Thursday, October 18, 2007

Double deer blind

I crouched naked beside him in the grass on the river bank. Ten yards away, they were talking. Between them and us, hidden just this side of a fallen log, were our backpacks and our clothes. But we dared not rise and retrieve them, or even make a sound. Pressed to the forest floor, we huddled and waited.

He had first been alerted of their approach by the sudden flight of a bird. Then a voice from the river. He had urged me to drop and I did so immediately. We heard the sounds of their canoe, scraping over the rocks, and them getting out to dislodge it. Then they lingered in the pool at the river bend where we had ourselves been lounging before deciding to sun ourselves in the glade on the bank. Laughter reached our ears; the singular reek of marijuana wafted up to us. We waited, tense, fearful and excited. Curious, even. Naked, vulnerable, and exposed, praying not to be discovered, at the unknowing mercy of these people just yards away. Wishing them away; wondering who they were. Though they were our own kind, I felt more like a deer than a human.

The minutes passed with a glacial slowness, but they did pass. And so did the men, their voices seeming to break free from below us, carried off around the river bend. We rose, recovering our civility and donning it before making our way down to the very same place they had left just moments before. As we waded again in the water, we realized the rushing river in which we stood would have negated any chance of them having heard us, though from the bank we had been insulated from the water's babbling and had assumed our voices would be as clear to them as theirs to us. So we had lain there, certain that the slightest whisper risked detection; all the while the same sun that streamed down on our bare skin dappling them just a stone's throw away. But to a world of clothing and cars, talking and taxes, we had emerged from one of nakedness, fear, seclusion and silence, and all in the space of a few seconds. It was ponderous indeed how truly little there was between the one state and the other.


Nikolas said...

neat, I truly enjoyed reading it, thank you.

L-girl said...

beautiful post!