It was too hot to think straight. The air thick, ripe and unbearably still. We had flung from the fog in San Francisco into the full-throated swan song of Maine in the summer, frantically ripping off our sweatshirts upon arrival and succumbing to the sticky heat like wilted flowers craning their necks towards the light. I had simply forgotten. Quickly, we adjusted.
Cue heaps of swimming in all the bodies of water possible. Such relief, such a deliciously, full-bodied sigh. As often as the long hours of August and our unburdened schedules allowed, we went in search of water. The filled-in quarry, the countless lakes, the ocean, the docks; the jumping off of rocks, the checking of tides; the prick of sun too long on the skin, the refreshing jolt of water screaming down to the unattended small of my back. I close my eyes and picture everything in a pool of condensation – droplets everywhere, on everyone. Summer's own sparkle, light dancing gleefully on the water.
A braille of mosquito bites dotting my arms and legs like constellations; baby wisps of hair around his neck, matted down with sweat. The distinct and specific rustling of leaves and moss underfoot – no other city sounds to interfere – mingling with the drum of our pounding hearts on climbing hikes as we zigzag up and up and up, and farther up still, until our line-of-sight breaks the treetops and we are again greeted with water, water as far as the eye can see.
Boats in every direction, boats of every size. Took a ferry one day to an island, gawked at the pine trees seemingly sprouted straight out of rock. Basked on the radiating stone, our paperback books dog-eared and wrinkled from careless splashes of water. Stories picked up and put down again – no urgency here. A girl could get used to this.
Produce showing off, sun-drunk and boldly flirtatious from the months of fickle rain and shine. Peaches, their fuzzy flesh still warm. The freshest corn for every meal, corn on repeat, corn in abundance, ears of corn grilled and boiled and on occasion, raw. Fat, bursting tomatoes, cradled in a makeshift tee-shirt sling, more than half the haul devoured before even making it indoors. And the classics – oh the classics! – in such abundance and in clichéd good fun: the whole lobster, the steamer clams, the butter dripping down off the tips of our lazy table-laden elbows, a squeeze of lemon a blast of bright in a sea of brine.
With wide, open windows we invite in the damp coolness of night, our sheets still kicked off in the dark, both of us a tangle of limbs and hot breath, his exhales sweet from the late-night gin and orange slice.
Let’s do it all again, tomorrow, shall we? A highlight summer reel, if you will. Summer forever, please.