It was the beginning of the summer break. My Dad, Sister and I were living on 72nd street in a tiny one-room sublet that my dad had found for July and August. It was a single room studio that we were all sharing for a few days before my sister and I were to fly out to Florida to spend a month with our cousins in July.
School had ended only a few days before and the sweet, sweet freedom that candies the air of summer was wafting through my nostrils as I flopped down onto the Queen sized bed in the corner of the Studio. I looked up at the ceiling and counted the shadow-bars left from the blinds that cut through the orange light that came in from the street. I heard the sound of foot traffic going on underneath the second floor window of the apartment. I felt my belly rise up and then down as I imagined the sprawling weeks and months ahead of me before I had to go back to school in September. This is what living like a King feels like. I thought. I have nothing but time ahead of me and I can do whatever I want. I imagined the things I could and would be doing in Florida with my cousins and Sister. I imagined the road trips that were going to happen, the secret all-nighters I was going to pull while reading the latest Harry Potter when I should be going to sleep. I imagined the hours of The SIMS I was going to play on the computer, and the games of Barbies I was going to play and the ice cream I would have to lick off my fingers, and the rain I’d have to run through and the hot dogs I would be eating.
I lifted my hands up under my head and breathed deep. Summer. Oh, summer. Your anticipation is almost better than your actualities, in many ways. But, there is a wondrous mythical flavor to a season that you know will end with more school in the fall. That another year in your young life will be dawning on a new stage in your education, but only after weeks and weeks of girdle-less days spent getting sunburnt and swimming in Chlorine.
Fast Forward: Tonight I was lying on Serendipity’s couch listening to the rain fall outside when I thought back to the moment I just described. I reflected on my life and thought of the Me two years ago when I got back to New York City and didn’t know what I was going to do to get my life started. I remember, back then, that suddenly I felt as if my life was like a Summer break, except the time just stretched on and on into infinity, with no clear idea of when my “school starting in the Fall” was going to happen. I remember panicking over that idea. Now, 2 years later, I am back on that preverbal bed on 72nd street, listening to New York go on outside, and I have a huge smile on my face: Summer. Summer is my life. This is what living like a King feels like. I think. I have nothing but time ahead of me and I can do whatever I want.
May 10, 2012 at 4:34 am by Natalie Allen