Imagine my surprise this past summer when I got to camp and learned that you were back, given how little you seemed to enjoy working at the camp last year.
I didn’t know it was you right away. Remember, I saw you guarding the door to the infirmary on the first day of this 2009 session, and came over to introduce myself. I did not recognize you; not even close up. So to me, you were a stranger about whom I was curious in a friendly sort of way. Yet you promptly blew me off with those customarily short and non-voluntary sounding answers that so colored my impressions of you last year. I tried conversing. But you weren’t interested. So I walked off after two or three exchanges. But still, I knew not who you were.
Then, a few hours later, a long-time friend happened by, saying that he’d seen us talking. He knew of the problems you and I had in 2008, and so, was amazed that we were chatting at all. He wanted to know if we’d made up. I asked him what he meant. What problems? I’d just met this woman today, I told him. Then he asked if I knew that the person at the infirmary door was you, [Prism]. “No!” I said. But then as I thought about it, it made more sense. The personality of [Prism] from 2008, was identical to the lady’s whom I’d just met some hours ago. He was correct. That grumpy woman from last year, and this curt stranger I just met, were both you. Well, I thought, I guess I’ll know who to avoid this session if I want to keep my blood pressure down.
But fate permitted no separation, did it, because in the dining room for the first supper meal of the session, there you were, assigned to serve food at my table. Damn! Since after the first meal, the seat assignments were fixed, I was stuck with you for the whole eleven days, and we’d have to see each other at least thee times a day; once for each meal. The prospects for having a good time at camp this year just got a whole lot worse once I realized how often I’d have to deal with you. This wasn’t going to be fun.
But we got along without any serious incidents for the next day or so, until Sunday night, when you demanded that I turn down the music we were playing up on the hill. “Turn that down,” you scolded. “A little more…,” “a little more…,” “That’s good. Now, it needs to be low enough that it can only be heard in this immediate area, and it must be completely shut off at midnight.” Of course no one was sleeping in the H cabins where we were, as it was only 9:00 PM, and the next closer quarters were the L cabins, a couple hundred feet down the hill. I turned it down as you requested, though your rationale escaped me. I was irritated with you to put it as kindly as I can yet still be truthful.
Through the first half of the session, our interactions were typically like this; you were hard, I was cold, you were condescending, I got fired up, and so on. So by the time the Wednesday of the Belleville trip arrived, I’d had it with you, and couldn’t even bring myself to make brief eye contact as we passed each other. As I saw it, your behavior was mean and lacked any traces of compassion, and it suggested so loudly that you thought that you were so much better than us lowly campers.
Okay, I’m done bashing you for a while. I promise. Things did improve between us I thought. Details here.