It was predawn and bluish outside when my phone started to vibrate beneath my pillow. It was cold and fresh and dark and I had to get my clothes on, including my belt, without waking anyone and get down all of those goddam wet wooden stairs and then walk my motorcycle far enough away from the house and massage it back to life. When I did the beast would probably wake up every one of the wholesome Christians dreaming about Jesus in that creepy summer camp.

First, I found my socks, one under my backpack and one under my jeans which lay on the floor with the belt still attached thank god. The pair was stacked like two hollow accordions sitting squat and patient on the floor, the denim creases frozen in just the very same way as when I sloppily pushed them down and off of my legs and stepped out of them.

I had to slip those jeans on quietly. I had to avoid making a clanking scene of the goddamn buckle. I held the buckle itself tight in one hand and the extra length of the strap sort of balled up in my other. I stood up unsteady and awkwardly stepped into the pant legs and pulled them up and on. The legs were tubes of chilled overnight air. The fabric was alarming and cool and rough against my skin but then became compliant as my body heat soaked into the threads and melted the denim. I found my jacket and pulled it off the couch with one hand. I spun my helmet under my palm and slipped my fingers through the mask. The knob on the screen door was tiny but I was able to get a couple of fumbling fingers around it and twist it toughly just enough to let the bolt scrape past the catch.

The wood birds were making tentative calls through the blue air between the sleepy redwood trees. My chilly leather coat hung slanted on my shoulders like a turtle shell on a coat hanger. There were many stairs to get down from the cabin and I was sure that I was going to slip on one mossy platform and go ass over teakettle down the whole mess. Probably stirring up a dog or two that would start bawling and alert the whole place to the Harley riding hedonist trying to slip away from their camp.