Cimarron (My Last Good Summer)

crc - cimarroncita ranch

Cimarron (My Last Good Summer)

My summer at Cimarroncita Camp for Boys was turning into a great story, and there was only three days until the close of camp, and my dad was coming with my mom to get me. My dad was back. I think he left. But he was back and he was coming to get me.

I got my marksman 2nd class medal and won the camp tennis tournament. I did not win honor camper, but I did slow dance with a girl from Houston. Mary from Houston. It was the closest I’d ever been to a girl. When the second boy/girl dance was canceled because of bad weather I almost cried. Mary. Mary. Mary.

My mom and dad arrived in the station wagon looking like rich movie stars. I’ve heard that movie stars kids went to camp there. We had lunch together. Said the Cimarronsite Prayer.

God, thank you for blue skies, beautiful mountains, and these beautiful trees, as god has created us. Amen.

We loaded my trunk into the station wagon and headed toward Las Vegas, New Mexico. “We’re going fishing,” my dad said. All was good in the world.

That moment in time, that one single weekend driving back from New Mexico to Austin, Texas. That slice of my life is the only memory I have of my parents happy together.

The marriage reprise didn’t last until September. My dad got an apartment near the university and my mom got us ready for the new school year. Oh, right, I had two sisters and a brother. Much older. My dad just sort of vanished. I started 4th grade a bit disoriented and lonely. Luckily, I was a good student, so school was pretty fun. And there were tons of cute girls.

I didn’t understand how crushing divorce was for my dad until I had a son and a divorce of my own. I nearly lost my mind. My dad doubled down on the Cutty Sark. He was lost on his own. He was simply gone from my life. Vanished. Married another drinker. Devolved into a mess of heart disease, alcoholism, and stress. Died at 56 years old, angry and scared until the end.

Read more Short-Short Stories from John.

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