June 24, 2005

The Friday Five

1. Can you share a tale of a favorite summer cookout/get together?

Last year, on the 3rd of July, L. and I found our schedules dissapointingly void of plans for the following day. So, on a whim, we decided to pack our bags and abandon our hot apartment at 11 o'clock at night and drive to her cabin in Chelan to seek some adventure. Less than 2 hours later, we arrived, hoarse from singing at the top of our lungs into the darkness to stay awake. That night and early into the next morning, we spent hours horizontal and side by side in the dark on the deck. There, we watched the stars and the glowing tips of her cigarettes (both constantly burning) and fell into the comfortable conversation that lifelong friends do: life, sex, loves past and present, music, the future, our childhood, etc.

The next morning, we hit the lawn outside in our standard summer uniforms -- bikinis and brightly colored flip flops, straw bags full of lotions, oils, cigarettes and towels, a cooler stocked with a fifth of rum and near-frozen Pepsi, armloads of cd cases and a hot pink, portable cd player made in 1996.

Later that evening, we drove into town for the fireworks... and found that the road into town was surrounded by a wildfire, which we spent a good hour staring in to. You know how if you sit around a bonfire for a while, eventually everyone gets real quiet and just looks? And how your mind just sometimes follows the lead of your eyes and kinda falls into the fire? That's how it was. We stood in the middle of that highway and felt the incredible heat from the fire even from a hundred feet away and just sorta... stared.

Later, we met some people at a restaraunt and watched the fireworks explode over the lake, but what sticks in my mind are the 18 hours before that. We still talk about that trip - how spontaneous it was, but also how it felt a little bit magic.... summer always sorta feels like that to me.

2. What is a favorite summer ritual of yours?


And driving -- anywhere, with almost anyone -- with all the windows down and the music up and our hair whipping everywhere and laughing and singing as loud as we can and not caring that people are looking because we're going somewhere, but we have nowhere at all to be.

3. After a long hot summer day, what is your favorite way to quench your thirst?

As I spent many of the warm months of my youth virtually submerged in various bodies of water (lakes, rivers, the ocean), most of my summers have served to teach me ways to dry out, not hydrate. But, as adulthood has caused me to have to abbreviate these happy days into weekend-long whirlwinds of fun, I still like to indulge the kid in me, who is alive and well.

And kids don't drink water. They eat lots and lots of watermelon.

4. The 4th of July is coming up, what plans, if any, do you have?

None yet. But, as can be seen from my answer to the first question, who needs plans? My best memories come from moments of spontenaity.

5. What are you looking forward to doing most before the summer ends?

Ends?! In the words of the Carpenters, it's "only just beguuunnn...."

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