Episode 7 – Calamity

As the kids file off the bus, I start worrying about Chandler….shouldn’t have left him back in the cabin. Intuition tells me he’s more troubled than registered at first. His frightened eyes, up-tight way of speaking, and the stuff about gays, all crystallizes in my head. I mention it to Ben, suggest it’d be a lot better if Chandler were around to meet his bunk mates. We’re packed around the storage compartments, trying to keep order. I feel guilty leaving Ben, but he totally agrees. “Go get him. I’ll sort this out.”

I sprint to the cabin, but as I approach, I don’t see any sign of Chandler. “Shit!” I mumble, “where the fuck is he?” Hope he’s not drowning in the lake. Listen for cries for help, but nothing.

I press my nose against the screen. Chandler’s on his bunk with the blanket around his waist…looks naked??? Staring bug-eyed at the computer…hand pumping.

“Chandler, what are you doing!”

He lets out a shriek. Pulls the blanket to his neck. “Why are you spying?”

I walk in. “I’m not spying. I came to get you. Your bunk mates are arriving.”

He’s beet red, looks around wildly. “You left me alone. I’m totally within my rights,” Slams his laptop.

“Actually, you’re not. Computers aren’t allowed in the cabins…but I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have left you.”

He hugs his laptop to his chest. “It’s unfair! My father told me I could have it.”

“Unfortunately, he’s wrong. Give it here.”

“N-o-o-o!” He yells, scrambling away bare-ass naked.

“Chandler, chill. Just give it to me. I won’t tell anyone.”

“I’ll be totally bored!”

I grab for the computer. “Give it here. We’ll keep it in the computer cabin.” But he pulls it out of reach…emits a blood-curdling scream.

“Jesus, take it easy! It’s not that big a deal.”

Suddenly, there’s a voice behind me. “What the fuck’s going on?” I wheel to find Lowell’s jock buddy, Kyle, peering through the screen.

The hair prickles on my neck. Realize it must look incredibly, well, incriminating. “Stay cool,” I tell myself.

“I’ll handle this.” I say in an assured voice. ‘”The kid’s homesick or something.”

Kyle looks as shocked as I am. “Why is he naked?”

“Beats me,” I say.

Kyle explodes. “Bullshit! How can you not know what’s going on?”

My blood boils. “What do you mean? I just don’t…period.” Out of the corner of my eye, I see Chandler trying to open the laptop.

“Hey!” Kyle lunges…yanks it out of his hands. Chandler cowers like a baby bird.

“Easy, man,” I say. “He’s just a kid.”

Chandler freaks. “Give it back! I need to shut it down right…please?”

“Fuck that!” Kyle says. “I’m impounding this pending the hearing.”

“The hearing?”

“Of course, numb nuts. This whole thing is suspicious. How do I know what you two were doing?”

My heart sinks. Paranoid bullshit all over again. All jocks think I’m a perve because I love fashion…but I’m not about to cave. “Fuck off!” I say. “This my cabin. Let me handle it.”

He snorts. “No fucking way. I know the way you’d handle it.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You know as well as I do.”

“No, I don’t. Let’s hear it.” I’m pissed and starting to lose it. The guy’s a fucking Neanderthal…not only that, he’s scaring the shit out of Chandler, who’s so terrified, tears are rolling down his cheeks.

“The bottom line is I’m a senior counselor, so when I see suspicious shit, I have to investigate.” He turns to Chandler. “Hey, kid. get dressed and wait for me in the camp office.”

“Don’t you want to hear my side of the story?” I ask.

“Sure, but first, get your ass to the parking lot to help out. That’s where you belong anyway. As soon as the campers are settled, I’ll report to the Kramers and we’ll figure out next steps.”

“Whatever…” I say. Chandler’s staring at me with pleading eyes. “We’ll get this straightened out, buddy,” I tell him. I feel for the kid. His father’s obviously got him all screwed up…and jerking off’s not exactly a federal crime. I stomp out, royally pissed. I’m not about to let a jock like Kyle bully me. Over the years, I’ve learned to respect myself, in spite of harassment. Almost everybody has shit to deal with, and I’m not about to give up what I love because of conformist assholes.

To be continued… Read next episode!