Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Awesome Adventures of Dana the Ninth Grader, part 2

"I know.  This is really depressing."  Dana was startled at Kellie's admission.  Kellie had not complained once, except to complain about her complaining about her cooking.

"Yeah, I don't think we cleared all the rocks before we pitched our tent.  I've got one under my ribs. Ouch!"  Dana turned on her flashlight.  Kellie had pulled the top of her silver colored sleeping bag over her head.  Only the pompom of her hat was sticking out.   "Are you warm enough?"

"Toasty, but I think I've got a rock hitting the back of my head here."  Kellie's sleeping bag started to move around, like an inchworm. Dana started to giggle.  "What?"

"Nothing."  Dana's giggling turned into laughter. "You look like something out of Star Wars."

Kellie popped her head out and blinked at Dana's flashlight.  "Sorry I yelled at you this morning about the eggs."

"Sorry that my whining ruined our whole day."

"Hey, why aren't you wearing a hat?  Don't you remember Mr. Branson saying that most of our body heat escapes from our head?"

"Hat hair!  I can't stand hat hair!"

"Who cares?  Everyone has hat hair, why should they care about your hair?  Here, wear this, I brought an extra."  Kellie tossed an orange flourescent knitted cap like the one she was wearing.  "We can be twins."

Dana put it on, carefully.  "How do I look?  Dorky like you?"

"I knew you wouldn't bring a hat.  You're so vain, you know?"

"Why glow in the dark orange, Kels?  I swear, I can see you a mile away with this thing on." pouted Dana.

"So you won't get shot by hunters looking for wild turkeys.  You look like one, Dana."

"The hunters might shoot you for looking like Jabba the Hut in that crazy sleeping bag!"  They started laughing.  Dana found that the hat and the good humor actually made her feel a lot warmer.  She laid back down, careful to avoid the rock poking her. 

Kellie had outrageous taste in clothing--she was an original, but somehow it worked for her.  She was outfitted in something that seemed bohemian, colorful and outdoorsy at the same time for this trip.  Dana and she had long talks about  her fashion sense as they got to know each other in class.  Kellie said that she  attracted attention as coming from the only African American family in their small town, so she thought that she might as well give them all something to look at.  She found that she liked finding vintage clothing at thrift shops and making it her own.  Except for the winter camp, she made sure she got the warmest high tech gear she could afford, in bright colors.  Kellie was tall and willowy, Dana thought that she would make a great fashion model.

"Dana, have I been too bossy?  I mean, for this class, in planning and all." 

Dana thought for awhile.  Kellie was a take charge girl, she was always something like class president, Associated School Body president, Honor Society president, and with all that experience and brains, Dana just trusted her.

"I don't think so.  But I think I needed to speak up.  We needed cooking lessons or something."

"Yeah, I think I was over confident.  Food is pretty important. I just didn't think that it could be all that difficult.  My mom cooks all the time, and she makes it look so easy." 

"All you need to do is turn down the heat, Kels.  That's all."

"Oh." Kellie turned towards her.  "I've got to ask you something."

"Ok"

"Why did you take this class?  Whatever got into your head to try this outdoorsy stuff?"  Kellie was smiling. "You just don't seem like the type to rough it."

"Oh, I know.  I'm a ballerina, a diva, a Glee fan.  But I'm not a wimp, you see."  Dana sighed.  "I'm an only kid and my mom got me into dance lessons and music and stuff we both like.  But my dad likes fishing and the great outdoors.  I want to do stuff like this with him, but he won't  take me.  I guess I just want to prove it to him that I can do it."  Dana turned to Kellie. "Why are you here?"

"Actually, because the most beautiful places in the world are right here in Washington state.  I'd like to try photographing it.  Maybe someday I could be like Ansel Adams." 

"Oh.  I thought you took this class because of Greg. You liar."  Dana teased.

"No, you lie.  I think you are out here freezing your buns off for Chris the Macho Man." 

"We're both lying!"  They laughed again.  Dana turned off her flashlight.  She was finally toasty warm and forgetting about her misery.  "Good night, liar."

"Good night, silly."

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