Note: While camping with his family on their annual Vermont outdoor outing recently, Andres purposely neglected his cell phone, his razor, the general concept of time, and this blog. Regarding the blog, fIrst, he did not have a computer and had long ago given up writing longhand (other than post-it notes reminders to dial-in to a conference call or pick up milk on the way home from work). Second, there were just too many entirely welcomed, vacation related distractions. Unfortunately though, he also neglected his camping hammock. You see, between playing with the family, enjoying the lake, and exploring nearby locales, Andres did not have time to set up and use his camping hammock this year. This was a first for the hammock. Feeling jilted, and bored out of its threads, the hammock decided to write a letter to his blog:
I hate you.
We used to be so close. Every year you would secure me between a white birch and a maple. We would swing together. We would lay together like two spoons in a drawer. Sometimes we would fall asleep together in the sun speckled shade. Once, you spilled a beer on us like a klutz and we laughed and laughed. Remember?
But now? I barely saw the light of day. You kept me packed away next to the tool bag and the roll of emergency toilet paper. What did I do to deserve this? Does not a hammock deserve a shred of dignity?
I know. You and your wife have two kids now. I am just a distant memory. I am a relic, a has-been. It’s the Island of Misfit Toys for me - I’ll be sure to say hello to Rudolph and the Spotted Elephant when I see them. But before I go, I’ll be sure to update my Facebook relationship status to Dumped, No Longer Worthy of You.
I saw you from my cage, you know. I saw you swimming in the lake, diving through the thermocline from the warm water above to the cool water below. I saw you building the flames in a primal furnace - the campfire ring. At night, I saw you staring in awe at the star-pocked intensely dark sky.
I heard you. I heard you reading scary stories to your kids while the loons eerily screeched from the lake. I heard you explaining to those same kids the ancient geologic processes that carved the rugged scenery and the basin for the giant swim hole. I heard you sitting around the campfire with your wife, enjoying a moment of adult conversation as the kids slept peacefully nearby.
I felt too. I felt the warm bright sun rise from the ridge to the east, dimming the laketop fog tendrils and illuminating the day and its infinite futures. Later, I felt the rays fade into twilight. Later still, I felt the cool night ushered in on the arm of a gentle breeze. I felt this on the outside. Inside I felt nothing but loneliness.
You got to tour the picturesque and farm-studded Vermont countryside, moving through a living postcard. I was stuck in the interior of a cramped camping gear tote. You got to explore quirky little towns filled with unique mom and pop shops, public art, and fresh restaurants. I got to sit still and suffocate. You got to walk, unconnected, through the woods past glacier strewn boulders, along babbling brooks, and in the footsteps of moose. I got to do none of these things.
We’re through. Don’t try to look for me next year. You continue with your active adventures and keep compiling precious family moments. I don’t want to go on kayak trips, rocky path nature hikes, and small town jaunts anyway. I will find myself a new partner with nothing to do. We will find two new trees in a new campsite, read a trashy paperback, and swing some new memories. You’ll see.
Yours truly distraught,