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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

In my Mind I've Gone

We lived for James Taylor at summer camp. "Fire and Rain", "Carolina in my Mind" and "You've Got a Friend" were all we listened to the last three days of the four week session. Tears poured down faces as we clung to each other, swearing eternal friendship, that we'd write letters every day, that we'd never be as close to anyone ever again.

And then on the fourth Saturday I'd get on a Piedmont plane unaccompanied back to DC. I'd land at National, and my mom would be right there at the gate, with a smile as big as Christmas. While she drove, she'd hold my hand tightly, only moving it to shift gears. I'd look out at the river and talk almost nonstop about my cabin and what levels I earned, and she would listen the whole way home. When we pulled up I'd finally look over at her to see tears in her eyes. I'd say, "What? What is it?" And she'd say, "I just missed you."

When we got to the house my trunk and duffle went downstairs to the laundry room even if I swore everything inside was clean, because "camp clean is not my clean", and I went upstairs to the bath for the same reason, While I held my hand under the tap, waiting for the water to get warm before I stoppered the tub, I'd hear my mother on the phone with her own mother. "She made it. She's home and filthy." And she'd laugh with relief, like she'd been holding her breath for twenty-eight days.

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