Well, really, it’s already too late. I’m trying to warn you that summer is coming. Unfortunately—like the hated and feared Kool-Aid man—summer has burst through the wall, uninvited, bearing a devil’s smile. Summer is here.
It can be difficult to convince people that the things they like are going to hurt them. It’s even more difficult when they already know it to be the case. Everyone likes to cast lines into the deep blue future. People bank on sunny days.
Oh there will be sun, New York City. The streets will be drenched in the kind of sunlight you’ve only read about in shitty real estate ads. There will be blazing, terminal, vengeant sun. This three-month fever, rife with apocalyptic smells, will punch our nostrils and our pride.
You will surrender immediately for the promise of scarce shaded grass, stoops, night rooftops and margaritas with real lime juice—laughing in the face of lime shortages gone by. You will lick salt off of ripe skin. You will be richer and poorer than you’ve ever been and the heat will push you to the brink.
There will be rats. There will be rats on rats on rats. They will throw barbeques. They will be unaffected by the heat. In fact, it will merely strengthen their resolve. They will offer you high-fives, but only as a gibe like smirking high school quarterbacks.
You will go to the beach and fall in love because love smells like the beach. You will get wet. You will think to yourself, “am I getting burned right now?” Then you’ll do nothing. Then, almost every single one of you, will get burned. It can be difficult to convince people that the things they like are going to hurt them. Then again, who knows? Hold hope in your hand like a smooth cool stone.
Summer is a noun, but “summers” is only a verb. There is no plural for summer because there has only ever been one of them. Summer isn’t a season; it is an entity. It leaves and returns, each year, like a reoccurring dream. The annual tides come in and out, but the ocean stays the same.
Manhattan is an oven. Emotions pour out onto the hot sidewalks like sugar from a torn paper bag. You won’t clean them up. Your body will bake and your skin will fry and your blood will boil and you’ll dance like there’s an electric current running through you—because I guess, in a certain way, there is.
There is murder and dust and sex in the air held aloft by millions of oscillating fans and, if you’re lucky, the breeze from a window ac. There is unspeakable love in your heart and in the ground—one is too early and the other too late to utter. There is a carnival of flings, volcanic subway platforms, and something in the water. They can’t say yet if it’s malignant.
There is twinkling romance. There is a beautiful terrifying sky full of mostly illegal fireworks. There is stagnant, brutal goodbye. Also, sometimes there’s ice cream.