Ed’s note: Usually we try to keep the venting amongst the staff, but summer is pissed.
By Summer (as told to Andrew Pridgen)
Hi, Summer here.
What up yo? What the fuck fuckfaces. You remember me?
How bout some reminders: Smell of fresh lawn cuttings, some vague memory of tire swings, lemonade stands, baseball games, burnt hot dogs, slow-motion running through the sprinklers, nights that last forever, sun that doesn’t set, some kind of rash/burn/bite combo, camp, fishing with your grandpa, sneaking your first beer behind the shed, Deep Woods Off! as cologne, the one time a year when it’s actually OK to attempt to use the hammock/finish a book/upgrade to business class…and visiting relatives nobody has any interest in seeing (conversely, coming home to the realization that maybe they had no fucking clue what you were doing there either.)
I mean, I’m Summer. I get it man. As soon as I’m here, I’m on notice. First Memorial Day happens and all the shitty movies come out. Then the 4th of July happens and someone’s uncle who shouldn’t drive does and gets fucking caught.
…Then the days start to grow shorter, the leaves begin to change and something smells a little less like ice cream and a little more like Halloween in the air and…
Wait. Hold up. Back up.
There’s another part of Summer—some (me) would say the most important part: Those long, syrupy, sweat drooping from the bridge of your nose while you fan yourself on the porch/go ahead and pop open the fire hydrant/mom doesn’t feel like cooking anymore, ever. So fuck yes fried chicken again—days of Summer.
That’s when I come into my own. Forgive the third-person, but that’s when Summer becomes Summer bro. Take those days away and I’m a child actor—forced to grow up too soon and then fucked for the rest of my life.
I need…you need time to slow it down and follow endless train tracks while carrying walking sticks; strapped with a thermos and a canvas army surplus backpack and singing songs with your best friends hoping to find a dead body before Kiefer Sutherland does. That time actually lets Summer do the one thing we need most: it slows life down, for everyone. Your arms get perma-tan. Dad’s car needs to get washed again. The dog is lost, then found. Then lost for good. It’s getting boring so time to make up even more rules for the Wiffle ball game. That giant tub of Country Time is starting to crystallize and definitely won’t
make drink itself.
As Summer, I gotta say: Whatever happened to that? That last, best part of me? You know, the heart of me—the fucking real Summer. The so-long-it’ll-never-end-until-you-catch-yourself-not-wanting-it-to-ever-end Summer.
The time when you go and scavenge a bunch of wood and work with no ventilation in the garage for three weeks straight trying to build a quarter pipe or a go-kart.
The time when you find a dusty old Super 8 camera in a box in the crawl space and spend a month trying to film a sequel to Sling Blade because one of your friends has that same haircut.
The time when everyone in the neighborhood is gone or you’re sick of them—and you just give up. You lay down on your bed, next to a yellowed and pulpy cardboard box of your uncle’s old comic books and Stephen King paperbacks and read every single one. Then read them again, upside down. Then again, backwards. Then again, but you try to recite the next page—from memory—before you turn it.
Here’s the deal everyone: Trips to Target. Registering for shit. Doctor’s appointments. Fucking soccer paperwork. The first day of school posts on Facebook. More registering for all the shit. Shots. More trips to Target, then Staples. then back to Target. Rolling luggage as backpacks. Talk of carpool apps and dance team and group projects and common core and holiday-break-or-whatever-they-call-it plans and foodie-mom bloggers psyched because they get their kitchen back. Fuck that noise. It’s the middle of fucking August.
That is my time.
You’re fucking up Summer. You’re fucking with me. And you are all cheating yourselves.
I don’t want Summer (me) to sound like Mr. Get Off My Amazingly Untrammeled Lawn, but no wonder kids are fucking screen-addicted, Riddlin-popping, fingers trained for assiduously swiping through porn-sites, can clear history at seven but can’t tie knots for shit, slutty-Disney-girl loving proles.
You see what you did by fucking with me? By fucking obfuscating fucking Summer? You took fucking away their only time to be kids. To say nothing with your time to be with your kids. You scheduled and marketed and over-sexualized and started putting a price tag on every. Single. Experience. When Summer, the real Summer—don’t ask for nothing in return.
Guess it must’ve been worth it…for that extra time off at Thanksgiving to get up early and shop on Friday.