They say you always go back to your previous lovers when you are scorned.
I am wearing everything red in jane's house. I am wearing red lipstick, her red satin robe, her red bead, her red shoes, and my red polyester skirt (the one I was wearing when I "met" brian).
So, my mother shipped me off to camp martha johnston when I was in fourth grade. It's a loving secret: parents are quite happy to have you out of their hair for a bit when you exist. Just for a little while. You can be trying to them. They like to have a life of their own for a while. It becomes a luxury for them to be themselves. You will know this my friends.
So, I hated it the first time. I didn't want to go. It was a girl scout camp (I quit brownies after the first year after the humiliation of eating the snow drops that the lady was late in paying on). The guide book was great. I wish I still had one. Maybe I will one day.
So, I'm there. I'm at my first spend the night camp. The girls are popular. I am strange. They don't really like me. I do it. Julie is there (my mom's teacher friend daughter). My mom was divorced or married for the second time. I forget, but it is correct chronologically. She was married to Terry.
My step-grandmother - mabel jung - takes me to camp.
It sux. We swim. We make those keychains. I have been signed up for computer camp and go and write my name in a program. kristen run. go. to. start.
It's cool. I adjust. I get a green band in the swimming pool (red is you can't swim. yellow is you can swim a bit. green is you're pretty good. blue is great. black is the shit.).
We sing songs. We take turns at the dinner table. One day washing dishes in the pail. The other serving. the other floating. the other sweeping, etc.
The popular girls have intersting talk. We bond. I suck at tennis. The obstacle course is intersting. The songs rock. There is nothing like walking through the woods with a bunch of girls singing... marine songs. but to high pitched voices.
The next year, my mom ponies up for Ranger Ranch. This is an extra benjamin to get to be with the horses.
I love this part. I get to hang out with summer. She is the oldest counselor there. It's like being in Lor's place (from the blue sword). She's removed from the others. Ranger Ranch is different. Magic is an ex-racehorse - thoroughbred that we all dream of riding. We shovel shit and groom the horses. I love it.
Eva is someone I meet. We become fast friends. We talk about boys and kissing. We are all girls, and a heirarchy is established. Eva writes me in the off season. We talk about her boyfriends. She has already frenched. I don't do it until seventh grade at the dance with aaron holtzclaw - an eighth grader who surprisingly invites me to his dance. Each class has 30 people. It's in canton, georgia. we are small. I often said - even in the moment - that I peaked in seventh grade. I remember thinking that while watching my friends play basketball (I couldn't join the team or the cheerleaders because my mom didn't want to drive the hour round-trip to take me to games and practices). I remember thinking somewhat: this is the shit. I am the shit. I am adored here. I am the smartest person in this school (with russell sams). Jodi can eat my shit. She's gorgeous and has horses, but fuck her. I can get marty to turn on her any time I want. We scoff at her drawer full of gloria vanderbilt jeans. (when I'm content with one pair and chic and hand me down izods and polos from stan my millionaire cousin).
But the camp.
I eventually get a black band in swimming. I go there for four years. I get my period and don't tell mable and use toilet paper until she notices and berates me. They are strange. They live in Macon where I don't live anymore, but it's close to the camp, and my mother (a schoolteacher) uses my two weeks of camp to stick me with mable and tony jung and their spooky original houses and acres of decidious trees and black mary who lives in a tar shack on the property. Mable makes great dumplings and biscuits.
Mable and Tony hate each other. She ignores him. he's an artist. They both are clowns on the side. They live next to an ex-fire chief. He's still called "chief". (mable and tony die within a year of each other eventually. everyone would think this is romantic, but they hated each other but didn't).
Camp was great. I knew the rules. I had a crush on edie. She had black short hair. I wondered if I might be a lesbian.
The counselors were all called by other names. A game was trying to get them to reveal their real names (never happened). Summer was the hottie. Thumper was a bit older but 'got me'. She said I should be a massuese because I would massage her shoulders so well (I had experience from my mother who had crippling headaches).
They all seemed so old. They must have been all of 20 at the oldest. It's a reminder to me. The older are invisible to the young.
Look. I don't know if I love you or not, but I want to know.
Look. I'm off to get orange juice. Jane has some vodka that cost $90 in the store. You do the math.
If I don't have a headache, then I'm not my father's daughter.