I was getting my hair cut yesterday and the girl who was cutting my hair happened to mention something about summer being “almost over”. Almost over? It’s only halfway over! Why this morbidity? And she’s not alone. So many people get to this part of July and just give up. Why? What’s at work here? Plenty of good times left! True, the dew is on the grass and the sun takes his sweet time rising, but we’re not done yet!
I’ve always had this theory that summer is a metaphor for life. We have such great plans. We look forward to the good times. The good times come and then they go. We see them slip away. Damn, I had such great plans! All those books I was going to read, all those lazy days, all the “livin’ is easy” lifestyle. But it runs right through our fingers like beach sand and we are left knowing we blew it again. There goes summer. Better luck next time.
Gatsby tried to correct things by swimming in his pool for the first (and last) time of the summer. That didn’t work out too well. Blood in the water. These morbid rituals are guaranteed to reinforce a sense of time passing. I can’t make summer come back, for example, by forcing my daughter to play croquet before she leaves, like we used to do. It just didn’t happen that way. I cut the grass today, but not before pulling out the croquet wickets and hoops which have been in place all summer. This summer we didn’t play once – not even once. That’s the way that worked out, is all.
When I finished cutting the grass I stored the croquet set in the garage. She will be leaving tomorrow, and I can’t bear to look at it again. Time passes, and what do we have to show for it?