When i was a kid, summer was day camp, trips to the park, drive-in movies and Friendly's, staying up late, and sleeping in. summer was strapping on my blue Snoopy rollerskates, with the yellow wheels and stopper, and skating for hours on end. summer was riding my bike around the block again and again and again (till i was old enough to cross the street). summer was was my birthday (July 31st)which always fell within days of our neighborhood's block party and included a Baskin Robbins Circus Tent cake (Mississippi Mud and French Vanilla) with ice-cream cones on top that looked like clowns and toys, lots of toys.
As i got older the idea of summer changed, slightly: week long trips to Boy Scout camp, a weekend job at the local mom & pop video store, and then later on a volunteer position at the NY Aquarium, in the penguin exhibit. in all, summers meant staying outside for most of the day, getting brown as a nut, and recovering from nine months of school related stress with the few friends i had. i enjoyed summer despite my natural aversion to the heat. trucks selling soft serve definitely helped.
summers in college were pretty much the same, with the added bonuses of disposable cash from my mall job and friends with cars. we went to concerts and the beach, and hung out in the pool; every day was something new and different (as long as we didn't have to work that night). summer, which started in May and lasted thru September, was great!
after college, summer was Pride. summer was spending my days off cruising the beach and the woods for hours; having fantastic sex with good looking, scantily clad, guys. summer was going out five nights a week to the local gay bar, hanging out on their patio till they closed and still getting up for work at the mall the next day. summer was eating chicken rings and mozzerella sticks, in White Castle's parking lot, at 3am after seeing a drag show.
now, everything's different.
summer means schlepping back and forth between Staten Island and downtown Brooklyn, through furnace-like subway tunnels, five days a week. summer means sitting at a desk under fluorescent lights, getting text messages from friends who are at the beach or on vacation. summer means worrying that the central air is costing us hundreds of dollars a month because leaving the windows open, in July, in New York, is ridiculous. summer is fighting the urge to use vacation days and sick days, because i get so few that they're better spent on doctor's visits and waiting (in vain) for repairmen. summer means standing on 34th street, in the sun, on a line of 75 people for a fucking bus that never comes. summer means hoping we don't have plans on weekends, so that maybe i can sit outside in the sun for an hour to get a tan and stave off rickets. summer is hoping i don't look too ridiculous in shorts. summer is no different than winter, except that i wear slightly less clothes.
it makes me miss the penguins.