Wednesday, July 06, 2011

That Summer

The good news is that Baby Lawns is sleeping a little better these days. I have no idea why, but she's averaging only two or three wake-ups a night and they are mostly brief. This has improved my life quite a bit. She's also taking two very long naps per day in her crib, which has freed up a little time for me to clean and cook and read a ton of books or take naps as necessary. It's not such a bad life.

It's summer, but in Florida our summers tend to take on the bleak abandoned tone of a northern winter, except that it's hot as blazes and now the rainy season has finally started, so that means humidity and mosquitoes and a lot of staying inside. Summer here is quiet and boring. Things will pick up more come October when it cools off, dries up and the tourists come back.

Sometimes I forget it's summer since we don't have a lot of distinction between seasons here. I used to track the rhythm of the year by semesters, but I no longer have that either, so I almost forgot it was the peak of summer and when it's summer, I tend to become nostalgic for summers past. Summers are so easily categorized and seem to have much more clear demarcations than the other seasons. Perhaps this comes from a life of summer vacations. There is a set beginning of summer when school lets out and a distinct end, with such a sad feeling of closure, when school starts back up again and we've gotten out our black, post Labor Day shoes.

This time of year I'll find myself sitting around and thinking about this summer and that summer and the summer that...  But mostly I think about the summer when I was sixteen and I made so many bad decisions that it almost seemed there were no more bad decisions left to be made. I've never written about that summer or those bad decisions. I've never told you about moving out of my parents' house to live with my boyfriend and his friends. I've omitted the story about the pet skunk, the LSD and the dead kittens. I should tell you about the babies that didn't or might have made it and you need to know about how we ran out on checks at Denny's, begged for cash on Duval Street in Key West after sleeping in a park with junkies and schizophrenics and then stole a wallet with drugs in it so we could split a can of Dinty Moore beef stew. There was a lot of blood that summer. There were wild birds with men's faces made from clouds in the night skies. We ate dinner at 7-11 when we were lucky. I got caught by my parents. On Tuesday nights I sulked through GED classes with a group of inmates bused in from prison. That was the only time I wore shoes and I couldn't get a job or a driver's license or keep a friend that summer either. Many things confused me because I didn't understand the way the world worked at all. I didn't understand the contradictions of adulthood. I should have learned a lot that summer, but I don't think I learned a thing. In June I thought I had all the answers but by August I found myself broke, lonely, ashamed and filled with questions that no one older than me could answer. The biggest question was this: What had I done? What could I do?

I think it's time to tell these tales.

10 comments:

Reese said...

I look forward to reading them. And hope that maybe we can share them with others so they don't make the same mistakes :) Being a teenager sucks!

Robin said...

I'm really looking forward to more crazy stories about your life and family.

On a totally unrelated topic, your posts are not coming through my RSS subscription feed! The last one was the recurring dreams post and I've had to come to your site and be pleasantly surprised to find that you have posted more stuff since!! Hopefully I'm the only one?

BoB said...

Bring It!

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the RSS feed; it hasn't been working in a while, but fortunately I get your tweets so I know when you announce a new post :)

Miss Kitty said...

Yes. No doubt that it's time. (((hugs)))

Damn, but I love the way you write. I read your blog posts and go, "Shit, I'll never be able to write this well or be this funny. Might as well give up." No, seriously. I thought that back when I first started reading your blog 5 or 6 years ago.

WL, your writing is GREAT. Write about that summer and ALL the others. Your audience is out here, and growing. :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your baby is sleeping better. My own baby ended a round of multiple night wake ups just when I thought I could not stand it one more night. You need your sleep so you can write!

(I'm the one with the crazy idea that BabyLawns was cold.) Haha.

Yours is my favorite blog, WL. I'm looking forward to hearing about your 16th summer adventures.

sha said...

I'm having the same issue as Robin. I have been finding out about your posts on your twitter feed.

I look forward to the stories.

JoeinVegas said...

Tell - tell

Head Ant said...

Can you send some of that good luck with Baby Lawns my way. My kids didn't go to bed until 11 or 12 last night. (I'm delirious, so I don't remember)

How different our summers were. When I was 16, I worked at a camp for handicapped kids. Best. Summer. Ever.

Anonymous said...

I am from Central FL and two weeks ago I dropped my boys off at Port Everglades with my parents for a cruise and we headed to the Keys for a week of child free vacation. As we passed through South FL, I waved in your general direction.

A native Floridian, I had never been to the Keys before. Now I can understand references to Duval Street. I really would enjoy reading about the summer you were 16.

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