intensity. Blinding white, lighting the world brilliantly, making shadows that stand short and dark against their caster. Heat so pure and powerful that it wont leave your mind even after being in an air-conditioned store for half an hour. Beautiful people touching and laughing and loving and living all around you, each of their smiles proof of some blissful happiness. Scents of suburbia that carry so well on the humid air, freshly cut grass intermingled with exhaust and the unmistakable chlorine of a swimming pool.

empty college towns. Creepy as hell at first, with barren streets and all of the kids gone home. It's not really emptiness, though, just a different (quiet!) kind of activity. Townies are just as interesting to people watch as the kids were, and so very different.

the fine line between relaxation and ennui. Easily crossed by anyone who isn't keeping themselves occupied. Freedom becomes boredom.

dancing. In some farmer's field under a full moon, surrounded by everything that's good about human nature. The sun's been down for six hours and it's a comfortable seventy-five degrees. You dance until your feet hurt. You dance until your legs are caked up to the knee with brown field dust. You dance until the turns grey-blue over the treeline and they turn off the lights. The last DJ's set goes thirty minutes more, and you can see the sun peeking over the trees, and everybody knows it's time to go home.

thirst. Physical; your body shouting at you to drink something, anything, or you'll pass out on the sidewalk and those circling birds will land. Mental; the end of school means the end of learning, until inactivity becomes unbearable and you seek out new knowledge. Spiritual; you've been stagnant through the winter months, it's time for some change, its time to reinvent yourself again.

blackberries. Picked from trees here and there on my walk. Underripe, tasting tart and strange. Ripe, sweet, wholesome and delicious, warm from the midday sun. Overripe, tasting like wine and staining my fingers dark.

Inability, Slight Paralysis, Incompetence perhaps. I never got it right, I don't think. Summer was never the focus of my life. It was always a lull between the exciting acceleration that is Autumn, with its new learning, clearer air and incandescent flora. And Spring, with its big fat sigh of relief from winter and fresh lilacs and sad little graduations.
Then summer appears, a dead spot on the calendar, when it is too hot or no hot enough (yay New England weather!). When I just bide my time before the next round of education, when I have a stupid job for no apparent reason. When there are too few places to swim and too many bugs in the air. When it's 1am and we need to drive 2 hours 'cause there is a Denny's. When there is nothing holding us together, so we have to do it ourselves. Or, alternatively, when she left me. Or when I had to bury my cancer-ridden cat. Summer was always on the way to somewhere were we.

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