In seventh grade, Sami Schroder moved to Gardner. She was tall like me and looked older than 12. The boys really seemed to like her too—especially the older boys. That was the year Sami Schroder and I became best friends. Sami and I slept over at each other’s houses and spent a lot of time together. We weren’t in the same class at school and didn’t have the same lunch break, though, so I still spent a lot of time at school alone with the other outcasts. It didn’t matter now though because I was perfectly comfortable being an outcast and having one good friend. A lot of the time, Sami and I talked about boys and s-e-x. I don’t think either one of us really knew anything, but we had a lot of fun talking about it and laughing about it. Some sleepovers, I don’t think we slept at all. The most fun we ever had was when Sami came on a camping trip with my family to a lake For the Fourth of July. It rained the entire time and the grown ups all sat in a lake cottage playing cards and drinking booze while Sami and I spent our time in the old musty camper talking about life, boys, the seventh grade, what we wanted to be when we grew up. We talked about our boobs and bras and laughed and laughed. There was an outhouse we had to use at the lake and it was very dark at night. We borrowed a large expensive flashlight from a neighbor to use to go to the outhouse. Once in there, we first tried to figure out why there were two holes. We shined the flashlight down each to discover there was definitely more poop down one hole than the other. We determined that one hole must be for number one and the other for number two. So I sat down on the number one hole. “Hurry up! I have to go too, Sami said. We were still laughing so much that we accidentally knocked the flashlight into the poop hole in the outhouse. “Oh shit!” Sami yelled. That just made us laugh harder, but we knew we’d probably get into trouble. Not only was the flashlight down the poop hole, but it was still on; shining up at any butt that sat down. Sami refused to go with a flashlight “shining on her ass.” We had to go to the cottage and tell the grown-ups. We argued over who had to tell and it was decided that we would tell them together. We walked into the cottage soaking wet and giggling. All the adults stopped what they were doing and looked at us. My mom knew something was up,”Oh oh. You two look guilty about something.”
Sami started, “We took the flashlight to go to the bathroom and”…she started giggling really hard now.
“We sort of dropped it.” I finished
“What do you mean you dropped it? Pick it up,” the neighbor said.
“Well, it sort of fell down the hole.” Sami said.
“You’re shittin’ me,” the neighbor said
Now all the adults started laughing as well as Sami and me. I wasn’t used to any grown ups saying the s-word around me which made me laugh all the harder. We replied together,
“No, it’s in the hole shining up.”
“You mean it’s still on?” My mom asked. The adults were laughing even harder now.
“Well, piss on it then,” the neighbor said and took a drink of his beer.
We didn’t get in trouble after all. It turned out the whole situation was too funny for anyone to be angry about. Sami and I went back to the camper and talked and giggled some more before we fell asleep. The next morning, we saw that flashlight sitting on a concrete slab covered in poop with flies buzzing all around it. It was still shining bright since no one wanted to touch it and turn it off. The adults had put several wire hangers together to push down the outhouse hole and retrieve the flashlight.
“There it is,” she said, “you can hose it off.”
“Uh uh, not me, you hose it off.”
This started the giggling all over again. The rest of the weekend, everyone walked a clear three feet around the flashlight.