Summer in New York is a hell of a thing. It is oppressively hot, as the cities love affair with glass and steel reflects untold amounts of sunlight directly into the city streets. Entering a subway station is akin to walking into Satan’s asshole. It is absolutely misery.
On the other hand, summer in New York is amazing. Sundresses are my Kryptonite, and sundresses are aplenty in the summer months. Everyone comes out at night because the night gives us a respite from the heat, and there is an unspoken energy that permeates the city once the sun sets. Restaurants and bars spill out into the sidewalks, and the buzzing of conversation mixes in with the neon. That’s the one thing that I’ve missed, I’ve missed the night. I am not an early riser. The mornings in general do not cooperate with me. I’m a night owl, and even though the nights in the summer are shorter, more people at out, and it all just works for me. To be fair though, night in New York City isn’t really night, it’s still brighter than most places will ever be. I love just walking around the city at night, and just being a part of it all.
I was raised in the suburbs, and once I moved out, I was so surprised at how much I missed it. You miss how quiet it can get. You miss seeing the stars. But most importantly, I miss the fireflies. My parents always made me play outside when I was a kid. In the summer, a good portion of my time was spent in twilight, chasing down those little pinpoints of light. I never really did catch one, but I’m kind of glad I didn’t. Fireflies are insects, and as soon as you see one, they lose all of their magic. Instead, I choose to remember them as these little points of lights, teasing me as a kid on summer nights. Summer nights where you wanted to stay out and play because it was still kind of light out, but your parents yelled at you to come it because it was already bedtime.
Thinking back on that, I wonder, is that part of who I am? Am I the kind of person who’d rather believe in the magic and wonder of the thing as opposed to actually having it? These thoughts usually pop up as the day winds down. As I lay in bed, I think about my perpetual bachelorhood, and I wonder, are the women that I fall for just fireflies? Are they some idealized distraction that I run around and chase for fun, or are they meaningful pursuits, that for some reason just don’t work out. It’s usually at that point where I fall asleep to the sound of sirens, and then I wake up the next morning, forgetting all about it.
Maybe because it’s the summer, and maybe it’s because there are plenty of people around me in love, but the appeal of bachelorhood wanes around this time of year. So I’ll wander among the lights, and flit in and out of the busy streets because it’s summertime in New York. But eventually, I’ll make my way back home and sit on my deck for a night or two. I’ll see the tiny flashes of light, and think about what could be, and what might’ve been. Mostly though, I’ll just think about running around aimlessly in the grass trying to catch a tiny flash that was always one step ahead of me.