Another summer’s left us here with a foreboding wind sweeping across our eyelashes and the screen-door creaking back and forth. She was beautiful and brief.
She had sunrays for hair, rain clouds for eyes, and her lips were like beach-dunes. She was full of pick-up basketball games with the Asian kids who populated the park across street, long nights on the phone with friends in Seattle, Boston, Chicago, and that wonderful feeling of being alive, awake, and completely useless.
It’s funny how four months fly by. I had a job this summer working for a magazine downtown. I’d peel myself off of my bed at 8:03 in the morning, smear some toothpaste against my face, and trudge off to work with a woman from down the block. Mornings faded into nights.
May dripped like a popsicle into July and all those books on my shelf, except for Farewell to Arms and The Dharma Bums, were still sitting there lifeless-unread.
It’s wonderful how all those spectacular plans for the summer we constructed unraveled so easily once a new Nintendo game or endless Comedy Central re-runs got involved. I can now proudly say that I am fully capable of reciting the first three lines of every episode of “Win Ben Stein’s Money.”
Through careful research I have discovered that a commercial for “Girls Gone Wild: College Spring Break” plays every night on E! at 2:12 in the morning. You can set your watch by it.
I remember the last week at my job everyone was asking what I’d be doing with the last few days of vacation.
“Nothing,” I said. “Sometimes it’s good to just decompress. It gets you in the mood to start getting things done again.”
And boy have I mastered the teachings of Lao-tzu. I’m completely without desire; waking up like a watermelon rind stuck to a movie theater floor; rolling in super-slow motion (for about thirty minutes) out of bed; waiting ’till 4 p.m. for the one friend who’s still home to call me up; wondering what to do; passing out with the remote in my hands and the “Underpants Gnomes” episode of “South Park” blipping by on the TV.
I’m sad to see it go. The time to reacquaint ourselves with early mornings, the old college boys, those tiny bluebooks, and anxiety has forced itself upon us.
Read because you have to again. No more reading Maxim’s “50 Hottest Women of 1999,” no more late, late shows watching Conan hobnob with one of the X-Men, no more mornings spent drifting from “Sportscenter” to “Sportscenter” with still no idea what the infield fly rule entails or what sport Anna Kournikova plays.
Most of us are psyched for college. It’s time for football, time for our brains to grow a little, maybe meet a new man or woman, maybe see the world through more enlightened eyes. But before all that excitement explodes into our lives like so many tomato cans in a bonfire, let me give one last shout-out to the sweet, simple summer that just solemnly stepped out.
Goodbye to all the moments that I’ll miss when I’m ankle-deep in an intransigent block of political science text –the streaming dialectics with life-long friends about girls, the future, who we are and want to be; the night out dancing in my girlfriend’s extra-small sweatshirt; the all day barbecue party in Center City that was full of ululating techno beats; the long ride me and my brother took to Boston and the talk we had about religion; and the video game basketball players who gave their all for me to win a championship at “Kobe Bryant’s Courtside 2.” I love you all but its time to turn the page.