band camp, day four

July 11, 2007

The summer of my junior year of high school, I came to camp again. This would be my second year, and I came with friends.

I remember the dances best. There was something about sweating to a pulsing beat, singing at the top of my lungs, effervescing a teenage sexuality rivaling only the deep lustiness of my female counterparts. I would lean close to my friends, bodies touching naughtily, dancing hard in a maelstrom of chemicals mimicking sex, but only insinuating the moment. These were deep moments, hard moments in which each passing lyric, each penetrating bass bounce said how we’d touched each other before, like this and in other ways, and how we’d touch like this again and again. The pictures we took are evidence of the times gone from us, in which we were the world, and the world was in us, and we were of the world.

This was not unsurpassed by the moments of passion in my dorm room a year later, where I learned that one could get away with sex at band camp. The rumors of dumpster-diving lovers and bushy make-out sessions were not unnoticed or unappreciated. In fact, it is in our legends that we learn out primal lessons. The lessons I learned were most primal.

I watch the first smatterings of held hands, summer love springing up out of the freshly watered lawns and still-hanging rain odors. Eyes, though tired from constant activity, shine a bit brighter under the guise of love, fondness, and a burning desire to make the most of each moment. I remember how that feels. I remember walking and discussing the merits of communism with Alan, hoping that I might spark his interest enough to justify his love or affection. I wanted him to hold me close, and kiss me, like any summer-born boy wants. Though my thoughts were misguided, and my heart shattered, I survived to have my heart broken again. This is how band camp love works.

In these first few days, when the relationships are forming, its like watching flowers bloom. But later, they will be cut down with lawn mowers and their parts will be scattered to the winds by so many moms and dads and minivans and trips across the state. But right now, these things are beautiful things, and I wish the best for these young ones, who will find themselves distraught soon enough. May their hot flames be brighter each day.


  1. You know, I was having the discussion with someone the other day about how 7th grade dances are still The Shit in my mind. Why aren’t things like that anymore? Damn.

  2. Meep, sounds like church camp love too. We never had dances at those, but we did have nice cozy bon fires and a secluded lake to walk around. The semi chilled summer mornings that come about from time to time remind me of those days. Crap, now I feel old.

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