RV or Not RV?

Camping in a Wal-Mart parking lot is the natural thing to do.

This Wal-Mart's camping section, around back by the oil-change and lube station, is sparsely occupied by dirt-bike racers, some of whom can be heard snoring at ten paces. The manager seems to be about sixteen years old. Overnight RVs, he says, are "cool, but we're closing in an hour."

With that warning, we hurry into the nearly empty store. Although I have vowed not to spend one more penny, we still make a quick swing through sporting goods and school supplies before heading to the clothing department, where we play dress-up in the changing rooms until the manager tells us that the doors are about to shut for the evening.

We exit into the bright lights and hole up in our home-not-so-far-away-from-home. As the night progresses, the snoring dirt-bikers leave for the next segment of their drive, exhausted truck drivers come and go, and a group of dispirited mountain youth attempt to look menacing while skateboarding through the Commercial Federal parking lot. In the wee hours, a young deer steps briefly into our pool of light. At six, an elderly man begins marking down lawn furniture in the garden section. At seven, we argue about a McDonald's breakfast: The answer is no. At eight, I kick Minnie Winnie into gear and head for that imperfect, non-rolling place known as home.

I don't look back.

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