Vintage campers have many layers and sometimes, like an onion, a camper can make you cry. After Boy Child returned to college at the end of Thanksgiving break and Spousal Unit went out of town for work, the girls they left behind have been pouting and maybe even growling at one another just a little bit. Daisy seems to be pouting more than the rest of us, and looks very dejected and alone, half dressed with her insides pulled out like our Thanksgiving turkey’s gizzards. I feel guilty.
Lonely and morose, I ventured to Daisy on a gray, heavy day this past week. I wanted to see if days of rain had made their presence known within her walls.
During Thanksgiving break, when the menfolk were ripping out paneling and insulation, it was with reckless, noisy abandon. They grunted, groaned, ripped, pounded, cussed (we’re keeping an injury record, along with the budget and time spent on Daisy) and stomped through her insides. I’m not a dainty woman and I’m not a quiet one, but when I stepped up to Daisy this week, I was tentative and reverent. This already feels like sacred space to me.
The birch paneling was damp, but not soaked. I grabbed a screwdriver and pushed it through Daisy’s wood veneer. Behind the paneling, paper-covered, pink insulation bulged from its restraints like my belly over jeans. The first time we removed any of the paneling we had prepared for the worst, with filter masks ready, but were relieved to see that if we were exposed to contact, our only problem would be significant itching from fiberglass and not a deadly case of Asbestosis.
When the insulation is pulled back, Daisy reveals her protective covering. There isn’t much to her, to be honest. Thin corrugated aluminum provides a barrier between what’s out there and what’s in here. It doesn’t seem like much protection. I was told recently that I am thin skinned. I never thought I was thin skinned. After all, I was a copywriter in the ad business. There aren’t many careers where a boss wadding up your day’s work, throwing it against the wall and proclaiming, “This is shit!” is part of the daily grind. Conversely, perhaps the fact that I remember that incident nearly 25 years later is proof of my onion paper-like epidermis.
Even if Daisy and I have thin skin, to quote the great philosopher, Shrek, we are like onions. We have layers. When those layers get moldy, damp or just worn out, we need to improve them. Maybe put a coat of paint on them. For Daisy? Probably Sherman Williams. For me? Estee Lauder’s pallete and Wild Root Salon’s excellent hair coloring. Maybe we need to replace some layers. Daisy’s getting new paneling. I see knee replacements in my future. Who knows what lies ahead with the layers of us that are invisible to the naked eye.
Thin skinned or not, my gal Daisy and I can take a blow and keep on rolling along. The dent where a tree – or parts of it – fell on her has been pounded out. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough. As for me and a day’s worth of copywriting being caca? Since that day almost 25 years ago, I have given birth to two babies and raised them to teenagers, provided a home for multiple cats, two dogs, a hamster, multiple gold fish and have owned or leased four horses. Caca is my life. At this point, it’s just another layer.