Summertime, and the livin’ is sleazy. At least during the day, and at least in New York City. This past month I’ve felt like a fish bein’ fried, pale and bloated and soggy-groggy, running from a smarmy sun. The Boomtown Rats’ “Someone’s Looking at You” comes to my mind…You know most killing is committed at 90 degrees, when it’s too hot to breathe and it’s too hot to think…
The kind of heat and intensity that drives cats like Oscar to steal underwear, day in, day out. And what for? He won’t wear it.
But when the sun sets, like a nasty drunk passing out, it’s a-whole-nother story. One Friday in early July, I found a new/true appreciation for the citified summer evening. I was walking home from yoga after a 100-degree day, and at one point I felt everyone else on the street start to collectively slink, right in rhythm with the night that wasn’t quite falling but shimmering its way to the pavement. A dusty-dusk dance done by everyone from the Chinese delivery guy on his bike, its silver bell glimmering like an urban firefly, to the curvy lady in front of Radio Shack in her red satin dress, looking down at her own boobs and feeling happy.
It makes me think of one summer night in East Hampton, the summer after we graduated from high school. And honestly, I’d totally forgotten this until some magic word or feeling loosened my memory last night. Highly unlike me, someone who still remembers my friends’ phone numbers from third grade. Anyway, we were at the bay, which is quite different from the ocean—bathtub vs. Jacuzzi, holding hands vs. up-against-the-wall, big and deep but still knowable and safe—and it was getting dark. I’m not sure how we got there, who all was there or who invited us, but I wound up kissing this boy, lying on the sand and then again in hip bone-high, just-us-in-night-black water, everything all sparkly-dark. I knew who he was but had never spoken to him before that night and never spoke to him after that, the only witness to our sole interaction being the moon.
I realize now, wow, that was a really nice time. A poem. Thank you. I should have put out but honestly had no idea what I was doing. And I salute our tongues and fingertips, whispery stars and bathtub waves, sexy stoner boys with longish hair and girls who feel the pull of the moon.
A song you have to listen to all the way through to get to the last line if you don’t already know what it is
The Beach Boys, I’d Love Just Once to See You
Here's Brian doing it live in 2008:
Upfront and out there
The Strangeloves, Nighttime
The English Beat, The End of the Party
It takes a while to get started, fast forward if you need. Pull back your cover I can love you for all time/But do it now, you know there's never a next time. Killer!