Summer breeze, makes me feel fine

“What? What do you want Dameron?” Paul says as he glances at me while driving. I am startled out of a daze and realize that I am staring at him as we are commuting into the city. That is my defensive gesture now: To become emotionally vacant while commuting. “I want a month in a cabin on the coast of Maine.” I say staring blankly.


“Oh, like Misery?” He says. “I can eat chocolates and become big like Kathy Bates and tuck it.” He is not taking me seriously. “Well, can’t we at least make it a more romantic abduction?” I say. “I’m going to look like Kathy Bates and you want to make it sexual?” He counters.

I don’t think he understands what I am trying to say. I am tired: Tired of working, tired of commuting because we have children in New Hampshire and Virginia and have lent out our condo in Boston. Tired of the rat race and simply tired because I have insomnia. Let’s face it, I’m tired!

Last summer we planned a wedding and renovated a condo. This summer was supposed to be the “Summer of Bill”. No plans. But now we have our house in New Hampshire on the market. Plans are springing up everywhere. I want a summer like the ones I had as a kid growing up in North Carolina. I want to wake up and not know or care what day of the week it is.

I lapse back into a daydream. It is morning and the window over my bed is open while the attic fan is pulling in the cool but warming morning air. The cicadas are whirring so loudly that it is hypnotic. I hear my mother’s voice like music talking and laughing on the wall mounted phone downstairs. She has the phone cord pulled tight over the counter while standing at the stove frying bacon. Someone has just mowed their yard so I smell fresh cut grass.

There is nothing to do today but get up and ride my bike to the swimming pool. Strangely, North Carolina, Boston and the Cape all exist in one geographic area, so my friends Sam and Cary meet me at the pool. We’re fifteen and I can see Sam as the Eddie Haskell that he is: Impressing the mothers with his charm and pulling out a doobie and dropping the F bomb when they walk away. Cary is the good looking quiet kid who knows the lyrics to every song on the radio and will do any crazy thing we ask him to do. There is no Internet, no cell phones, no laptops, no computers and no responsibility.

“Out on the edge of Glory, and I’m hanging on a moment with you!” Paul’s hacked rendition of Lady Gaga brings me back to the present. “I think she’s singing about sex sweetie.” He says. “Yeah, that was funny the first five times you told me that too. But, no I Googled it, she’s singing about her grandfather dying. ” I say. “That’s just dreadful, she’s singing about having sex with her grandfather while he’s dying? Jus’ dreadful.” He says while elongating the “S”. He has been in his own happy morning world while I have taken a break from reality.

Later that night, after a tough work day I take the bus home and walk up the four flights to our condo. There is a glass of wine waiting for me and dinner in the oven. After dinner, we stretch out on the sofa, watch TV and eat ice cream. The sound of the air conditioner is as numbing as the sounds of the cicadas were in my mind. It’s not a month in Maine or a return to my childhood but right then, it feels just as good.

What’s your summer dream?

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