The night before Tucson. How many have I had? Waiting for the summer to unfold. To breathe in that brown air, to get sweaty and golden and blonde. To run around on the scorching concrete and swim until I was pruney, cold and starving. For milkshakes and fireworks and late night drives under the streetlights. Inclining my head towards the open window. For long mornings in front of the TV, solo runs at the gym, solo wrinkly paged reads at the pool, giddy nights with my brothers.
It’s hard to believe that those summers are gone. I wish someone had told me then they would expire. For some reason I never fully grasped their precariousness. They seemed so permanent in my life. A constant. A marker of another year passed.
My giant suitcase and clean room further indicators that I had survived another winter, another grade in school, another mindless march through the trials and tribulations of Illinois. And I would wait. Wait through the drive and the flight and the tearful reunion. Wait for monsoon and my birthday and the smell of rain to reassure me, confirm for me that I was home. Until it was time to turn around and go back. Those months which seemed to stretch out forever suddenly lost in the flip of the calendar pages. I can still smell those summers. Bounce dryer sheets and coffee and xeryus cologne with a tinge of marijuana smoke. Hot sand outside the window. Air conditioner and fan whirs.
I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. This nomadic life of mine.