Monday, May 31, 2010

That Summer Frame of Mind, Part 1

Crooked Fingers--"Sleep All Summer" (mp3)
Crooked Fingers--"Gentle On My Mind" (mp3)

If you had to drag into work this morning like me (and unless you're one of the 12 of our 15,ooo readers who works here at the same school with me, it's highly unlikely), you know what I mean when I say that the "summer frame of mind" really kicked in this past weeked.

It was a weekend of flowers, staking plants, yard clean-up, a summer movie, a cookout (okay, a cook-in because of the rain), staying up until 1:30 in front of a fire drinking too much beer, canning salsa, listening to music outdoors, roasting marshmallows. In short, it was the summer. But not quite.

So you know it's a rough transition back to work on a day like today, Memorial Day, that day of barbecues and family gatherings, flags and memories. But not for us working stiffs. For us, it's a day of business as usual. By the time we get home and ponder the big cookout, we realize that work again tomorrow looms and, therefore, undercuts our initiative.

But, undeniably, it is also almost summer.

Right now, the Platonic Conception Of The Summer hangs before us like a perfect, homegrown tomato. Everything is planted and growing beautifully; none of it has begun to wither and rot. It will be the best crop ever. Those trips, those destinations, those walks on sandy beaches--all pristine, all perfectly executed. No thoughts of oil or hurricanes. That money? Who needs to worry. There will be plenty of it to indulge any spontaneous excursion, any summer fancy. Work? Who cares! Each day will fly by and we will rush home to our grills and our sandals, a cold beer and a warm friend, a comfortable evening with no humidity or mosquitoes or firecrackers that send the dog under the couch.

Some of us, no doubt, have other favorite seasons, but the summer offers so many more hours, and so many more hours of light, to live instead of work, so that sheer vitality is perhaps the greatest of its many charms.

Which is why I really hate working in the summer. It just feels like I could be doing so many other things. And working at a school and being on a "school schedule" for most of the past 50 years and having that mindset ingrained within, that only makes it worse. I know I could be elsewhere, doing...I don't know, working on the farm, maybe to helping to bring the crops in, or whatever the hell created the idea of summer vacation in the first place.

But, we all trooper on through, and I will be doing the same. With no students around, I'll probably play music here in the office, head home for lunch and walk out in the sun to look at the tomatoes, plan a few late afternoon matinees to see summer blockbusters, plan a strategy for Riverbend and the Strut.

Plus, I've got a couple of good "summer reads" here in the office, Shogun and 1984, so maybe I'll get in one chair, prop my legs up in the other, and pretend I'm sitting by a pool somewhere with a fancy cocktail and a warm breeze. Maybe I'll even fall asleep, and in this energy-efficient office, if you don't move often enough, the lights turn off themselves, and then I'll be slumbering here in the dark and maybe no one will even notice that I'm here.

And I'll be dreaming away about summer.

Coming Wednesday: In Part 2 of this series, I'll be bringing my "Summer Cruisin' 2010" mix to the party. Get your ears on!

8 comments:

troutking said...

I sure hope Summer Nights from Grease is NOT on your mix...

Bob said...

Trout, that is pre-mix bias on your part. I think you should recuse yourself.

troutking said...

OK, retracted. Instead let me leave you with this summer scene:

Now there's girls melting on the beach
And they're so fine but so far out of reach
Cause I'm stuck in traffic down here on 53rd street
Now Sherry my love for you is real
But I didn't count on this package deal
And baby this car just aint big enough for her and me

Bob said...

Sounds like her mama's yappin' in the backseat. Tell her to move over and move her big feet.

Randy said...

Your mix...or just your computer playing a loop while in the office...might require a sound-machine-waves-on-the-beach segment.

Jason said...

I know it may sound cheesy but I have always loved the old Will Smith song Summertime. Brings back a lot of kid memories.

I was coming into work today and it was really really sunny and clear, moreso than usual. It made me so excited for this upcoming summer season.

troutking said...

The idea of Endless Summer Nights is so awesome, it almost makes Richard Marx palatable...plus he is from Chicago. Go Blackhawks!

jed said...

my bass player played in Crooked Fingers playing a double bass.