As I write this, I’m sweating sheets in my attic. But I am not going to complain about the heat. I am not. This is summer. And not long ago I spent way too much time complaining about Not Summer, otherwise known as the Longest, Snowiest and Most Pissily Irritating Winter of Recent Memory, to grant myself the freedom to now complain about its opposite. I cleared so much bleepety-bleeping snow this winter that I actually broke my shovel. No. I’m not kidding. Just like that. Snap.
As I said to coworkers today, anyone who hears me gripe about the weather this summer is encouraged to just walk up and punch me. Except of course I don’t really mean that; I don’t want to be punched. I am speaking figuratively, which is the opposite of literally, which most people no longer use literally, preferring to abuse and distort this poor, maltreated, misunderstood morsel of English verbiage until it resembles one of those dirty pink splats of bubble gum on a New York subway platform.
This is what I mean literally: I love the four seasons, and when I say I love the four seasons, I mean I love not just the poetic aspects so oft and softly celebrated by more sensitive souls than I (the passage of the days! the crinkling of the leaves! the cyclical nature of life in this evolving cosmos!), but I love especially the way time behaves in the throes of each. It halts in the middle and just sits, sits, sits, squatting with an emery board to buff its nails, la-dee-dah-dah, while the rest of us flap our mouths to complain about it. WINTER, GET UP OFF YOUR ASS, YOU ARE TOO DAMNED COLD, we howl in frustration. Or WHAT THE HELL, SUMMER, MY HEAD JUST MELTED OFF MY NECK.
But then the wackiest thing happens. Time speeds up. The season doesn’t just change; it gets up in a hurry, drops its manicure kit in the middle of the road and bolts all bananas-like to the opposite end of town. And in its place comes the next season, plopping itself down and making itself comfy for a nice, long, leisurely stretch while we bitch and moan about its presence.
But not me. Not this time. I’m not going to fight it. I’m not going to kvetch. Instead I’m determined to just be in the summer, to surrender to the warmth, to drop down next to it and into it and jostle its elbows and smear sunblock on its back and maybe, if I’m feeling adventurous, lick the salt off the back of its hand. So long as I’m not shoveling anything, I’ll be happy. I’ll shout it to the heavens. I’ll kick up my heels and dance the Cha Cha naked with my hair on fire. And no, I don’t mean that literally.