Strange but strong intimacies are the hallmarks of field friendships.

When separated from friends and loved ones in the isolated wilderness, the new bonds you form can be both powerfully intense and inappropriately close by conventional standards, and seem downright bizarre when described out of context.

You know better, though.  

These are some of the truest connections, the soul-touching bonds to other human beings that make friendship worthwhile…

These may include:

1) Chortled commiserations regarding any of the following: a) rectal bleeding, b) the state of one’s fecal consistency and color, c) urine problems, or d) discharge of any kind.

2) Inspecting each other for parasites, which eventually may include the difficult yet hilariously fascinating task of aiding in the extraction of several ticks from delicates not your own. (Those things get everywhere… everywhere.)

3) Taking turns kicking the bloated and steaming corpse of a cow to marvel at the spectacle of vultures, flying as if newly born, from its half-eaten anus (they just keep coming…). Then looking at each other and knowing, without having to say a word, that you will wait together so that you can watch them crawl back inside.

4) Maintaining eye contact – and I will neither confirm nor deny that hands were held, as well – while mutually defecating in the forest. Just to see if you can stand it. Which you can, but just barely. (And please, try not to laugh so hard while pooping in the future… it’s exceedingly strange in both sensation and outcome.)

Revel in these moments.

Cherish these intimacies.

You may find neither friends nor friendships like this ever again.

Dedicated to my lovely darkling. You know who you are…

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