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.
it’s the summer, now I have to work all the weekend shifts at my new
café 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.
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
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.
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.