I don't know what the Eugene, Oregon kids did to get us a camp with fireplaces in some of the cabins, but we lost no time starting the fire and dragging mattresses down into the light.
The adults keep warning us to be careful, and we nod, but we are being careful, so it’s ok.
There are five of us around the fire. Friday Night at a conference is usually about a different energy. Meeting, reacquainting, asking all the questions we never got around to in the furtive letters written in math class. There’s already some pairing off of couples. There always is. I bucked the trend by waiting til Sunday morning, but that’s another story.
We’re here for Faith. She caught her boyfriend Rabbit with some girl from Tacoma. Threw a can of coke at his head and ran away crying. We’ve got blankets around her and she’s stopping the sobbing,beginning to gaze into the firelight, her blonde hair a sheet of fire in the light.
There’s Maia. I adore her just about more than anyone else in the whole world. She’s gothed-out,wearing cruelty-free eyeliner and a kind of spiderwebby sweater. She’s political, you know? She knows stuff about the world, and writes letters and stuff.
Max is leaning against the hearth, curls tangled. She’s usually in the kitchen at conference. She says the only way she can show her love is by feeding us vegan treats with love. She loves people with food. Later on in my life, when I realize I have the same tendencies, I will remember her gentle smile and bless her for teaching me some basics.
Laura’s sitting up, chewing on her thumb. She was Rabbit’s girlfriend a year ago, but she broke upwith him because he wanted to have sex. Her bangs sweep down over her delicate face and her brown eyes are troubled. I reach over and squeeze her knee, knowing that I can’t know what to say. I’m the junor witch at this Sabbat. But I can be there, as hard as I can.
I’m the fifth person at the fireplace. And I’m there because my heart is so full of love for these people that there’s nowhere else in the world I’d even think of being.