When I was in sixth grade Mom asked me what I wanted to do for the summer. “Camp is good, you’ll make friends.” She said it like an adopted kid wouldn’t get confused. You got me almost yesterday.
Mom and Dad were getting a divorce and didn’t want me around while they decided. Maybe I skewed the thought process. When I looked over the camps they were mostly the kind with cabins or rooms, that I would write letters back home. Mom already figured out that I wouldn’t write letters, she must have known that in college I wouldn’t pick up the phone either.
She didn’t pick up when Dad called. Sighed. Made remarks that she thought were funny, because she would make a funny voice. “It’s your father. God.” I chose a day camp, and she was good at being glad. “You’ll like it, I bet, but if you change your mind, tell me.”
Halfway through summer they seemed to get along. I ruined the process again, righted the train crash of their marriage. Japanese and Jewish; her family fought his family in the war. Romeo and Juliet were supposed to die in the end, but I figured I knew what it was like if they didn’t. I said this to my English teacher once and he moved past the issue quickly. He didn’t want the other kids to think as hard about it as I did, even though half of them had.
They didn’t get divorced until I was in college. I didn’t answer the phone when they called about it; just an email. They got rid of me, but not each other, I liked to think. It was too late to change my mind about day camp.
by Jono Naito
Jono Naito is a recovering New Yorker and MFA student at Syracuse University. His work has appeared in Bard Lux Literary Magazine, Paper Darts Magazine, and the Eunoia Review, as well as online at jononaito.com. He lives with his partner-in-crime and an arrogant bird that looks like an avocado.