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When having a child, it is often said that one should not announce that fact until the end of the 1st trimester.

When looking for a job, it is often said that one should not announce that fact to current co-workers until confirmed receipt of a new job.

I don't know what the socially-accepted customs are for announcing the cessation of smoking.

Recently, I went to Dark Odyssey: Fusion. While there has been a perceived lack of posting by me in this old space, I have been fairly reliable for posting several regular posts - my annual birthday post, one after events such as Frolicon, Mid-Atlantic Leather, and International Mr. Leather when I attend them, and my post-Camp posts.

I really haven't felt much drive to write about Fusion either.

It's a hard event to write about. I can't say that I didn't have fun, or that it was an awful event, or that there weren't highlights - because they in varying bits wouldn't be true. I don't want to toss aside the play I did have, the time I spent with friends old and new, the classes I taught, or just the pure camp moments that are always present.

I've been reading a lot of the post-event writings on FetLife, and I see a lot of "best event ever" and other posts like that... and it makes the hardness, well, harder...

...because when I think of the event, it is hard to shake the word "tree" out of the equation.

You see, OINK is home to me. I have a bond to that place, in both its physical and conceptual forms, that has been built over a decade of experiences - love, grief, change, joy, sorrow, laughter, friendship, bonds, etc. I can almost map my entire development as an adult being with experiences that link back to OINK cabin. When I walk onto that porch, walk through that door, I feel just as home as I do as in my apartment. It is my second home, my second skin...

And a tree dropped onto it. A tree fell on the roof, punctured it in two difference places, shifted the entire structure so that one of our doors would no longer close properly. A tree fell on our home, and for the first time EVER, I had to leave camp before it was time to leave, face reality and stay in a hotel, eat non-camp food, drive my car, be a responsible adult, plan real life things.

For the first time ever, my OINK home was not my home.

I am very proud to be a part of OINK. I am very proud of my fellow OINKers. My heart swelled with pride as we banded together that dreaded Friday, how we teamed up and cared for one another, collecting our tentmates out from the storm, keeping our fellow cabin mates dry and safe, banding together and never separating as we regrouped in the cafeteria, and mounted our own Occupy movement within the dungeon. How we caravaned together, an OINK convoy out to Aberdeen for a safe comfy space to rest our heads for the evening.

My heart broke as one by one, we fell apart on Saturday. My mind whirled with jealousy and confusion as the entire camp proceeded to camp away as I was left standing, broken and confused and for the first time ever doubting I even wanted to be standing in Ramblewood anymore.

I stood in front of OINK, watched as workers diligently worked to take a big fucking huge holy motherfucking god we should be fucking dead TREE off of our roof. I stood and looked at my home, with crime scene tape keeping me from touching it, walking in it, keeping me from my stuff inside it... I looked at my damaged home, my pierced roof, my safe space suddenly so not fucking safe anymore and cried my fucking eyes out.

We moved back in to OINK on Sunday. OINK made one last stand, and banded together as a group to take back that space and make it safe again. For a day and evening of real camp, real experience, normality in as much as we could pretend we could make it.

Camp was not bad. I played. I fell in love with my wife over and over again. I grew jealous as she played with someone else and dealt with that jealousy and realized that it came from love and turned it into some sick sense of pride in seeing my wife turn into a bit of the whore I am. Together we reconnected with someone who we love very, very much, even though we nor she acknowledge it publicly, and we're not even sure if she knows how much we consider her ours. I played with new people, I spend time with my leather family, I lived.

But my home was wrecked, and my heart was slightly broken, and it was hard, and I am still not over it, and neither are my friends, and I still hurt.

I didn't have one fucking cigarette during, or since. 7 weeks and counting.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 2nd, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the cessation. I'm not sure what to say about the rest except *hugs* and yaay for admitting hard truths.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
As another Phil who is not smoking now after having smoked for a long time I say "good for you".
Jul. 2nd, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
I am very proud of you for sticking with your determination not to smoke through all of that. I'm moved by the way most of us stuck together through it all, by the way I was made to feel like I belonged in a time of crisis, and by the way you and others took care of me when I needed it. You made me feel loved.

I haven't been able to write too much about the tree and its aftermath either. I want to, but it's really fucking hard. I look at the far more serious things that so many others have been through and I think, I shouldn't be so deeply affected by a tree falling on the roof and some inconvenience that it caused. But it was so much more than that to me, and to you, and to others too, I know. I slept for 18 hours Monday night and 13 hours Tuesday night, and the tree had a lot to do with that.

I keep coming back in my thoughts to Oink, and how much it has come to mean to me, and my unshakable feeling that that cabin, that inanimate object, took all of the love and trust and spirit and energy, all of the joy and tears and sweat and sex and dreams and need and everything else that we have all poured into it over the years, and used that to protect us. It held that tree up off of every single one of us, when really that rickety roof should have caved in, and not one of us was injured, let alone killed.

And now I'm crying at work.

I love Camp, and I love Oink, and I can't wait to go back in September to pay my respects and give my thanks to the home that protected all of us.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'm loving these words. I've reread your last 3 paragraphs over and over again. Thank you, Casey. You rock.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for the loss of your home. It is a truly horrible thing, but you are safe. You can continue in the next chapter of your life. Wishing you and Kathryn the best and congratulations on going so far without smoking so far.
Jul. 2nd, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
Congratulations - I am very proud of you for going through all that and not having a cigarette.</p>

My heart aches for OINK cabin and the loss of a home and safe space for you.

Jul. 3rd, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
My heart is with you and all those in the OINK family. You guys didn't let a fucking national disaster ruin your event. It says a lot for who you are and how special that family really is. Kudos for quitting the cigs.
Jul. 3rd, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
New post: Huge Wood Penetrates Oink http://is.gd/dXZeiG
with photos

Love ya!
Jul. 3rd, 2012 04:34 am (UTC)
How unfair! Knowing how absurd I'm being, I can't help feeling that when I'm doing something that is good for me, I'm supposed to be rewarded by not having bad things happen. So your non-smoking should have kept the tree off of Oink. Maybe it just kept Oink off of you and everyone else. Thank you for not smoking!
Jul. 4th, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
*hugs* it sounds like an amazing space. congrats on quitting the cigarettes.
Jul. 7th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
Mazel tov, babycakes, for surviving, and thriving, despite it all. Love always-- K.
Jul. 8th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear about Oink.

So proud of you for not smoking through all of that!! But you know, in all the years I've known you, I know one thing - you can do whatever you set your mind to. :)
Jul. 10th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
Amazed...that I...get this. About you...and Wow.
Jul. 27th, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
Thank you
Beautifully written. Thank you for explaining the event and your experience so vividly, and thank you for sharing this very personal story. - Selina Fire
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )