Camp has hardly changed a bit. There are a few more buildings, sure, and the tents we stayed in for the summer of ’93 have since been replaced by the Bunkhouse, but these are merely technicalities in a swirling universe of spiritual energy. In the past week I have been given the opportunity to bond with sixty or so of the most wonderful people on this rocky little planet.
While the physical qualities of camp cannot be understated, what I remember most from my childhood were my counselors, who appeared to be coolest people in the world. There is no doubt that the people I met during my four years Ihduhapi changed my life, and now by a curious twisting of gears in the clockwork of fate, I am among their ranks.
As my friends got to know me in the past week, many got curious where a soul like mine must come from. Crazy parents. Engineered in a test tube. HTML. A wheelbarrow of drugs. Nay, I say to all of these. It is the code of Ihduhapi that is written on the edges of my spirit. I am merely a distillation of the qualities I saw and adored in my counselors. Whatever behavior that I found funny, intellectual or stimulating I fastened to my glorious shell.
Nothing has changed. This year’s staff reflects my fondest memories of going to camp, and has the potential to influence me again. It was nearly ten years since I last set foot on Ihduhapi soil, and yet I constantly sense time-loops that reference back to those dayus. I am here and there simultaneously. I am a counselor and a camper. There are no staff members common with the past and present, but it makes no difference. They are the same people. The spirit is there, and the effect will be the same.
It was at this glistening jewel that someone helped himself to the folded contents of my wallet. I realized the truancy of my greenbacks when I was at Target, preparing to pay for a Slip-N-Slide to use on our free days at Ihduhapi. A healthy fourscore was gone, and suddenly I felt like I had been shot in the gut by my best friend. I turned to the checkout lady for support.
“I just got back from summer camp, and someone stole all my money.”
“Oh, ho, ho! A little mouse must have gotten in there! Well, at least you know who did it!”
“No… I don’t.”
Apparently she thought I stole my own money, which is a silly prospect. I knew full well that her interpretation is false, as I last consulted my wallet Thursday afternoon to witness the burning World Trade Center that one can fold out of the $20 bill. At this time my wallet had a filled belly, and was laid to rest in my cubbyhole in Lewis and Clark cabin. It would seem another person had other plans, however, and forced my wallet to purge itself before I could do it myself.
I must remark that the thief was exceedingly kind in not stealing my business cards, credit card, bank card, insurance card, school id, country-bumpkin driver’s license or Blockbuster membership. My phone card was left behind as well, but it is symbolically empty and needs a recharge at Sam’s Club. This is due to my own inaction, and is a condition that the thief can hardly be held accountable for.
Before my cruel discovery in the checkout line I was cruising around Minnetonka with an impossible smile on my lips that only broke to sing along with Ben Folds. Afterwards I could hardly make myself walk to my car in the parking lot. I had been violated. Swindled. I would not have cared had a stampeding auto trampled me down in front of the store. The goodness of humanity had been dashed in one selfish act. Eventually I stumbled to my car, leaned against the door and slumped to blacktop.
I did not want to point fingers. I wanted to believe, more than anything, that it was an outside job. I wanted the focus of my wrath to be a dusty thief with a bandanna over his mouth. I wanted to find the guilty Drug Lord blues guitarist and blow up his Cadillac. I wanted to shake the Hamburglar until my $80 fell out of his eye sockets. But no, none of these made sense. Granted I did not do a cunning job of hiding my wallet (who knew I would need to?), but the isolation of the incident, the short timeline and the location all imply it was someone from my cabin. Who it was, I do not know. I’d rather not know. I’d rather the thievery didn’t happen in the first place. I’d rather that common decency would allow humans to embrace a moral or two every once in awhile.
While driving home from Target, I had to give myself reasons to break for the car in front of me.
I thought of at least sixty.