Camp

If I had gone to camp
when I was a kid
– a real camp.
Sleepaway camp –
then I’d have been prepared
for life away from the cocoon
of my family
before I’d reached college
and maybe
I wouldn’t have spent
those first few weeks
locked up in my room
listening to all the drunken conversations
outside my door
while I wondered
how everyone knew
how to handle one other so well
while I avoided my own isolation
and profound loneliness.

I’d have been prepared
if I had only gone to Camp Fhockamuck
or wherever my parents wanted to send me
but I whined and wheedled my way out of it
and instead stayed home
rereading comic books
and wondering if there was anything
that could relieve the boredom
of my lonely New York summers.

If those first few collegiate weeks
had run smoother
than maybe I would have dated Freshman year
and not merely followed girls around
all that season.
Perhaps some lovely lass
might have plucked my autumnal flower
and I’d not have been so traumatized
when it finally
tragically
happened.

Everything might have been on a different time table
with dramatically different results
if I’d been sent to camp
and learned to behave
like a human being
instead of making do
and putting things together
much later
and so much more poorly.

If I’d only gone
to Camp Fhockamuck
or something like it.

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