Monday, September 2, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Hate Summer's End

Labor Day is the end of Summer.  Though the calender might suggest that the solstice of September 21st is the official end of Summer, those of us living in this region of the country know that the end of the season comes like a flick of the light switch on Sept 1st or near abouts.  Darkness starts to come early, and before the sun has even set a damp chill slinks in like an unwelcome guest.  Summer is all possibility and pleasure whereas Fall is the check at the end of dinner.  One is expected to be serious in the Fall with the resumption of academic pursuits and increased workloads.  In my mind, it is really the close of a chapter in time.  The end of summer is very depressing for me.

This summer felt as if it passed faster than the one before it, which of course was even quicker than the one prior.  In elementary school a summer break seemed to last an eternity, and when the beginning of August rolled around announcing the actual possibility of returning to school, it seemed impossible that much time had passed.  I don't know if this is only my experience, but I find time to be like the hill of a rollercoaster.  The more time that has passed, the faster the remaining time seems to fly by.  As a kid days go by with the "click-click-click" of climbing that first hill of the coaster.  Something happened at some point that changed the pace.  Certainly there must have been a top of the hill when the long slow days of school vacation turned into the blur of life's current pace.  I have no idea when that was though...

Maybe I just have too many balls in the air at any one time and as a result I am the only one that can't seem to recall the entire month of July.  I really did not accomplish everything I had set out to do this summer.  This could be because I am too easily distracted.  Perhaps I set too many goals.  Maybe I just have too many unimportant things eating away at my valuable time.  Hell, I haven't leaped out of that airplane yet, and I thought I was going to do that last week.  Ah, those fucking hillbillies stealing garbage from one another got me off target there.  Never get too involved with violent hillbillies.  No good can come of it.  Even living in the same county jammed me up.  Note to self, avoid violent hillbillies...

I spent one summer taking classes at Kent.  I was subletting a room in a terrible house living with some guys I barely knew.  I had taken a class called "Great Books II" that summer.  Since it was a summer class, they jammed it all in over a much quicker time period.  I think what was normally a 12 week class became a six week class, so as a result the pace of "Great Books II" was insane.  I would go to class Monday morning and the instructor would say, "Herman Hesse's "Steppenwolf" was one of the first surrealistic novels.  On Wednesday we'll discuss it, and then have a test on Friday."  As a result, I would have to knock out Herman Hesse's "Steppenwolf" in four days, which I did while sitting outside in the sun on a cheap beach chair.  Over the course of four weeks I read complete novels from Hesse, Kafka, Dostoevsky, and Voltaire while working on a tan that would have made George Hamilton weep with envy.  At night I would sell magazine subscriptions as a telemarketer, and then stop in this bar called Ray's and drink until close.  It was, without question, one of the best summers ever.

It would be great to recapture somehow that feeling of freedom while enjoying a slow languid pace.  When your biggest responsibilities are to finish "The Trial" while sitting out in the sun, and maybe renew some guy's "Field and Stream" magazine on the phone, things are pretty relaxed.  It's hard to wrap your arms around the fact that you may have actually had it all figured out years ago, and then let it slip out of your fingertips.  Of course, if I had maintained a life of heavy reading and small labor, I would be one of those bearded guys shuffling around college towns that had a cat, went to poetry slams, and spent most of my limited energies on tricking the patchouli smelling grad student bartendress at my favorite bar into taking off her stinky jeans in my rented room.  This, while offering many legitmate freedoms, is also very sad.  I don't want to wear little round glasses and assume everyone is as worked up about foreign labor conditions as I would inevitably be.  "Hey man, I only drink free trade coffee.  Getting that stuff from Dunkin Donuts is like shooting a kid in the head man..."  Nobody needs me singing out front of some jam band.  What the hell would I do during the seven minute guitar solos?

I suppose it becomes all about staying on your own course while trying to keep that rollercoaster moving at as slow a speed as possible.  It's nice to look around and enjoy what is happening while it is happening.  I feel like I was shortchanged this summer.  That won't happen this Fall.  No way.  OK, it might...  


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