Flashlights create a shadow theatre. Soft glow of light illuminates the red, blue, green and purple walls of the tent, globes of colour, night-lights of the neighbourhood. Huddled in sleeping bags, some wear flannel pajamas; some opt for soft fleece long johns. Loud giggling reaches a crescendo before the tittering tempo slows to a soft murmur. Breathing heats up the tent, movement and friction of youthful bodies squirming to find comfort raises the temperature in the tent. Watchful parents peak out through the blinds to check as the clock ticks past bedtime. The piercing light from the street lamp keeps campers awake. Dogs bark in the yard. Cats creep along the fence, stopping to sniff the air, curious about the unfamiliar canvas structure. Bugs try to crawl under but encounter a soft body weighing down the blades of grass, trace the outline of the heavy object and eventually work around the slumbering mass. The middle of the night bathroom dash is across cold grass, wet with nighttime dew, flashlight beaming a bright circle on the path ahead. Through sliding glass doors into darkness and warmth. Feet padding across the linoleum, bum settles on warm toilet seat just in time as a gush of liquid escapes in a quick spurt and with a sigh of relief. After a flush, returning to the dark cold backyard accommodation is best done at a quick pace.


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