As mid-May approaches, the chilly spring air subdues and the warmth takes center stage for the next four months. The sweet smell of diced watermelon and mango with a sprinkle of tajin, the spare time the sun gives me to squeeze in a quick snooze before dinnertime, the weekends dipping my feet in the Santa Monica sea, as a child swimming from 10am to sunset then ravenously running upstairs to dinosaur chicken nuggets and fries washed down with an icy raspberry cool-aid. The minutes have decided to plop on the couch with a bag of popcorn to sit back and enjoy the summertime.
My little twelve year old hands open my summer drawer and hesitate to choose between a blue floral print or a pink and yellow stripped one-piece my mom bought from Macy’s. I wrap myself in my towel, strap on my goggles, and throw open the door to 80 degree weather at 10 o’clock in the morning. Yes, Oregon gets pretty scorching. I run down the stairs and speed walk to the pool to the sound of my dad calling me for breakfast, “I don’t wanna throw up dad, I’ll eat after” whether that was a myth or science I never knew but it was an excuse to swim in my mini ocean a little bit longer. Dad laughs “ok kiddo, snacks are in the fridge”. I dive to the bottom of the eight ft. pool and admire the sun hitting the water, creating these majestic crystals from the other side. For a moment…
I am behind the curtain, there is peace and quiet. There is not a single disturbance in the world, I shoot myself up before I run out of breath. Exhale, back to reality.
A woman walks along the sand balancing a box of fruits on her head “mango mango mangoooo” mentally taking me back to the vendors on the streets of India. The mangos sprinkled with tajin are the taste of summertime here in LA, a little slice of the motherland where mango trees blossom this time of year. The water rolls in and buries my feet in the wet sand. The sound of the waves hurriedly crashing in as if gasping for air then tapering off, a satisfactory exhale.
Sipping lemonade on the table out back, feeling the sun slowly tuck itself under the covers to rest its bones for the night.
The cotton candy skies, sometimes strawberry mango and other times pineapple orange with a hint of watermelon.
I spill a small dose of evening summertime sadness onto the journal page. Stargazing until midnight to the sound of the palm trees swaying in all directions of the compass.