Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Making a Scene: What You Do In Summer

A parable about summer romance that wasn't influenced by a Zooey Deschanel movie.

Editor's Note: One of my goals for the next few months is to try and produce one humorous short scene per week. I will be submitting all of these to the "Shouts and Murmurs" blog on The New Yorker Website and all the entries that don't make it (whether funny or not) will land here from time to time.

Because it’s the summer, you and I made plans to have a fling. So, I quit my office job when they wanted me to work full days every Friday. I did it because you’re supposed to have Summer Fridays in the summer.

Since it’s the summer, now I have to work all the weekend shifts at my new cafĂ© job. I can’t ride the train with you to Montauk, which is where all of your friends are staying and eating lobster and fried fish—since that is where everyone goes in the summer.

Because it’s the summer, nobody tips on the weekends. No one is around for their iced coffees anyway. They’re all sitting in pop up pools or on beach shuttles or at amusement parks. Because it’s the summer, I can’t skip shifts and take rides with you to the Cape. And that’s what people do in the summer.

Since it’s the summer, I can’t get you to sleep at my place. I can’t afford an air conditioner, so I sweat without prejudice or relief through the night, half-listening to baseball games on the radio. In the morning I wake up stuck to my sheets, pillows on the floor, which is how some people sleep in the summer.

Because it’s the summer, I save my money and finally skip work one August weekend. I take a ferry with you to Fire Island. Because it’s the summer, we ride bikes and swim in the ocean. In the prolonged glassy twilight, we eat ice cream and you drop your strawberry waffle cone on the pavement. Then the teenage vendor smiles and gives you a free replacement, all because it’s summer.

And since it is summer, we camp on the sand beneath the stars. The waves crash the shore and you stop talking to kiss me. All of a sudden quitting my job over Summer Fridays and sweating and missing all the eastbound Jitneys was completely worth it. But since it is summer, I wake up covered in poison ivy—you aren’t allergic.

However, because it is summer, all of a sudden it’s over. The leaves surprise me in the streets and my pockets are full of tips. With my white window curtain lapping in the breeze, I can finally sleep through the night, which is what you do when you’re done with summer.

And now that it’s fall, I don’t care about you anymore. You weren’t very good to me in the summer.

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