Thursday, August 28, 2014
How I Spent My (Extremely Awkward) Summer Vacation
During the summer between grade seven and grade eight, my friend "Margaret" invited, nay begged me to go to her family's cottage for a couple of weeks with her, her mother (Alice), and their tenant (Jack), but without her father.
Jack, as it happened, was Alice's lover as well. Margaret told me that as an "only child" she dreaded being up at the cottage with the two fornicators. I was to be the distraction.
I am not making any of this up. This is all 100% true.
Margaret had, in fact, told me about the affair earlier. She had inopportunely walked in on the two lovers at one point, confirming what she had guessed for quite a while. She spent a great deal of time with me as she avoided going home.
The cottage was like nothing I'd seen. It was on an island in northern Ontario and had a main house with several bedrooms and two or three bunkhouses. There were, as far as I could tell, no other cottages on the island. Well-trodden paths snaked between trees and over outcroppings of the Canadian shield.
Margaret and I spent most of the days down at the dock tanning our pale, freckled skins and flirting with people who went by in their boats. We dove and swam, and canoed to the nearest shop for candy. We read comic books and novels.
Jack and Alice spent their days (and nights) up at the main house, drinking cocktails from noon on.
It was great.
Margaret and I always, always, always made a very loud noise as we approached the main house. Just in case Alice and Jack were making out, you understand.
I kept forgetting, but it was always on the top of Margaret's mind. If I went up the hill from the dock, she would call out to me loudly to bring her back a pop or something.
So it was awkward, but not unbearable.
But then . . .
Alice had invited some friends of hers up as well. They were an estranged couple, and I soon came to realize why. The husband was an obnoxious drunk. I'm assuming he was an alcoholic because his behaviour didn't seem new to Alice, Jack, or the man's soon-to-be ex-wife.
Now, remember that I grew up in quite a sheltered environment. We didn't drink, didn't party. Didn't have sex with people we weren't married to.
As the afternoon progressed, the visiting husband got drunker and drunker. He was loud. And then, as we sat at dinner, he reached his arm over his ex-wife's shoulder and grabbed her breast. He didn't just grab-and-release. He grabbed and fondled, almost drooling over her.
My eyes must have popped out of my head and I'm sure I stopped breathing. The drunk dung-beetle looked at me and said, "What're you so shocked about? She's my wife!" And he laughed.
Alice and Jack laughed.
The ex just looked mortified. This was not an embrace; it was an assault.
I guess "extremely awkward" doesn't really describe that vacation.
So what's your worst or weirdest summer-vacation memory?
Labels: stories from my youth