After my four sad years trying to be athletic at a traditional camp, I spend one summer at a work camp in Connecticut. By this time I’m fifteen and in high school, all arty adolescent and needy. I don’t get homesick anymore.
This place is just for teenagers and I am excited about attending. Even though its called a work camp, its not labor intensive, really more like dilettante camp. There’s a miniature farm and a pottery shop and a radio station and poetry classes and a print shop and carpentry and weaving. You can play in a jazz band or chamber music group or dance a Russian gavotte. You get the idea, it’s a refuge for children of New York liberals, we sign up only for the activities we like, there isn’t any schedule and nothing is mandatory.
I spend all my time at the farm. I stand in the yard next to the cow barn holding a pitchfork, sweating, supposed to toss hay over the fence but really just showing off for this boy, Ronnie. Ronnie is a year older than me and a junior counselor on the farm, a man already I think. He is the attraction.
When you are 15 I find it’s easy to get a boy but not so easy to keep his attention. Ronnie takes me up to the barn roof, a secret place, and we kiss. He wants to touch me, he wants to hump on the cow barn roof.
I am reluctant. Ronnie stops, we climb down to earth and next thing I know, Ronnie has a new girlfriend who is 16 like him.
So I am a little desolate but not ready to make love, not yet, maybe next year. I spend the rest of the summer in the sculpture studio, I learn all the Pete Seeger songs by heart and sing Wimoway without irony.
Okay, I am boy crazy, I admit it, my world revolves around finding a boy. I am intense, I wear glasses and haven’t gotten my period yet, I have fantasies and read the dirty scenes in books. As much as I hate it I am still a virgin.