Growing up, the family yard had a few gargantuan tree’s of various age and limited function. The sweet-gums in the front yard cast these terrible golf-ball sizes pods that crunched and pricked. The sycamores along the side of the house were good for nothing but sloughing sheets of crispy flesh and monster leafs. If their only purpose was to serve as decoration, they barely passed a such. The neighborhood did not have (and still does not have) any exit but the primary entrance from the main drag on which it sat. Our neighbors were nearly all past middle age with full-grown offspring and few kids in the age group of me and mine. It was quiet. I’m not complaining, of course.
I mention this only to say that we never had a treehouse. Not, at least, until I was 17. It was only after I was driving and, embarrassingly, only just shaving that I had found a place where my friends and I would do those things that I had imagined kids in treehouses did. We were loud. Boisterous. Admitted rude but deeply honest. There was no literal tire-swing or playfully sexist admission sign, but there were games and music and the first nights of my life in which three in the morning was commonplace. We told stories and made new ones. The club’s membership was constantly rotating, always open and never bare. Sometime people ask you “where you grew up”. I expect few people are able to answer as specifically as a single room. I grew up with plaid furniture and cackling lunatics.
After nine years, the treehouse stands as one of the longest standing traditions in my life. I guess I still think myself young enough to be surprised that I could have done anything consistently for nearly a decade. I have attended no school or held any job as long as I have worked to make a blue couch fit as comfortably as a well-worn slipper.
On Saturday, I helped take our treehouse apart. When the sun was setting, I saw the place empty but marked with the unmistakable pattern of our adolescence. Later that night I saw it put back together again in a new tree. The toys were still mostly in their boxes, but everything important was right where it was supposed to be. My friends were there. Nothing changed. Thanks to everyone making sure it never will.
Now I know that I’m not
All that you got
I guess that I, I just thought
Maybe we could find new ways to fall apart
But our friend are back
So let’s raise the toast
‘Cause I found someone to carry me home