The blasting sound of two parties battle on, like a bad DJ out of control. The night air is crisp and cool on my skin. My hair desperately needs to be washed. I run my fingers through my dirty tresses and bring out handfuls of long strands.
The passing train adds to the mix a comforting reverberation. It is similar to the drifting banjo that came from across the bay three nights ago. I prefer those twangs than the loud, beating bass and constant shouting of drunken excitement from around the blazing fire.
I have been coming to this spot in the world for fourteen years. It is a place that is not my own. The sun stretches across the lake and the wind blows in from the west. It is my husband’s family cottage. The old, yellow cabin is the most worn out building among the new expanding lakefront properties.
Years ago it was my boyfriend that invited streams of friends to congregate each long weekend. We turned the yard into a campground with everyone bringing tents, boats and drinks aplenty. Now that we have turned into an old married couple and spawned, we traded our tent for a pop-up trailer. It is his youngest brother's turn to offer up the northern getaway to every city friend. Most of the girls are a decade younger than me. They parade around in bikinis.
The beer that I brought remains in the cooler. The gin and tonics are not poured. I have no desire to join in on the merriment. I hide in our new tent trailer or take my daughters on walks to collect rocks. Tonight by flickering candlelight I sit and write on my laptop. I contemplate if it is my lack of self-confidence that makes me crawl into my shell. I have always considered myself to be an extrovert but I am now reflecting that even in my youth, the act of being a social butterfly never came easy. When my own friends surrounded me, I would still often opt out.
At the moment, with the generation difference, I find myself fighting off feelings of disgust in the ceaseless carousing. I long for some quiet time with my family. I want bask in the beauty of nature. I don’t want to feel self-conscious or out of place. I need to unearth a slice of Zen. It surrounds me however it is miles away.