It occurred to me on Monday morning when I went to take a walk across Houston Street from its eastern most point to the Hudson River that I was experiencing a textbook case of bittersweetness. It was so hot I could feel my fingers ballooning as the humidity expanded their width. The smell of dew emanated from every grassy knoll I have heretofore located in New York City and the sun shined like a freaking kindergartener playing the lead in an elementary school production of, I don’t know, The Sound of Music.
Finally, I thought, summer.
Last week really threw me for a loop when 4 out of 7 days, I was comfortable in a sweatshirt. If I’m being really honest with you, I felt vaguely excited when in May the Farmer’s Almanac predicted one of the muggiest summers of New York history. After the winter we endured, I marveled in the thought of stripping down to the lightest weight linen I have ever known and letting my flapping Annies flap as they do while my thighs finally reacquainted themselves with the spectacular light of day.
Incidentally, though, that would not happen. Not as I planned, at least. I’ve been wearing jeans and long skirts and “lightweight” sweaters that should theoretically serve no purpose across summer months save for those stupid breezy end-of-August evenings. So when the sweat stains finally started manufacturing rings along the borders of my armpits, I was thrilled. Elated, even. But then I remembered that it’s August. Not May, not June, not July, but the month that seals the nail in the coffin that is summer.
August means September. And September means October and, well, you know what October means, right? Close proximity to the Polar Whoretex of December/January/February/March. I can’t even think about it, dangit. I won’t think about it. And in an attempt to keep summer securely at bay, I will do what I am good at and devise a shopping list of things I think I need but definitely don’t need that will scream Summer with a capital S and dance along to the rhythmic beats of Pink Floyd.
Here they are:
1. A hat: I know your inclination is likely not to wear a hat but if you get one and it’s straw and you place it above your head, there is a 100% chance that you will feel more like summer is starting, not ending. Be capricious about it. Yolo.
2. Sunglasses: You probably have a pair. I have some too. But then again, just because I ate a Snickers bar yesterday does not mean I don’t want another one today. Knaaamean?
3. A sarong: Because now you know that you can wear them through the depths of city smog!
4. Suntan lotion: Consider this a PSA. Have fun, but be safe.
Image Shot by Urivaldo Lopes via Shön! Magazine