Remember when we all used to do the “beach drive”? Slow cruising, windows down, sunglasses on, music playing, so you could see, and be seen?
The sun baking down on the grass of the hill, cars lined up, one after another, all the way back to the street they went. Up the hill, down the hill, around the curve, and back up. Yell at your friends, honk your horn, nod your head, or lift your index finger off the steering wheel to show you saw them, but were “too cool and laid back” to do a full wave.
Laughing at the antics of boaters & water skiers out on the water, ripping down the river, smashing into each other’s wakes, or lazily hanging over the edges of the boat, waiting for a beer, or a tan, or a fish. Or just waiting for the sun to bake off a hangover.
Remember that summer?
When main street was faster to walk down than it was to drive? When everyone was there…at least until the party place was decided. Antelope Lake, The Point, Erickson’s, The Academy, places I would never be able to find in daylight, I could find in the dark…with a decent car, a cooler of beer, music to drive to, and the best friends to hang out with.
Walking on a beach in a miniskirt & high heels is never easy, you know, especially when drinking.
Oh, for a week, that I could go back to that summer…just to visit, to laugh like that again, so carefree and unfettered. To not have to think first, before I speak, to truly revel in every moment, as we did. To be that wild child that I was, again, just for a little while.
How relaxing that would be.
Just for a week.
Because the beach is empty, now. No longer is main street the slow, languid crawl on Friday night, no longer are there dozens of cars, & dozens of dozens of people littering and loitering on the beach on Saturday, swimming, skiing, boating, baking, recovering & resting up for Saturday night’s raucous revving up.
Because I’m too old, now, for that kind of freedom. I’m a “responsible mature adult”, with a life built up from tearing down that girl.
The girl who laughed at everything.
The girl who fought when pushed.
The girl who loved hard, played hard, and ran hard.
She lives there still, that girl, on those beaches, dancing ’round those bonfires, running down those old, now quiet, streets. She’s just a ghost, a shade, a shadow, but she’s there. Footsteps etched into each piece of pavement, handprints along the walls of the shops lining main, laughter dancing through the trees, and in the lap of the waves at the river.
I left her behind- baking off her last, summer hangover.