hot time

August 28, 2009

Summer is on the wane.  It’s cool in the morning when I ride my bike to work. I swear it’s just on this side of crisp — not enough to wear a headband over my ears, but almost. And there’s dew. Dew covering windshields and hovering on top of stop signs. The kind of dew you see in autumn. And if I leave work much later then 6:30pm, I’m tempted to turn on my back blinker. Not because it’s dusk, but it’s close. The sunsets have been beautiful though. And I feel lucky to notice them, but they are coming too early. And that’s the problem.

I don’t miss winter out here. Sometimes I get a little wistful for the snow, but the feeling passes or I drive up to the mountain and get a fix. But I do miss a proper summer. One that begins before the days have peaked. A summer where the end of May and beginning of June are like the extended versions of good first dates, and the equinox marks the tipping point where you fall in love. But out here summer starts as the season’s beginning to wind down. You know it’s high summer in Portland when the days are actually growing shorter. It’s like falling in love with a girl who got accepted to grad school two months before you met and she’s leaving town in another two; there’s nothing you can do about it but be happy and sad at the same time.

It’s the indulgence I miss.  It’s how it feels like the volume is turned up on everything in the summer and not just the heat and the humidity, but how things are over the top, like everything that can get lush, get’s way lush, or it gets parched to hell. And how those kind of extremes have this hint of forever that’s not real, but you still feel like you’ve got all the time in the world.

That feeling gets under your skin, which is why county fairs are full of demolition derbies and amateur boxing matches and giant sized portions of deep fried foods and rides that scare the shit out of you and make you want to vomit. But everyone’s still standing in line to ride the tallest most bad ass roller coaster anyway. God I miss feeling that. Not that I ever stood in line to ride any roller coast. Not even something modest. I’m more a bumper car kinda guy, although every now and then I’ll tempt the fates with a ride on the Scrambler. Which is where I usually draw the line, except this one summer when I rode the double ferris wheel at the Indiana State Fair. The only thing I can say on my behalf is I was really high and I was really hot for this girl I was dating.

It’s the luxury of doing something that scares crap out of me and feeling like I didn’t waste any time. Because out here summer’s a fleeting thing, even if we had a 10 day heat wave in July, it still feels like playing catch up before it’s over.

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