catch myself, but only after stumbling a bit and peeing on the floor, hitting the guy with some backsplash. I joke that it’s my way of pushing him back from crowding my plate, but I don’t think he understands the baseball reference.
One girl is told by camp counselor Paul McCartney to wear her hair in a ponytail, saying it will make her look more like Mel B¹. She does it, of course, even though she’s never heard of the Beatles. He’s still got the charisma, even without the name.
I take him aside to discuss how he does it, but I get distracted by his otherworldly charm.
Me: “What’s it like not having people depend on you as much.”
Paul: “Well, the crew brings in all the gear and I’m sitting in the green room still waiting on my espresso.”
Me: “Yeah, but you get that. That’s one of the perks.”
¹ [Editor’s note: The ponytail would actually make her look more like Mel C.]