Thursday, July 7, 2011

summer slurpees

I just finished up with a 2 1/2 week housesitting gig last week. For a lot of the time I was just bored and sick, but towards the end I was really enjoying being able to walk to work and hanging out in town. The walk to work was very pleasant, although as the weather got warmer I got a little overheated sometimes. It was interesting to be so much IN a town, and I spent a lot of time observing people and thinking about summer.

Growing up out of town, really kind of in the woods, I never had a neighborhood to hang out in or a lot of other kids to play with. To see my friends, we had to get a parent to drive us to the other kid's house, so there was no spontaneous dropping by. And as I got older, I couldn't walk to the store for treats, or to the mall or movie theater. I couldn't even bike anywhere, not to town or even a friend's house. Everything was far away. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE where I live, where I grew up, and I think I am incredibly lucky to have had all this amazing nature surrounding me. But staying in Redmond reminded me of all those things I missed. I saw kids walking around town as I walked home after work, buying Slurpees at 7-11, waiting for the bus, riding bikes and skateboards. They had places to go, they were meeting up with friends, some of them were probably getting in trouble. They were always in groups, and the ones I noticed the most were all pretty young. Too young to drive, so they walked, in the still hot but beginning to cool off, still light but starting to get dark evening.

Maybe this is just because I love summer nights so much, but I started imagining what they were going to do. Not that there's a lot you can do when you're 14, but I missed that whole free summer thing. My summers were more about reading books by myself in my backyard than wandering around unsupervised. Obviously a lot of them were just out walking around because there was nothing else to do. The same impulse that makes malls crowded with kids who aren't buying anything. A lot of them were going to the skate park, which I walked past every night. They were buying soda and candy and maybe some popsicles. I'm sure there were some girls who picked out the perfectly casual cool outfit to meet up with that one really cute boy. On Fridays, I know that some of them had to have been heading to the Firehouse, the teen center that all your favorite high school bands play at (I frequented that place a lot in high school, but it always involved begging one of our parents for a ride). They might have been going to a movie, but more likely just going to sit in the park in a big group. Some of them were certainly going to get in trouble, whether they had an older brother who promised to buy them beer, or they were going to smoke pot in the wooded corner of the park or behind some unused building. They were doing the kinds of things kids are supposed to do when they get out of school for the summer. The air was warm, they didn't need that jacket their moms told them to take, and they were free.

shirt - weekdays (copenhagen), skirt - thrifted, tights - target, boots - thrifted

So while I was in Redmond, I guess I tried to recapture that sort of summer. This particular day, I got slurpees with my friend and went for a walk before work, then randomly ran into this girl I knew after work, who invited me to hang out by the river with her friends and eat candy. Then we went to an open mic night where curly haired gingers played bad Bright Eyes covers and I ended up getting a drink with some random. It involved a lot of wandering around town. I also got called a hipster multiple times, which honestly puzzled me because I didn't think this outfit was that hip. And each time, the person obviously thought that would offend me but it really just made me laugh. I mean, the more you deny being a hipster, the more of a hipster you are.

1 comment:

  1. AH SLURPEES ARE THE BEST THING ABOUT SUMMER. Okay, not actually, but pretty darn close.

    You look so fierce. That skirt is seriously incredible. I love all the colours!