Things I dislike about summer:
Out trimming tall weeds, I see a neighbor hail me (a cartoonish man, mid-30’s, cigarette dangling ever from his lips, odd facial hair, gravel-voiced. This guy might be hoarding seven thousand cans of beef stew for the coming apocalypse). I stop the high-pitched weed trimmer long enough to catch his witty pearls: “Ha ha, he’s got you doin’ that now? Hope you taught him how to do the laundry! Ha ha ha!” I smile and mentally reply, “whoa, little man!! She needs to give you a few more lessons before you take that intellect out for a spin! Ha ha ha!…”).
Cicadas. Cicadas are evil, insistent. They’re like the violins in Jaws, a crescendo of doom. They screech, “WE WILL NOT DIE WE WILL NOT DIE WE WILL NOT DIE!” Contrast them with the cricket– the polite, questioning cricket. The cricket asks, “May we reside here? Would it inconvenience you too much for us to call this yard home?”
Motorbikes. Motorcycles. Two-wheeled conveyance machines, which make fat men feel agile, old men feel young, young men feel immortal. Dastardly, dangerous, obnoxiously loud– when these guys weave in and out of traffic going 80 they risk making my day a horror to remember– or, revving the engine at 11:30 at night they steal my peace, my sleep, my love for my fellow man. Idiots– not all y’all, but most y’all.
Violent storm onsets– that roily boily oily sky, grey and green and sickly, the wind kicking up in late afternoon. Not the sometime refreshing hurricane tailwind we had in Jersey– no, this has the pre-turmoil and aftermath quite like grandpa after four bean burritos. First: an unpleasant warning, then concentration is stolen by the storm and vision clouds… and when the storm clears the detritus lingers: the clouds of humidity, the stickiness, the cluster headache from the drop in barometric pressure. The odor of ozone, piercing, unmistakable.
And finally, the children. You would expect me to be tolerant, but I tire of seeing them, long past dark, out, around, shrieking and laughing and biking and dropping plastic crap and sidewalk chalk. In spring they charm; in September, they are mini drunks-at-last-call.
Goodnight, children. Goodnight hot air. Goodnight, grandpas and motorbikes everywhere.