I haven’t liked summer for ages. Sorry, folks. I’m the guy who is stomping on everyone’s good time. I mean, let’s face it, ever since about high school I’ve hated it. Summer has always been hot and uncomfortable with the guarantee that there’s always a limit to how much of your clothes you can take off and be socially accepted. Not that I’ve tried. That anyone can prove. I’ve experienced dry heat and high humidity and just about all between and I can safely say it’s all bad. All of it.
I hated walking in Minnesota summers that felt like you were swimming in the air, hot and muggy and uncomfortable. I don’t like the high desert summers where the air sucks out every single ounce of moisture in you and brings the temperature in your car up to three digits. It makes people crazy, too. Just ask my totally existing detective friend who notes that all the crazy and stupid crimes go up in the summer. He’s an autumn/winter guy too.
I guess I did like summer when I was in school. In elementary school summer meant no schedules. We could ride our bikes to the city park pool – our parents bought us season passes which I am sure was both for us and for them. Sometimes we’d go to a park and play at war, running around without black plastic toy uzis and trying to off each other in a show of stealth and bravado. Other times we’d head to the arcades which were the new great thing, get five – five! whole tokens for a dollar instead of the usual four quarters to the dollar. We’d play Pac-Man, Centipede, and such. Sometimes in our small town, we went to the used book store where they had a rack of used comics. We’d trade in our old ones and get another in turn – three for one. Those were idyllic days.
Some time in high school that ended. In our family, we were required to find work. First, that was stressful enough for a shy, introvert boy who struggled to put himself forward. Once a job was found, I had to sacrifice halcyon days of summer for work. When the job involves counting the smelly beer bottles of my fellow Oregon citizens – well, the bloom is off that rose. Summer hasn’t been the same. It never will.
I’ve moved from that small town that’s changed and will never be the same. I don’t see those friends as much any longer. My siblings are in different states, and the days when kids could ride anywhere they wanted in town on a bike without a helmet and explore and do as they liked are long gone. And at times that loss can be acutely felt. I don’t like summer.