A Tale of two Garths. Chapter Eighteen – Rabbit Holes & Green Chili Day.
After such a long day of hiking, a couple of shots of tequila, a ton of hugs and introductions from strangers, and one tiny suspicious pill, my head was spinning.
“Come with me to my dad’s tent,” Garth whispered in my ear. He grabbed my hand and I followed him through a small portion of woods located at the other end of the campsite as ours. Dewitt was lying on his stomach in his tent with the tent zipped open and his upper body was propped up on his elbows.
“I hear you’re getting a little fuzzy,” he said to me.
“Yeah, it’s been a long day,” I told him. Truth be told, I normally didn’t drink all that much. I was so obsessed with being thin at that point that putting empty calories in my body just seemed like a huge waste. Not to mention the effort I would have to expel to get rid of them. So me drinking tequila, beer, and lord knows what else was really beginning to catch up with me.
“Do you want some blow?” Dewitt asked me as if he had just said, “How about a glass of water?” I had tried coke once before with KC and Garth in our old house and wasn’t really a fan. Both guys went to bed and slept and I was up all night cleaning and re-cleaning the apartment over and over again. Maybe it’s hypocritical to be pro-pot and anti-coke, I don’t know. Coke just feels dirty. Do you know what I mean? Pot to me is pure. It comes from the earth. So do magic mushrooms. Both are grown from the ground and given to us by nature. God wants us to have these things. That’s why She gave them to us. Coke was a different beast all of its own. It was man made. And it has the ability to break men. What I didn’t know was that I was standing right at the entrance to the rabbit hole. And Garth and I weren’t going to fall down the hole; he was going to pull me.
I took the rolled up bill and leaned over and snorted the evil white powder. I’M ALIVE!! I felt a rush of adrenaline surge through my body. It was as if I hadn’t drunk any alcohol at all. It was wonderful. I was up and talking, and talking, and talking to everyone.
“This is great! I LOVE it here!” And I wasn’t lying I did. I really did love it there. I didn’t care if I ever went home. I roamed the camp, I made new friends, and I even had a couple more shots of tequila. My poor skinny body was in total shock. When the drummer fell off the back of the stage in a drunken stupor I probably should have taken that as a sign from above to stop the madness. But I didn’t. An 18-year-old cute drummer replaced him.
“Out with the old in with the new I always say!”
I woke up the next morning wishing I were dead. Why? Why am I so stupid? I can’t drink like that. I staggered my way up to the house where I was met with a giant bowl of scrambled eggs, some toast and strong coffee.
“Thank you so very much,” I told Sheryl.
“You should probably have a shot or something to help you get through the day,” she said. At first I though she was kidding but as she poured Irish Whiskey into my cup I suddenly realized I was very, very wrong.
“I think my liver just jumped out of my body and ran across the floor,” I told her.
“You’re so funny.” She thinks I’m kidding.
After breakfast and some whiskey I was actually starting to feel a little bit better. I found out from the elders it was Green Chili Day. I had no idea what that meant so I just went with it.
“Yea! Green Chili Day! I’m so excited!” I hollered. Come to find out that those people love, and I mean LOVE their green chilies. Everything thing they cooked that day had green chilies in it. Green Chili pie, Green Chili chili, Green Chili corn bread, the list went on. It was like a Green Chili explosion. And it was yuuuummy! I ate everything I could get my grubby hands on. Which was good considering the tequila was being passed around again. Oh my God, where’s KC’s mountain when you need it? But before everyone could get too silly, one of the elders pulled up to the middle of the entertainment area with a huge pickup truck. Before I knew it there was a very large, very dead pig laying on plywood staring at me. Ooooh. I felt so bad for the poor pig. But being as he was already dead it was going to be nearly impossible to spring him. I didn’t think I was going to make it very far running into the woods while dragging roughly a 200 lb dead pig behind me.
“COME ON! RUN BITCH! RUN!” Knowing I was already defeated before I had even begun all I could do was sit back and watch.
The next thing I’m about to tell you will most likely never have you look at a pig the same way again. I know it’s ruined me for life. As I’ve said, these people have been roasting pigs for 25 years. But they are not from Hawaii. Most of them are from Oklahoma. So the pig doesn’t go in the ground. This pig was going to be roasted on a spit. Meaning it was going to have to be skewered. I sat there in shame as I watched them shove a large pole up the pigs behind and through it’s mouth. Now that’s just not right. After the poor pig was violated they wrapped it in chicken wire. They did this because in the past they have had an entire pig fall off the spit and land in the fire. All of this took a couple of hours and when it was done the pig was then moved to the above ground metal firehouse that had been built for just this occasion. I call it a firehouse because it literally had four walls and a roof. They would then place the pig on the poles inside the house and then place the roof on top of the pig. The roof stuck up just enough so you could keep an eye on the pig at all times and so you could throw more wood in. But the walls kept the fire contained and the whole operation from being shut down by the Durango Fire Marshal.
So that was it. In a little over 24 hours there was going to be a freshly roasted pig for all my carnivore friends to enjoy. As the night went on the band played more. We all ate and drank more, and when it got dark enough a white sheet was strung between two pine trees. That’s when the silliness ended. Everyone pulled up their chairs and sat back looking at the blank white sheet. Not knowing what was about to happen I sat in anticipation hoping they were going to show Jaws or some other great scary movie. That’s when the slide show began and I saw all the older faces I had come to know so well young and vibrant. I felt such warmth in my heart. These were true friends. No matter where they lived now. No matter what they were doing in their lives they came together once a year to reconnect. I sat in the darkness and watched women hug each other with their children sitting next to them. The next generation. That’s when Garth’s mom came up on the sheet. She and Dewitt had divorced when Garth and his brother were very young but they didn’t forget to include her in the photographs. When I saw her beautiful glowing face surrounded by her long flowing blond hair all I could do was smile. I had never seen her like that. She was always beautiful, but in this picture she was such a hippy that she looked like a completely different person. When her picture came up you could hear her name spoken softly by the other women of the group. As if her absence hurt them. I wondered if I would one day make the sheet.
The night wore on and one by one people left the fire and wandered off to their tents to get some rest for the day ahead. I felt the day wear on me as well and was looking forward to a night restful night of sleep. As I got up out of my chair and started to walk towards the woods I heard my named being called,
“And where do you think you’re going Stacy?”
“Huh?” I slurred as I turned to see Garth sitting with Rex, one of the elders, standing by the fire with his cowboy hat and devilish grin.
“I’m going to bed,” I told them. Garth let out a long laugh.
“What?” I asked.
“All newbie’s have to stay up and watch the pig until you’re relieved at 6 am tomorrow morning,” Dewitt told me very matter of factly.
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. Someone has to turn the pig and make sure it doesn’t burn. Look at this way. You won’t have to do it next year.”
“Did you know about this?” I asked KC as he sat back in his chair and cracked another beer.
“Yep,” he responded with a snicker.
“I hate you guys for not warning me about this,” I told them giving them both dirty looks. But of course I took the submissive Navajo woman roll. I didn’t walk behind my man but I did sit beside him. After all, he didn’t have to stay up with me and KC; he could have gone to bed. He had earned that right. All I knew was that it was going to be a very, very long night.
To be continued…
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