Words In Trees

So Captain Awesome and I were walking in the woods today, because he lives in Brooklyn, and things like deer fascinate him – the first time we went for a ramble in the woods, a deer strolled by and he was like "Whoa! A deer!" and I was like "yep, a deer," because in my part of the beautiful and perfect Garden State, deer are EVERYWHERE, especially in front of your CAR WATCH OUT, and when you get your driver's license in the beautiful and perfect Garden State, it's not really valid until you hit a deer – and I was looking at the trees, many of which had old carvings of initials, declarations of love, heavy metal band names and most interestingly, dates, and I noticed that there was not a single one that had a date later than 1989.

This was interesting to me. Remember when kids (let me get my walker) like, went OUTSIDE? Wherein a ramble in the woods was some kind of nudge nudge wink wink kind of situation where strategically placed benches were perfect for innocent high school things like necking? Necking! Making out! Carving your names in trees, sneaking Pabst Blue Ribbon and smoking pot with your friends! Outside in the woods! THAT was an adventure! Now Captain Awesome and I were not participating in any of those activities, but man, it got me to thinking.

People don't talk anymore. They text, they leave messages on Facebook. They don't even (really) use instant messenger anymore. Too long! Too drawn out and time consuming! Hell, we don't even use real words anymore, kthxbai! In fact, are you even still reading this post right now? It's been over two paragraphs! And forget about the phone. NOW. I am as guilty of this as anyone else. I haaaaaaaaate the phone. Hate it. The only reason I'm glad there are phones anymore is so I don't have to go somewhere in person. I'm as solitary as anyone else. But I wish kids still carved their initials in trees to show their innocent, oh my god, true love forever, "we were here," "AC/DC rox" like they used to.

Captain Awesome leaves for boot camp in a couple of weeks. And I'm going to write to him. On real paper, with a real pen. Because we still can do that, even though they don't even teach cursive writing in school anymore, I REMEMBER IT, and I'm going to do that. Because he's my friend, and he's going away for a time, and you can keep a letter a hell of a lot longer than a stupid freaking text.



Words In Trees — 5 Comments

  1. Hey there, been reading your blog for a few days now (totally dig it) so I decided it was to post already.
    I was thinking about this just a few days ago. My son ( 3 years old ) is special needs and we don’t get to do the outdoor thing too much at this time. This bums to out something severe. I LIVED outdoors when I was little , I came in to eat and sleep (most of the time)but otherwise I was embedded in the tress covered in mud, bugs and sticks. My friends and I were the loud kids who played freeze tag using everyone’s front yards and rode our bike with wild abandon , yelling out in delight.
    Dude, where the hell are the kids now adays ?!?! I live the street over from where I grew up and there are no kids riding their bikes, tossing footballs, rollerblading or even just hanging out on the porch …. I will catch a glimpse of a small group of them walking from one house to another one but even then they are usually on cell phones and listening to Ipods…
    It sucks …

  2. I know what you mean. I feel so totally old sometimes. Especially when I start out sentences with, “I remember when”. I remember when some of the Vietnam War was televised. I think it helped the war end earlier than it would have otherwise. I wish that people could SEE what was happening. I don’t think they would be nearly as interested in war over maybe just having dialogue with others. There, that’s how old I am.

  3. Good for you for writing to him when he’s in basic. That’s really when they need it most (at least initially).
    I just wrote my first letter to a soldier overseas and it felt so strange to write a letter on paper with a pen instead of typing it or e-mailing it.
    I had forgotten how much I liked to send and receive letters in the mail.
    I live out in the country, so we actually still DO go outside. My initials have been carved in a tree on family land forever as well as at the old fire tower. My daughter is about to take her first foray into initial carving, soon.
    It also helps that we only have one channel on our TV and I don’t have cable!

  4. Words that are directed toward me and crafted on paper make me gleeful. I have many, many of the old letters former loves and still-current friends used to send me. On the rare instances when I reread them, some make me laugh in the same places I remember laughing when I first received them, and others definitely make me cry.
    Blessings to your friend. I imagine he’ll hold onto your letters through it all.

  5. So here is info: my grandson goes to a nice little private school with about 35 kids (K-9) and he has to show his skill with cursive to get from 2nd grade to 3rd. He should pass that mark within the week. (And this is in California, where everything is generally even more FU that everywhere else- even Jersey- Californians are even proud of it- being more FU than everyone else, that is.)

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