1. Wasted off nothing. Summer concerts, even the ones without live music. A friend’s playlist in a living room and nothing to do. Lazy days for sipping and sparking, for slow burns. Extended highs, mostly of the sober variety — but you’re sun-drunk and wouldn’t know the difference, really.
2. The smile soreness of neverending clowning. Corny jokes that don’t quit, things you know that no one else will ever find funny. The bits you go back and forth with on long car rides, in grocery store aisles — the stupid impersonations, the comically annoying voices.
3. The post-sand and saltwater powdery softness. After the beach when it’s all dusted off, annoyingly stuck in your car, on your clothes, everywhere else but your feet. You feel gross and cleansed at the same time, content in salty summer skin.
4. Mouth-watery starved at the scent of barbecue. Smelling it cook all day and sustaining yourself on chips and potato salad while you wait for the good stuff. The slathered stuff, the charred hot dogs. Everything eaten with your hands, sloppy.
5. That happy tired feeling after an unexpected all-nighter. Prolonged conversations that come easy, the pre-sleep sleepover discussion that goes on past every “goodnight” and is forgotten when your eyes open in the morning, but thought about fondly 4 daaaaze.
6. Perpetually tipsy. Off everything, feeling dumb good for no reason. No alarm set. Content. Like a cat in the sun in front of a window, lazy and happy. Consciously oblivious.
7. Dragged to sleep by the waves, hours later, post-ocean in your own bed. Is there a word for that, the feeling when you’re drifting to sleep and can still feel the swaying? It’s a different kind of tired, a rhythmic exhaustion.
8. The whatever of wearing nothing. No shirt, no shoes, no — well, plenty of problems still, but honestly? Everything feels ten times easier when you aren’t bundled, when your fit is loose and you aren’t carrying layers. Weightless, as much as you can be.
9. Crisp linens on fresh sunburn. The sting and the brush feel good together, the reassuring cotton freshness of one thing and the rawness of the other. Both new and ready, vulnerable but
10. Just careless, timeless, and everything-less. Less bullshit, more room for all the goodness. For what feels like — hopefully — forever.