Boys Of Summer

Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. One of my favorite Don Henley lines. I wonder what would be the current equivalent today — a Bernie Sanders sticker on a Bentley?

The Fourth of July always gets me thinking about the boys of summer. Independence Day spurs an urge for something new. America set the tone by telling England the accent was super sexy but she wanted to run around in short skirts and drink Starbucks instead of tea. Time for a new relationship. This is especially true in the Hamptons where the air practically crackles with desire as the summer romance season officially begins, fireworks everywhere.

Is it the scent of honeysuckle, the sensual lick of a melting ice cream cone, and tan limbs stepping out of Range Rovers that creates the stir? I think that it harkens back to our youth, when summer meant a pause and a break from responsibility. It was a time for skinny dipping and stolen kisses in lifeguard chairs and dancing in the streets. Love was a bit of a mystery, a novel without a prologue, a new drug without a long list of side effects. The fabric of life had yet to be torn or stitched together or bear stains of unknown origin. It was pure white, one hundred percent cotton.

I have a distinct memory of a summer romance with a Southern boy with big blue eyes and a way of saying “penguin” that I found utterly charming and made him say it over and over again. He could water ski barefoot, quote Faulkner, and paint my toenails with precision. It wasn’t complicated; we found each other at a beach barbecue and decided we were a pair. It was something about the way his profile looked in Ray Bans or the curve at the small of his back or his scent, a combination of salt and sweat after a day at the ocean. Bliss.

Summer has remained generally lucky for me and boys. I’m a Leo so my full lioness energy comes out, and I feel more beast than beauty, with an unruly mane and appetite for male energy. While some of the former innocence is lost, there is still that bit of optimism when the first firework explodes in the sky for a romantic summer of fun — the beach, the boat, the warm nights, the stargazing, the hand on the neck sweeping the hair away.

My Southern love and I knew there was a beginning, a middle, and an end — a return to college. And despite promises of letters, calls, and visits, no expectations. It’s harder as we get older, hoping the love will last as the tan lines fade, the sweaters come out, and the leaves start to turn. That’s the risk — hoping like the baseball boys of summer there will be post season play. That promise . . .

I can tell you my love for you will still be strong after the boys of summer have gone.

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