The wind gusts through my fingers, and I ride its force like the humps of a camel. Her stuff is piled up in the back, the fluffy comforter swallowing her under all of its fabric. The day is white hot, the sun a blaze that makes you bead sweat just from thinking about it. It bakes this monopoly piece car, and we combat it with rolled down windows and thumping bass.

We chase the promise of summer, one day of clean-up stretched out between us and the sticky sweet intoxication of pure freedom. Where days melt into carbon copies of the other until they become one masticated mess in memory. We get drunk on big plans of beaches and brunches, tennis and pool time. Get-away bursts speckle our slow dance from freedom back to confinement.

We watch the hot pink sun dip in the sky, bedtime an archaic practice for colder, darker days. We sip drinks that fizz and bubble in our throats, and we torpidly read long meandering novels. We bask in leisure and dream up all the ways we’ll be better next year.

I think about the times we gathered, lined up on sidewalks that radiated heat to cheer our goodbyes in the wake of yellow school bus streaks. Heads popped out of rectangular windows and shouted to teachers they loved, called wishes for summer. We shielded our eyes and laughed at their uninhibited cries. We rivaled the students in euphoria, the emptiness only settling in when we returned to a building that echoed with a final silence. For me, that farewell was my last.


One thought on “Tradition

  1. Tell me, tell me, smiling child,
    What the past is like to thee ?
    ‘An Autumn evening soft and mild
    With a wind that sighs mournfully.’

    Tell me, what is the present hour ?
    ‘A green and flowery spray
    Where a young bird sits gathering its power
    To mount and fly away.’

    And what is the future, happy one ?
    ‘A sea beneath a cloudy sun;
    A mighty, glorious, dazzling sea
    Stretching into infinity.’


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