Fasting in some godforsaken wilderness. Drinking impure river water.
Pine needles and Pine-sol and little rabid squirrels. Smells and sounds, auto-rock formations in the river bed, where they get washed up and form a makeshift dam. The water pools and pools and spreads out, eroding a little more of the riverbank, exposing more of the root system of a white ash, killing it softly with it’s bubbling.
I pitch my tent and make a fire. I strip to the waist and apply some more insect repellent. I take a leak. I throw rocks up into the trees and each twig that snaps or branch that deflects the rocks, I can hear, perfectly. Crisp fresh sounds, vacuum sealed. One rock scares a large deer towards my camp. It sails over my tent in one graceful bound and lands squarely in the fire. Stupid beast slips on a log, falls to its side and scatters ash and red embers, braying loudly and trashing its antlers.
The terrified animal tears off again, lopsided, heading for the river, but catches a hoof in a root tangles and breaks its neck falling into a gully.
Venison is tasty.
I break a promise and smoke a cigarette. It’s tasteless out here.