Susan and Stephanie and I had forged a kind of instant summer-camp bond - you know, it either fades or disappears entirely. It's probably more important in memory than fact.
We had wandered off the campus of the tiny liberal-arts college where the conference was being held to Albertson's, I think to buy Pepsi and peanut butter and string cheese and French bread, but it's been too long now to say for sure.
Two blocks away there was a rodeo going on.
We crossed to the parking lot of the dollar store. A little red pickup came to a dead halt at the stop sign just a few feet away from where we stood with our grocery bags.
There was a fat guy with a shaved head, probably 15 years our senior, riding in the bed of said pickup. He yelled:
"Oh my God, my __________ itches."
A debate ensued, as Stephanie distinctly heard him say,
"My buttcrack itches," and Susan believed she heard,
"My nustsack itches."
I hadn't been paying enough attention to cast a vote, because I didn't realize he was talking to us until after he had gone.
It was more important in retrospect, which is why I still remember what I was wearing that day: a pink-and blue plaid skirt, which frequently incites the Catholic schoolgirl symptom in certain middle-aged men, a navy blue V-neck tee, and little blue slouch socks to match. I remember the way our three shadows stretched and merged on the pavement ahead of us. I remember the heat, which was unbearable. I remember the smell of cowshit which was the city's trademark.

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