Jesse Tise

Who would I be were I to turn down an invitation to a “Queer Mountain Extravaganza?” A very different columnist—that’s who. But fear not, I am still D Martin Austin.

Just to get this adventure off on the right foot, when I notified my carpool buddy that I’d reached their apartment, they notified me that I had actually agreed to pick them up at their job. I had no idea where that was—but once we worked that out, we were off to the store with my kid for some last-minute supplies. Grocery shopping complete, we returned to my car... which failed to start. So, we agreed to take my friend’s car instead. Then, finally, we were off!

It didn’t take long to learn why my friend had wanted me to drive. Their driving anxiety made my general anxiety seem amateur at best, leading to the classic roadside discussion of what to discuss in the car for what would seem an eternity if it were spent in silence. I’m of the opinion that not once in the history of road trips has anyone discovered the optimal discussion. Even my normally talkative child went silent, except for occasionally commenting on what he had seen on the side of the road, or the color of the vehicles ahead of us. One can only imagine how much worse these exchanges must have been before the days of radio.

As we neared our destination in the dead of night, the reality of the situation set in, and all discussion revolved around our car containing three Black people (one mixed and two nonbinary) driving on pitch-black backroads in search of a cabin in a place called Lost Lake. My friend made a point to reassure me that they knew the white people we’d be staying with very well, and this was not the opening scene to a horror flick. I still had my doubts, especially when the GPS declared we had reached our destination beside a wire fence surrounding an immense field with no house in sight. All the same, I gathered my senses and hypothesized that somewhere near this field would be a house with the same address.

My hypothesis having been proven correct, we cautiously approached the door and were greeted by our equally queer comrades. Extravaganza attendees included (cue music) four enbies (AKA nonbinary), three children, two gay men, one lesbian, and a dorky in a cabin.

For those unfamiliar, a “dorky” is half dachshund, half Yorkshire terrier and, as luck would have it, combining two of the worst dogs mankind has ever forced to fuck produces an adorable creature with a cat-like disposition. However, consistent with so many designer breeds, this sorry bastard was blind, deaf, and didn’t have much of a sense of smell—basically, a failure among canines.

After stuffing our faces with vegetarian lasagna, baked chicken breasts, fresh baked bread, and Tofurkey Italian sausage, we completed day one with a beautiful sunset in a field... cold as fuck. TO BE CONTINUED....