The summer air made it hard to breathe, I was wearing the heat on my skin like a straight jacket that was impossibly hard. I walked with the insecurity of a kid who acted like they knew everything but knew absolutely nothing. I was awake but I was daydreaming about my skin on his skin, wondering if he was going to hold my hand, walk on the boardwalk and count the stars. I was living an idealistic life but I mean, isn’t that what being 15 means? I would wait all year for the summer to come just so I could look at this boy behind the counter, his white tee revealed his built chest, and his white pants showed his super strong trunk and thighs. The thing that kept me coming back, and I mean coming back to his uncle’s pizza shop was the look he would give me when he saw me. I had no idea where he lived and he didn’t know where I lived but in the summer, we lived in each other’s minds. His name was living in a space in my heart and in my brain, and my smile was because of him every time. My dimples only show sometimes, but with him, thoughts of him, oh my god, they were deep because they hold the depth of the passion that I genuinely had for him. I don’t even recall if I thought of him during the school year. I do know that summers down the shore meant nothing other than going to see my crush.
We used to meet up after we were both supposed to stay indoors. His uncles I’m sure told him to watch himself. I, of course was not about to listen to none of the adults in my life BECAUSE I knew everything. Anyway, one night I met him out and he took my hand. Funny enough I don’t remember any words between us. I cannot recall a single conversation BUT I can remember the way he made me feel. I do recall my heart beating out of my chest, and my palms sweaty because it was hot as hell but I was also nervous as shit. I allowed myself to let my hand be held and I allowed myself to be awkward because I didn’t know how else to be. I was weird and nerdy, and he was smooth, an athlete and fine as hell and he was into me. Ahhhhh!!!! I write this and my butterflies are raging…STILL. I remember when he kissed me…my heart stopped. My heart stopped in my chest. I promise. My heart stopped. Time stopped. The earth stopped. Nothing else existed except for him, me and the heat in between us and the air. Again, I could make up some deep shit to say about what was said, but it wouldn’t ever begin to describe what that kiss…those kisses did to me.
I was in a Sweet Valley High book and I was the star. I wasn’t blonde, I wasn’t skinny and I damn sure wasn’t from Sweet Valley. But neither was he. He was a working class Italian family, who was just trying to be understood. We just wanted to be with each other to escape whatever the fuck we were supposed to be for our families. He and I just wanted to be in a space of joy, and sometimes awkward silence but we always met up at that same time to walk, talk and gain a little piece of peace in the midst of a world that did not always understand. I can really get it when these kids feel like their little relationships will last forever BECAUSE in that space and time, that’s all you have, and it feels like freedom and you get raging butterflies AND why wouldn’t you want that to last forever, right? I did. Twenty fucking years later and well…I’m still writing about that way the shit made me feel. I’ve tried to find him. Well, not really. I went to see if the pizza shop was still there, it wasn’t and that was that. I don’t know if I really want to find him but I kinda do but I kinda don’t. What would I say? What would happen now? I love how things were, I’m not sure I want to taint my memories by making new ones.
My summer love was delicious. He was the subject of many poems, so many short stories, so many daydreams and fantasies. He introduced me to parts of myself that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. I’m grateful. I have no idea what he’s up to but who cares? I’m thankful that those summers he was into me and I was into him. These small things can change you and come full circle when you least expect it. So, a shout out to my summer love.