Of summer that is.
Yes, yes. I know I’ve said it before. The leaves are falling. The breezes are cooler. The humidity doesn’t make me feel like I need an asthma inhalator.
As ready as I am for the leaves to change color, and the opportunity to wear the countless jackets exploding from my closet, I haven’t really had the opportunity to do some of my favorite summer activities.
Which is why I found myself, in a car at twilight on a Tuesday with only one objective – to breathe in the ocean air as I dig my toes into the sand.
We drove up and down the deserted coastline. The vacationers had vanished and with them the shopkeepers. No doubt they’ve headed inland where the natives play. The arcade games stood dark behind boarded windows. Candy shoppe windows were draped in blue tarps. Closed. Closed. Closed. The signs made it clear; the season has come to an end.
After an unsuccessful trek through our old stomping grounds, we made a decision. We stopped at the convenience store that stands in front of our old summer village. The name has changed, but the air hasn’t. We grabbed two six packs and went straight to the one restaurant we knew was still open. With barely a half hour before closing time, we ordered our last fried clams, lobster roll, and clam chowder.
The best lobster roll in the world wouldn’t taste as good as the one you eat, on the last day of summer, with your best friend at your side, in the little beach town you’ve been running around since you were 9.
When we were ready, we picked up our beers, grabbed sparklers and a blanket and spent the rest of the night laying in the sand, drinking Oktoberfest, looking up at the night sky, watching, waiting and counting the shooting stars that passed by.
Nobody stopped me when I felt a need to run and dive into the ocean fully clothed. It wasn’t the alcohol, and no it wasn’t the percocets either. I just needed to feel a part of something bigger than myself. I can’t think of anything more fitting than the ocean. They wrapped me in a blanket when I was content with the salt on skin ratio and we sat in silence taking turns saying, “Just a few more minutes.”
Tonight was like taking a deep breath. The salty air, the moment fills in the cracks of your heart until suddenly, the world just feels so utterly perfect that you’d do anything to capture this night in a bottle and breathe in it whenever you forget.
And for just tonight,
you can pretend,
it’s not really the end