Friday, November 4

The Perfect Crush

There is something so perfect about summer camp love. My perfect crush came late as far as summer camp experiences go.

In the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I went to the California State Summer School of the Arts ( CSSSA ). You actually had audition for it. I was in the acting program, but there were artists of all stripes. Musicians, painters, sculptures, film makers, dancers. Three hundred arty high schoolers jammed onto the Loyola Marymount campus. Just asking for trouble.

That summer was magical. I remember having to meet with the dean of the program because a bunch of us had snuck out at 3 in the morning and took all the outdoor furniture at the cafeteria and built a (temporary) sculpture in the fountain. Glorious thing, 15 feet high. At first the dean was mad at us, very stern about curfews and such. But then she relented because the project "had merit." How awesome was that!

But Amy was the biggest thing. The first night there we met and both of us were instantly breathless. Amy of the dazzling eyes and infectious laugh. Amy of the strange doodles and rambling stories. Amy of the bare feet and summer dresses. For four days we danced around the idea, trying to see where we stood and spending every minute we could near each other.

There is something about summer camp, and a lesser extent college, that can create 'history' instantly. You develop inside jokes and moments in such a quick and intense way. Before we were officially an item, we already had nicknames around the camp: Scooter & Granola. With colored Sharpies, we made t-shirts with our new names. That was the fifth day of camp and that night we kissed. Literally in a tree. He had climbed up into the foliage and there, in our private world ,I had a kiss that I shall remember every single second of for the rest of my life. Soft and sweet but absolutely electric.

Just now, remembering, I get shivers up and down my spine.

But summer camp is summer camp. Amy and I only had the slightest sliver over two weeks as a 'couple.' Summer camp ends as I suppose all things to. And then she returned to San Fran and I stayed in L.A.. She was in town one more day that summer, but it was a fleeting meet as she was just passing through. A month had passed and suddenly camp seemed eons in the past.

We sent letters to each other a few times the next year. Then I went to the east coast for college and she went to Cal Arts. She sent me a mix tape my first week. I played it all through college but now it is long gone. I can barely remember any of the songs on it.

And then she sort of disappeared. Years later, someone I knew in L.A. said he had run into her. Her life had been hard and horrible and she had been in a rough shape. And then nothing again.

I google her every once and a while but nothing comes up. She just kind of slipped away.