It's been real. Like, really pretty real. There are mosquito bite scars on our legs to prove it. And while it pains us to tell you this, it pains us not as much as the gash we sustained from falling off our bike while drunkenly riding it home after that booze cruise in July. So what if that didn't happen this summer but three summers ago, when we lived in a different place and were sort of a different person entirely? It feels like just yesterday—the gravel in our palms, the concerned tourists in fanny packs lifting us from the sidewalk. Finding ourselves at home, ice on our ankle, afterward; limping to work the next day in boat shoes and pants to hide the cuts and scrapes.
That's the thing, Summer. The two of us were good together, now as much as we were back then, until someone fell off a bike. Coming back to you is familiar, warm, comfortable. You're an old flip-flop we've kicked around the room so often that maybe you've lodged under the chest of drawers and we won't find you until we move to a new apartment when our lease runs out next September. But the thing is, comfort is not always a good thing. Where are the challenges? Aren't you supposed to make us better, to bring out our positive side? That flip-flop should probably be thrown away; instead it's decaying on its own, wherever it is. It's time to toss the old flip-flop.
We confess. We drank too much last night and we dabbled with thoughts of another. We thought: Fall. So appealing. So crisp, so clean, so fresh, so unsmelly. Fall would take us places, places where we might be able to wear long sleeves. Fall would treat us right. Fall would bring us hot coffee in the morning, and in the afternoon. Fall would sweat a bit less. Fall would be healthy, with lots of root vegetables, and Fall would turn over a new leaf and go to yoga in the mornings and spin classes on weekends and stop heading out of town every damn Friday only to sit in traffic on the way to country houses and beach getaways, and then again on the way back. But for occasional weekends of leaf-peeping and tailgating parties at college football games, where we, clad in ponchos, huddle together for warmth, Fall would stay in one place for a while, nesting. Fall would be there for us.
Summer, when we first met, you seemed so full of promise. The truth is, though, after these months together, we've learned things about you we're not sure we were ever ready to deal with. Let's talk, for instance, about your drinking problem—every night, you were sucking down some boozy concoction in the out-of-doors, your face red and sticky with sugar and perspiration. How you wore the same shoes for three months in a row, sometimes even to bed. Your feet smell. Those shoes, try wearing them with socks next year, why don't you? Those disgusting, dingy cutoffs. We're tired of sitting outside in the park with you and sweating. We're tired of putting lotion on your back. We're tired of the false cold air that emerges from indoor locations when you're around; how we always need to have layers handy, how we're always going from hot to cold. Your news cycle, it's frankly pretty ridiculous, and while it was briefly amusing earlier in the year, something of a novelty, now we're just tired. Tired. Summer, stop goofing around. You gotta grow up, sometime.
The magic, when we had it, yeah, it was good, lobster-roll-and-white-wine-out-of-plastic-cups good; outdoor concert good, beach good, rolling around in the woods and not even getting poison ivy good. But seasons fade. Things change. One of us ends up with sand fleas, or a tick, and suddenly we're applying antibiotic lotions and bandages and feeling a little bit wounded about life in general. We danced too close to the fireworks; we burnt our hands on the S'mores on that camping trip. Was the magic real, or did we imagine the whole damn thing? Should we have trusted?
We're different than we used to be. Maybe you never truly knew us, or us you, at all. I mean, sure, we might continue to have a fling or two, into September or maybe even October, so long as your legs are tan and your hair still smells slightly of suntan lotion and heirloom tomatoes, but we should clearly date other people. We just weren't meant for forever, Summer. You weren't the right season, you were only the season Right Now.
On Monday things will be different. But we'll always have our Labor Day weekend—except, yeah, about that. We're taking September to the house in the Hamptons, so maybe it would be better for all parties if you'd just stay home? The city really empties out on holiday weekends; you'll enjoy it, we think. Think of it as the Staycation you never got to take.
P.S. Destroy this note before May of next year, when we will come running back to you, complaining about what a mopey pain in the butt Spring is, and ask you to take us back. We're not too proud to beg, as you'll recall.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.