When my mother was a kid her older sister used to tell her, “For somebody so smart, you sure are dumb.” My mother would tell me about that at particular times; it wasn’t really like her calling me dumb, but I took the point. She didn’t say that when I told her about that week at summer camp. She didn’t have to; I’d already told myself, when I first realized the difference between what I meant to do about Anna and Sheila and James and what I had actually done.
It’s been five years now, and it’s getting harder to remember what it was like to be that gangly earnest thirteen-year-old, full of ideas about being a hero and without a clue about what that really meant. I don’t feel nearly as angry with her as she was with herself. If I had her here to talk to, like a scrappy younger sister, I don’t know what I could tell her. She’d read books that said all of it better than I could say it now. The rest I guess she had to learn by living through it. Of course, she’d have hated that answer.
But then again, she really did seem overjoyed when I turned up on our doorstep; her "dead" son, miraculously reborn. She made me grilled cheese and PB-n-Js with the crusts cut off. She sat on the sofa with me watching the midnight movie. Things were just peachy . . . until she had to go snooping around the backyard shed.
To say the least she was disappointed in her young man when she found my goalie mask spattered with entrails and the brand new Husqvarna 240e, its blade caked with the congealed blood of Anna and Sheila and James. And I think that’s when she realized I wasn't exactly resurrected with some divine purpose in mind.
At first she was shocked, but then she thought about it, and hugged me and said, "You're kind of smart for someone so dumb." I guess she agreed with me . . . that's what those counselors deserved for playing hide the salami in the cabin instead of manning the lifeguard station at the lake.
Opening: Joanna Hoyt.....Continuation: Angie