Johnny's First Letter From Summer Camp

Steve Fisher 27. července 2012 • 06:00


Dear Mom and Dad,


I hope that this letter reaches you and that you haven't moved away or died while I've been here at summer camp.  I know that probably sounds stupid because I only left home two days ago, but all kinds of scary thoughts start to go through your head when you're on your own for the first time in a strange place.


I started to have those kinds of thoughts as soon as I got on the camp bus with the other kids and then looked out the window and saw you and all the other parents smiling and waving at us as the bus pulled away.


You both looked so happy. I don't think I've ever seen the two of you smiling so much. My new friend Tonda, who was sitting next to me on the bus, said the same thing about his parents. He said that they had already been smiling and laughing and singing and even dancing around their apartment together for several days before he left.


I told him that maybe you and all the other parents were just pretending to be happy, so that we wouldn't worry about you being sad that we're away. If that's true, then thanks for doing it. If not, then you might want to talk to a psychiatrist because you both looked sort of crazy, smiling and waving like that.


Anyway, I just wanted to write to let you know that I'm okay, just like you said I would be. This camp is pretty decent, there are a lot of other kids here my age, and the counselors said that there hasn't been a wolf attack on a human in this area for several months.


They said the wolves mostly just stay in the forest because they're more afraid of us than we are of them.  I guess that means they're getting even less sleep at night than I am. And if that's true, I don't know how they manage to stay awake during the day. I keep nodding off at the table during arts and crafts. Yesterday, I woke up and my face was covered with glue and glitter.


You were right about something else, too.  I didn't need to bring my computer, PSP, GameBoy or phone to camp. One reason is because we play other kinds of games here that we make up by ourselves using our imagination, just like you told me you used to do when you were kids. And the game that all the kids here most like to play is one that I invented and taught to them.  Aren't you proud of me?


It's called "Attack of the Flesh-Eating Zombies" and it's based on one of my computer games.  Of course, in the computer version there's a lot of blood and shooting and chopping off heads with an axe, which is stuff that we can't do in real life according to the counselors. But the idea of the game is the same, which is to try to be the last one to get turned into a zombie by killing them before they turn you into one of them.


The best part about playing the game for real is the fun of pretending that you're a zombie. Everyone has been saving some of their food from lunch and dinner to use in the game.  Like, yesterday, we had blood sausage for lunch. Then later when we were playing, Tonda was running around with blood sausage dripping out of his mouth and he was screaming, "I love human intestines!" We all cracked up, and then I chopped off Tonda's head with an axe, but just like pretend, you know.


By the way, you can also use hot dogs as fingers and apple pie as human brains.


The other reason I didn't need to bring all my electronic games is because a lot of the older kids brought theirs. I guess their parents don't care as much about them having a nature experience as you do. Or maybe they're just not as strict as you are.


At first, those older kids wouldn't let me play with their electronic games. But fortunately I had all those packs of cigarettes that I found in the bottom of Dad's dresser drawer underneath all his socks plus the ones I found on the back of the top shelf in Mom's wardrobe. 


I figured that you probably just forgot to throw them out, since you both said that you quit smoking. So, I took them with me as a gift for the counselors, but I don't see any of them smoking either. Of course, they're not around very much. They're always running off and leaving us alone, because they keep saying they have to go to the bathroom, like every fifteen minutes.


Anyway, this camp stuff is all sort of new to me, and I'm still figuring a lot of things out, like how much using someone's GameBoy for half-an-hour is worth in cigarettes.


But, like I said, I'm fine, except for the wolves' howling keeping me up at night, and the glitter that's still stuck on my face, and the blood sausage that's all over the inside of my pants pockets, and Tonda chewing on my leg as I write this.


So, please don't worry about me.





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