Biking home today, I finally felt that summer had arrived. It’s mid-July, and we’ve had our days of heavy, stiffling heat. Saying summer has finally come, or that I have just taken note of it, is not quite right. May was a miserable blur of finishing school and starting work, and nursing a lingering illness. Around June I began to perk up again, and met a boy and a few new acquaintances. There were a lovely ten days spent on another coast, a smile always carried, and a racing heart. It was the briefest eternity. So I came back to the city more invigorated than I thought. The boy I had met before slipt away, a closeness that almost was. An unfinished sentence, mumbled politely off. But there were thoughts of others stuffed in my head. The lightest possibilities I couldn’t hold. The acquaintances before the trip became friends.
Biking home, after fare-wells at the base of the bridge, is where I found myself. I took Bedford, because it heads the right way, and is almost as direct as Driggs, but more correct. Bars were emptying out, music following the people out into the street. Another band packed up, cases on their backs, and people lingered near covered doors saying good-byes. Pairs walked home, and giggling groups, and those left solo in the night.
A rumbling rush of wheels and gravel behind me, another bike went past. His friend at his side on skateboard, holding onto the biker’s seat. They had been drinking, and seemed cheerful for it. But they had not drinken so much as to be going home with a girl this night. Their summer was just beginning, there would be many more nights of girls and drinks ahead. It was a Monday night, and maybe they had work the next morning anyways. I’m not a particularly fast biker, my speed dependent on mood, or song, or interest. And so another couple passed me. He was peddaling, and she sat so comfortably precarious on his front rack. In my memory her eyes are closed and trusting. They are tired, but going home together. They had come seperately, and met up at the bar or restaurant, or one of both. In the bright light of day, riding on the front of the bike would not have looked appealing or even practical. But in the wearness of night, it seemed romantic.
The spilling of people onto the streets reminded me of my first days in the city. Hard to believe it is nearly a year. There was so much optomisim then, and bitterness has not replaced it, but nor does the optimism burn as bright. Now a cheerful weary, eyes are on the next corner and the next block. The heart is set on another coast. When we first arrived, we were not yet shaped and we thought we were full of the possibilities.