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Invincible Summer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Adirondack chairs and bottles of suntan lotion.Panama hats and beach towels swaying on the porch. "Take anap," they say. "It's going to be a busy night." Greenpalms sway in the dunes and sand is tracked into kitchens on theseaside. "It's hot, go in the water," they say. Calm waterhits the sand and beach balls fly with the afternoon breeze.

Shereads, she watches and she observes. Summer has arrived again; it willbe hours before the sun tilts into the sea. Irony cracks under pressure,she thinks with a sadistic laugh. How little they know, how little theyrealize. They walk for hours on the boardwalks, buying cheap knockoffsof the sunset for the maid and trying to find the perfect postcard tosend to the dog sitter. "Remember that time we sent the postcardhome?" they ask her. "We wanted to see if it would arrivebefore us."

No, she tells them. She does, but why continuethe conversation? It is better to give a one-word answer and be leftalone. Forced under a palm tree's harassing little sway when she wouldmuch rather be sitting at home on the living room couch. She knows, ofcourse she knows, that millions of all-American, middle-class kids wouldgive it all for this, a beach house and a summer by the sea. She'd giveanything to be rid of it.

They sit there and lie to themselvesfor four weeks every summer. "Family time is the best time!"they say as they saunter off to the next cocktail party. Summer sarongsand Armani slides topped with sandy particles of beach-side promises."No," she says. "I will stay home tonight." How canone miss the Johnson's annual seaside pig roast? Free chardonnay and allthose tiki lamps surrounding the deck? Less than satisfying, she thinksas she relaxes in a Gap sweatshirt and khaki shorts, much to theirdisdain.

They tell her that two weeks have passed and her tan isfading. Melanoma is nothing when a plastic surgeon can fix all."The neighbors are starting to wonder, dear," they say. Wonderwhat? Why their children with nose jobs and bikini bodies forgot thenext-door neighbor on their latest party's guest list? No need to worry;even an invitation would not gain her attendance.

When theweather's bleak they harass her about next year and the year after.Alumnis of the Ivy League flock to the door, hoping their banners andcolorful doctrines of their wonderful schools will draw her attention.They arrive in plaid shorts and golf shirts, and talk of annual footballgames and incredible classmates who have made it big. She looks at themand asks, "Why haven't you made it big?" Redness flocks tosun-tanned skin, causing silence and excuses to leave.

Thesunlight grows short and the waves acquire a chill. Adirondacks arepulled into freshly painted sheds and umbrellas thrown into mustycellars. Sand pails that once found salvation in the tepid tides are nowclenched in the hands of children who only grace the seaside. "It'sover ... it's over," she chants. Volvos and Mercedes SUVs jump fromthe garages topped with the bicycles that once graced duned paths.Children cry as they are carried off with the picnic baskets and dirtypolo shirts. "Invincible summer," they say, thinking only ofthe khaki days that have passed. "Invincible summer -whatever," she whispers to the seatbelt as it clicks shut on theirdefinition of life.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm
This is amazing!!! :)
 
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