When I was really young and just able to get myself into trouble I stumbled onto tree forts, also known as tree houses. I didn’t build tree houses because those were for fags (by fags, I don’t mean gay people…you may reference Louis C.K. All Chewed Up as he gives the best definition of the term) and even at the age of 6 I was well aware that I was not. Those tree forts were built out of ego, passion, and the nerve to be better than any kid in my neighborhood, and possibly my state. They were a staple of ownership for a growing young man, almost like a Ferrari for a bald 60 year old man that was divorced and taken for half of everything he owns in which of course I am describing myself in 26 years.
My first tree fort was only 1 floor and a modest achievement, but where I prevailed was that I built it in my neighbors tree. I knew territory boundaries at a young age and I continue to cross them even till now. It wasn’t much, perhaps just a few pieces of plywood and some 2×4′s from a different neighbor’s wood pile. Needless to say it was torn down within the coming months out of fear of safety. After a couple years and a few different tries at engineering a mansion in the branches above, I started getting the hang of it. Though the construction sites around my neighborhood were getting pissed about unknowingly lending me lumber for my ongoing ventures. I didn’t give up until one day I had a tree fort that had porches, multiple floors, and even lighting, which I obviously used the neighbor’s outdoor outlets and his extension cord for. I was using power tools at this point and learning how to anchor my structure a bit more. By the age of 12 I had a spare apartment in the neighbor’s tree. If I had been a boyscout I am certain that they would have given me a merit badge of some sort. Just to re-enforce my pleasure in my young escapades, I am smiling while writing this.
Before puberty my tree forts were a symbol of my perseverance, dedication, and most of all my handsomeness. After puberty it was a second home that we could hide nudey magazines in, talk about our hormones, and explore living on our own. Yes, we were brave 13 year olds. We would always think about how to get those naked women we saw in those magazines into our tree fort for other activities. We schemed day and sometimes night on what it would be like to get laid in our awesome tree fort. We understood that women (13-29 years old) were really into teenagers with high-end tree forts. It was only a matter of time before our chance fell into our laps. The older kids would even drop by to chill with us and give us compliments on our building skills.
I am even sure that while we were on trips around the town buying candy that the older kids were showing their girlfriends our tree fort. We would often lend them the key to it since we knew they were responsible enough to not throw parties or damage the abode. I also have a slight suspicion that they did in fact get laid in our tree fort, but I am without evidence other than repeat visits by them and their girlfriends. When I was 17, I still hadn’t claimed a single notch on my woven leather belt inside that wooden fortress, but I knew it was a matter of time until one day after school. I had come home to an empty plot of land and the wood that once graced the large branches of an oak tree were no where to be seen. I was told by the owner of the land that my hayday was over and the fort was built into the tree so well that he had to remove the entire thing by chainsaw. At first I took it as a compliment that my building skills rivaled that of a pack of beavers until I realized I was never going to get laid inside the cavernous inside of my lumber hall.
I spent years trying to get over the fact that I had invested tens of thousands of hours looking at gentlemen publications, preparing for the right moment, and that it would never happen. My world was cut away without warning, and my desire for semi-public sex was ripped away along with it. My teenage hopes and dreams we crushed under the sound of a roaring chainsaw and I wasn’t even aware of it until it was all over.
The morale of my story is that people can get laid inside amazing tree forts, just not me. The old adage that if you build it, they will come is not a myth, it’s true. Well as true as I can prove I suppose. Eventually after my heart is repaired from losing my tree fort I will once again rise to build another. I just need to wait for the right tree, and the right time to build the ultimate tree fort. I just hope that I was wrong and that 30-50 year old women dig tree forts. Something tells me I will win one day…