Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It came to me at a stoplight on Charleston

I was at a stoplight thinking that I'd never seen a summer swirl by so fast. Is it getting older that does it? Like being on the outside edge of a spinning merry-go-round. It goes so fast you hang on for dear life. But being in the middle is like being young. It creeps and you wish it would go faster. You wish for something exciting to happen. I remember those summers.

Summers that were measured in boxes of mac-and-cheese eaten, levels of Tetris conquered and number of sun burns that peeled. Summers when I waited til 8pm to shower because that's when all the fun stuff was going to happen anyway. Summers waiting for that boy to visit and when he did, he kissed me by the pond and then drove back to where he came from.

Back then summers meant something. Your life could be totally different after the summer. You could read teen magazines and reinvent yourself and swear that "this year" would be different because you mastered the fresh face makeup tips on page 23. You could find that what's his name's voice changed and he grew three whiskers and now he isn't what's his name anymore. You could go from 12 to 13. And that's totally different.

Now, summer seems to be a few days of crossing off calendar squares. It's a count down to when I need to buy pencils and new shoes. It's packing marshmallows and sweatshirts for the beach and then coming home and washing that sweatshirt...feeling like I JUST packed that.

I'm measuring this summer by the soggy yet luscious bottoms of Cafe Rio salads eaten, number of rooms painted in a color that sort of spazzes me out. Measured in the days I can make it past noon before cartoons come on. This is the summer I couldn't make it to the grocery store to save my life. It's flying by. It's speed is going to rip me from the merry-go-round and all of the sudden I'll be picking that pumpkin in the back yard that is only a soft yellow flower right now.

I'm going to do some more things that will mark this summer. I don't like it when days blur together and all of the sudden someone's lost a tooth, someone has five new words and someone already needs a haircut and I had no idea how we got there.

Excuse me...I need to go make this the summer I invented the best Fro-yo combo ever, not the summer I farted around the computer.