Rock and Roll Summer
Now nothing seems so strange as when the leaves began to change
Or how I thought those days would never end
Sometimes I hear that song, and I start to sing along
And think, “Man, I’d like to see that girl again.”
– Kid Rock, “All Summer Long”
Rock N’ Roll Jesus, 2007 Atlantic Records
Sunshine and summertime now gives way to rain falling angry on tin roofs. Seasons can be more fickle than ex-girlfriends and crushes, lasting no longer than three months, at best. Then again, that has always been the way of the seasons: they never stay with you longer than you want them to.
At least for this year, the season has passed. Like ex-girlfriends and crushes, it’s hard to let go of it all. Then again, there’s always the next summer to look forward to.
My past few summers carried memories of heartache and emotional distress. I never really wanted to live a day in an April or a May, knowing that too many people and too many memories depress me all too often, even if these were years past. It’s hard to forget those memories, and even harder to let them go for something better. It’s not just an emo play to finding yourself a victim of heartache; you’re addicted to it in more ways than one.
It seemed that I was weighed down by memories more than I was inspired by them. Memories that were the baggage of every summer I had over the past six or so years. People I remember, and memories of those people I just seem to can’t let go. It seemed that my summer ended just because a single memory of it hurt me too much.
A boy and a girl, facing the Sunken Garden, talking about what they really are to each other. A boy and a girl, having coffee somewhere in Session Road, talking about what they really are to each other. A boy and a girl, talking about what they really are to each other. No plot twists, no climax, no denouement… just the same thing, over and over again, every summer.
I realized that summers are not meant to be repeated; they are meant to be lived and enjoyed a year at a time. You don’t look forward to its end, but you look forward to its return. Life’s too short – and Apocalypse much too distant – for the same summer to be repeated all over again. I don’t have to revisit summers that have passed, or dig deep into a vault of memories that are meant to be forgotten. Those acacia trees at the Sunken Garden, those coffee shops in Baguio, and just about everything can probably be on the priority list for mental and emotional housekeeping.
I only have to look back to this summer, where I finally have a good idea of what I want to do with the rest of my life. With family, friends, acquaintances, and just about everybody telling me what I’m supposed to already know.
I’m not the kind of guy who has a groundbreaking random epiphany on a daily basis. There are a lot of meaningful things that I choose to ignore. I’m not “deep” or “philosophical” as to find a metaphor for life’s tenuous futility in something like, say, the pith of oranges: you leave it out to the elements, and you’re left with the essence of the citrus.
It doesn’t work that way.
Tonight, I’m letting my summer go, and I’ll hang on to memories worth keeping. Tomorrow’s another ordinary day, where I do what I do better than anyone else I know… at least from a very small circle of people.
There’s writing, and then there’s rock and roll.