The pamphlet for summer camps always arrived around Halloween. Time to prepare and save money and what not. Mom didn’t believe in such a list. She sent us to the Maple School Day camp. It was within walking distance to our house, public, and good enough.
The camp had everything we needed; kickball, nok hockey, peanut butter sandwiches, arts and crafts. I loved that nok hockey, but we made tie die shirts and that was ok too. There were a few new friends. We walked home at 4 in the afternoon, ate dinner and fell asleep maybe around 9; totally exhausted. That made Mom satisfied.
There were also dictator and culture fashion camps; private and way up north near Eagle River, Wisconsin.. We saw the brochures and heard the stories from kids who were forced to attend. Ambition was the culprit I guess. The kids hated it and wanted nothing more than to be with us, sitting around-nok hockey style, but no such luck. They were destined to discover the world of elitism and manipulation.
There were emotionally disturbed children; abandoned children and run of the mill rich kids at those camps. And some went on to become executives of big companies; others entry-level professionals. There were poets and plumbers, disc jockeys, husbands and wives, vagabonds. And all of em felt elite and exercised manipulation to get what they wanted.
On this day another relic probably crumbles in a far away land and that’s ok because, another statue and idol is raised up somewhere in the Portugese section of Montreal; maybe under a gazebo beside a street named Durocher.
Someone writes a song about that street and integrates the muslim conquest of Spain as a metaphor somewhere in the song, but come sunset, all the day’s sand grains are gone and still….there is no chorus so that becomes the chorus. In a slow tree waving motion with imaginary arms over imaginary shoulders we all sing because we can….
“come sunset, all the day’s sand grains are gone and still….there is no chorus.” And right about then, someone named Frank pulls a kazoo from his invisible holster and slips into a solo. The sound is a drunk flag and it takes the sun down. Night comes on like a blanket.
The Brewers won 1-0 Saturday. The Brewers lost 0-1 Sunday. Night and day. Day and night. According to magazines at the local Little Burgundy library, milkweed and potato bean run wild in urban areas and the two plants could feed the world.
I climbed a tree instead and removed dead branches. I was doing my neighbor a favor, but as it turned out, the favor was for me. It was yesterday. I spent 2 hours breaking the larger branches into smaller kindling and forgot about the whole damn world. When I finally came up for air and felt the suffocation again, all I wanted to do was make a fire with all that kindling.
But we can’t build a tiny hooverville fire in the backyard of a low rent apartment complex because of tree huggers whining about oil spills and automobile exhaust, plastic exhaust emissions.
Or maybe it’s Hydro Quebec and their monopoly on our energy supply. They don’t want us to heat our shelters with firewood foraged from local forests; the backyards of Mr. Jean Coutu. Or maybe the tree huggers and Hydro Quebec and oil companies and utility companies and politicians are all in cahoots; a doctor and pharmacists racket. We make the disease because we sell the cure. Self reliance is tabooooo.
I manipulated those branches a little harder..into twigs and placed em in a brown paper bag. Amazing how much can fit. I went inside; nursed my scraped forearms back into ready position, watched Ghost Dog the movie for the 12th time and dreamed of reaching neurotic samurai-hood…meditating on death while building a bon fire; Hagakure at my side.
The Brewers are 80-76.