Guarding the Bonfire. An account of time standing still.

It was 2:44 p.m. on a lovely Tuesday afternoon, and I desperately wished that I was curled up in a fetal ball of warmth upon my bed.

Last night was the Marshmallow Roast at the bonfire site directed and sponsored by RHA. A grand ol’ time was being had by everyone. The festivities began about 10 p.m. as groups of students arrived in groups of eight to ten. The campfire was extremely hot, which made it semi-suicidal to try to even roast a marshmallow. At the height of the roast, there were probably 200-300 assorted bodies present. As the time ticked on, though, many left for the comfort and warmth of their beds and soon it was only the few, the proud, and the brave that were left, sacrificing their night of sleep for the security of the bonfire.

Guitars were whipped out around 1 a.m. The songs were varied as worship songs were intermingled with Oasis and Secondhand Serenade and some Matchbox 20. A competitive game of washers that would run to 4 a.m. started as well. Hot dogs and sausages arrived on the scene causing a ruckus to the hungry students. However, many a sausage and dog was lost to the heat of the fire as the unstable hangers supporting their weight dropped the various meats into the flame. This was an incredibly sad ordeal. Personally, I lost a sausage on the outskirts of the fire but was able to borrow some gloves to fetch it. I tried to eat it but it was covered in West Texas dirt. Sad story.

Around 2 a.m., activity around the campfire began to wane as the cold September night set in. Many students tucked themselves into their blue and red sleeping bags to sleep through the night. The back of pickups slowly filled with students trying to grab a wink of sleep. Others made runs to Allsups. A run to Whataburger was even made. This was also around the time when time itself seemed to go to sleep. The minutes seemed like hours and the hours like days, especially for those of us attempting to remain awake the whole night.

By 5 a.m. the campsite was almost completely dead as almost everyone was asleep and those that weren’t were chatting quietly to each other. Thankfully, an angel in disguise among us had brought enough eggs and sausage to feed a small army. We started cooking the eggs and sausage on his nifty camping trinkets. The following breakfast burritos were among the best I have ever had. They were so good to a tired empty stomach. Then he had the audacity to make homemade donuts. We fried biscuits with holes poked in them. We then dumped the result into a bag of powdered sugar and shook it all up. The result was incredible. Warm tasty doughnuts.

As the sun came up, the beasts emerged from their respective positions around the fire. We ate and cleaned up the campsite, which was quite dirty from the night’s festivities. After we finished tidying up a bit, we all started to wait out the morning until it was finally time for us to depart.

Let me just conclude that this endeavor is not for the light of heart of weak of mind. The day after, I went to sleep at 4 in the afternoon and did not rise until 9:30 a.m. the next day.  Good stuff.

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