When I talk about the Boys Camp, I do so in a tone that makes me appear as though I were wise, or loving, or kind, or cunning. It has been 18 years since I left the place and I have had plenty of practice telling Boys Camp stories in a tone that fits the mood.
I tell the story of the ghost "Mary" that I made up to scare the boys, and when I tell that story I want people to appreciate my ability to improvise in emergency situations.
I tell stories that are religious in nature, in which I used some verse of the bible to explain a truth to a boy, and when I do that I want the listener to believe that I was once a twenty-two year old girl on a mission to share the word of the lord with young boys who might never ever hear it otherwise.
I tell alot of stories, and most of them are true to the best of my recollection--but I don't often tell the truth about who I was when I was working at the Boys Camp.
It is 100% fair to say that I went into the job believing that I could make a difference in the lives of boys. It is also 100% fair to say that I had no idea what it was that those boys needed. I pretended to be what I felt I should be for the eight days that I was a housemother.
The picture that I have posted was taken six months before I went to the camp, and that is the look that I tried to emulate on those nights when I was not a house mother for twelve boys. When I was at the Boy's Camp, I braided my hair and didn't wear a smidge of make-up. I did this for two reasons:
1. I had to wake 12 boys up at 6:00 am, and I didn't give a rat's ass what I looked like.
2. I recognized that at the age of 22 I was only five years older than some of my 'kids'. I didn't want them to think I was cute. I wanted them to think of me as a guardian.
But there were nights when I took the braids out of my hair and got out the aqua net.
When I was the girl in that picture, I requested an evening off so that I could go to a wedding with Martin. My request was granted, with the stipulation that I leave after the boys had been tucked into their beds for the evening and that I would be home before midnight so that I could preform my House mother duties at 6:00am the next morning.
I completed my hair and make-up while still at the camp and left wearing pants that were to big and a gray t-shirt. I drove my red Trans Am the hour and a half that it took to get to the local JCPenny where I purchased a green dress with pearl buttons from the collar bone to the hem,a pair of white pumps and thigh high nylons that I attached to a white garter belt.
I dived into the gas station next to the church to change into my wedding reception finery, and I met Martin just as the keg was getting tapped at the reception.
When he met eyes with me in the doorway, he walked across the room and wrapped his arms around waist, he sniffed into my hair and then whispered that he was so happy to see me that he would open all of my buttons with his lips.
The reception was grand, we danced and we ate and he introduced me to everyone I had not yet met as "Miss Idaho".
Because I am telling a story about When I Was Her, and She was me an entire lifetime ago, it seems only fitting to admit that we left the wedding reception inside of a Catholic church, and we went to a basement with a bed covered in animal hides and while we were there we partook of illegal substances and we listened to Ac/Dc at full volume and Martin proved his promise to open my buttons with his mouth.
Many hours later I was covered in sweat and panting on a cowhide, and I realized that I had missed my midnight curfew.
By many hours.
I fact, I had been fornicating for so long that I had less than an hour to get back to the Boys Camp before my job began for the day.
When I was the girl in that picture, it felt like a challenge and I believed that my red Trans Am could take corners like it was on rails and I was just young enough and immortal enough to get out of town and then stomp on the gas pedal like it was a cockroach.
There is/was a spot along the road in which it was a Missouri double letter road that had hair pin turns and little hills. There is a special sweet spot that has three humps in a row, and I had always taken them a bit fast so that I could get the roller coaster butterflies--but on that particular day when I was racing the clock and listening to "back in black" at full volume--I hit first one so fast that I sailed over the hump and landed on the top of the second hump. I goosed it at the top and sailed to the third hump and I did a fist pump out of the absent T-top when I didn't crash.
When I reached the turn-off to the camp I squealed to a stop and reversed to the trail through the trees. This was when I remembered who I was supposed to be, and so I turned off the music and crept through the woods to the driveway. There I turned off my motor and coasted to a stop, just as the sun was creeping through the trees and I knew the wake-up call would be issued soon.
I snuck into the front door and made a bee-line for my room where I stripped off the dress and put on my pajama pants and size XXL t-shirt. I had to piss like a Russian racehorse, but I thought that if I went to the bathroom it would alert my partners that I had just gotten home and so I chose to pee in a coffee can in the corner rather than leave my room.
That day went from there--I pretended to have just awoken and herded boys to their various school activities while I was still feeling the after-glow mind blowing orgasms and drugs and booze. As soon as they were gone, I went to bed and slept the afternoon away.
When I talk about the Boys Camp, I usually do so in a way that makes me look like I was being selfless and doing things for others.
But ahhhh.....when I was her, I also did things because I wanted to know what freedom felt like.