It’s like sleep away camp.
When you start, you aren’t sure what to expect. You don’t even know if you really want to go. You don’t! It’s because you’re scared. Nervous. “I’m always nervous, but I’ve trained myself to see it as being excited.”
So, there you go. Nervous excitement.
Despite the nerves, you go, and it’s a little bumpy at first. Getting to know new people, making connections, testing humor and vibes…that all takes some lightly-treaded time. Then, suddenly you get that click, you find your people, and you stick with them. Life is beautiful, all things considered, when you’re together. In partnership, you make each other happy.
Five months of sleep away camp.
Then, camp is over, and it’s time to go home. Back to daily life without each other, with the new bond stretched. Parents load your self and your stuff into a vehicle, and drive off. You cry, because you don’t want to be separated. You cry, because you loved the time you spent together. You cry, because you’re determined for this not to be the end.
It’s like sleep away camp, except that we’re adults. We have jobs, too, which means we can afford to see each other again, more than once a year. Plane trips can replace train visits. And in the meantime, it’ll be like writing to camp friends, the ones you absolutely kept in contact with. Only this time, we won’t need to wait on snail mail. There are myriad ways to keep in each other’s lives, what with “the wonders of modern technology”. Sleep away camp where after, I could theoretically see your face every day, even if I couldn’t physically touch you, and it wouldn’t be from an old, still, kodak shot.
You pull me into you, and I flashback to hugging someone goodbye my last day of camp, falling into a pile of luggage from the sheer will not to let go. We’re already lying down, so there’s nowhere to go except deeper into the fold of our limbs. You squeeze me tight and I drink the moment in, making a memory to take for the ache that will come later. On the last day of camp, I sobbed. Now, I brush my tears away quietly, calmly. You promise to let me know when you’ve arrived safely, and I watch you from the doorway as you leave. There are more tears, but they’re tears of happy anticipation, not heartache. Tears of peace, not of loss, because this is like sleep away camp.
It’s just like sleep away camp. Except, with the potential to be better.