“You awake?” His voice startled me. I thought I remained so quiet.
“I was listening to see if I could hear you snore. I guess I’ll just have to keep waiting.” How oddly funny that he was doing the same thing I tried to do.
“It’s hard to hear between the forest noises and two layers of nylon.” Truthfully, beyond an occasional rustle of leaves, the only sound was the never-ending conversation of the creek continuing its flow. At its distance, hearing one another snore over the sound of the water was not entirely out of the question, depending, of course, on how loud we each slept. I hope I didn’t snore that loud. If it was only as loud as we spoke, it might be a strain to hear and I retained hope.
I waited a few minute and heard him again roll around in his sleeping bag. Maybe he was having as much trouble falling asleep as me.
“Do you want to come over to my tent and hang out?” I don’t know why I continued to try these bold moves. They never worked, but I thought I would give it a shot. If nothing else, maybe I would come across as playful.
“Tell ghost stories and stuff like that?”
“Yeah.” I didn’t really know any ghost stories, but what the heck, he was considering it. At least he didn’t say, ‘No.’
“No thanks.” Was it the ghost stories that turned him off, or was it me? I think I knew which.
I snuggled into my pillow, preparing myself to try to fall asleep. After I stopped moving, I heard his voice again.
“Do you want to come over to my tent and hang out?” He asked with nearly the same inflections I used.
What? Was he kidding? I was not going to turn him down. “Yeeesssss,” I replied slyly, and slightly too loud, with increasing inflection. My enthusiastic response, much like my all-powerful handshake, needed to be trademarked.
As soon as I unzipped my sleeping bag to crawl out of it, I realized he would most likely see the moose pajamas. The alternative, staying in my tent, did not seem worth the price of the teasing I would undoubtedly receive.
I scooped up my pillow, sleeping bag, the blanket beneath it, my flashlight, and then realized I still needed to unzip my tent. I dropped everything and unzipped my tent, and then considered I ought to put on my shoes to walk over to his tent. This was becoming an ordeal and I needed to just take my time.
He unzipped his tent, and turned on the flashlight. “Are you coming over?”
“Yes, but I am having an awkward moment over here and I may need to do this in steps so I don’t trip over my own two feet.”
“Okay,” he almost asked, but then made a useful suggestion. “Why don’t you hand me the blanket and I’ll spread it out?”
I finished putting on my shoes and stood up, slightly tangled in my blankets, but I successfully freed myself before causing another tripping and falling incident. I exited my tent, then reached back in for the blanket and tossed it towards his open tent. He straightened it out, so next I threw my pillow into his tent without confirming he was ready for it and hit him squarely with it.
“It’s going to be that kind of sleepover, is it?”
“That was a complete accident.”
“Uh, huh.” Considering how tired he must have been, his surprising playfulness tickled me, and then he asked again, “So, are you coming over?”
“Yes, I’m just making sure I’m not forgetting anything.”
“Sleeping bag. You. That’s it.”
I guess I didn’t need a flashlight, or really anything else. I stepped a little closer to his tent so as to not to hit him again with my sleeping bag, then went back to close my tent. By the time I ducked my head inside his, he already laid out my bag and partially unzipped it.
The ninety-degree flap on his tent was much easier to enter than my arched entrance, and although I did not trip upon my entry, he found amusement with my pajamas, and I saw him fumbling for the tent’s zipper while examining my fashion sense, or complete lack thereof.
“There are moose on your pants.”
“There are moose on your pajamas.”
“Yes.” I sat down on my sleeping bag.
“There are pink moose on your pajamas.”
“They are cam-moose-flage.”
He just smiled.
“What color are your pajamas?” I asked, leaning sideways as if trying to see how his rivaled.
He slid part way out of his bag to finally reach the tent’s zipper and I could see that he was still wearing his jeans, although without their belt, they slipped lower on his hips.
“Aren’t you uncomfortable in those?”
“No.” He finished closing the tent so the two zippers met close to his head. “You are such a camping rookie.”
“Okay,” I attempted to argue as I crawled into my sleeping bag and zipped it from the inside, “I am just going to point out that rookies in the NFL have played football for four years during college, many at impressive NCAA schools, and they almost all played high school football, and possibly even more before that, so rookies have been perfecting their craft for nearly a decade before they play in the pros.”
He propped himself up on his elbow, cradling his head in his hand, listening to my logic.
“So in a decade of preparing for this experience, all you came up with was pink moose pants?”
“Well, when you put it like that,” I conceded this one, “maybe I am more of a camping virgin than a camping rookie.” Crap, it no sooner left my mouth than I regretted another sexual reference. Oh well, I began to feel that the pink cam-moose-flage pajamas might be my new preferred method of birth control anyway.
NEXT: Ghost Stories – Part 40