We sit around a camp fire sharing stories as we sip down our vodka and rum. Bundled up in sweatshirts with our hoods covering our heads we huddle closer to the heat. The flames lick the air, releasing small particles of burning ash into the sky. We laugh at a story involving too much Cuervo and not enough balance.

I stand to excuse myself, it seems the vodka comes out as fast as it comes in. While returning from the treeline and zipping myself up I stop to reflect upon the scene. Fires blaze like distant stars throughout the campground. Tiny bodies silhouette against the orange glow emanating from the burning pyre. They rock gently within each circle, sharing stories of love and friendship; recapping the days events, and preparing for the next.

I look back on my own circle, one spot still open for me. The group turns and waves me over. The wind shifts and I am suddenly engulfed with the taste of burning embers as my eyes wince shut to hide from the smoke. The group laughs. I smile, and sit, then warm up.

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