Do you remember that time when we got up before sunrise and heaved on our full-to-bursting back packs, smelling of damp nights, leaked purple meths and bonfires. That time when we clambered up into the open back of the Bedford truck, passing up bags and tents and old mattresses. And I think some of my expedition group had overslept so someone had to creep into the Junior Boys’ hostel and wake them up?
Do you remember that the dawn air was freezing cold as it rushed past our ears. So, we unpacked sleeping bags and huddled up close in an attempt to soak up each other’s body heat. And do you remember, that in the midst of the pile of teenage bodies, attempting to catch some sleep before their adventuring, that our hands found each other? I know one of us was wearing gloves but I don’t remember who. All I know is that all of a sudden we were holding hands and I’d never held hands with a boy before. And it wasn’t even like we fancied each other or anything. But it did feel nice and we stayed that way for the rest of the journey as the truck headed north-west, further into the Zambian bush.
The funny thing was how neither of us ever mentioned it, like it never happened.