matt pond PA

July 14, 2016

Summer Crushes. Part 1.


The front lawn is crisp and beige from sporadic rain and bad soil. Dead clover and crabgrass crunch underfoot. (This is where I tilt my homesteading head back, look up to the sky in anguish and ask the castles of clouds, “Why?” Why do the blotches of blue above deny me the simple pleasure of a humble patch of green? My modest suburban dreams have turned into a caramel-colored nightmare. Looking down from Valhalla, an aspiring clown appears to stand amidst the world’s tiniest wasteland.)

A break! I split in two and outpace the picket-fence blemishes of my distracted soul, jumping in the van to drive! Down to the river, down to Kingston Point to recollect the constant sense of summers past!

Stomach down, sandy arms folded across the face. A towel underneath, stretching out, from elbows to shin. A thin border between the brutally hot sand and brutally hot sunlight. The eyes lazily peer through the limbs. Lips taste salt on the wrist. As if the mouth were poignantly practicing for someone else. As if there were more.

In an earlier consciousness, I dwelled in the slow-motion longing of television commercials. To feel the phony mirth to the fullest, to laugh and lovingly push someone on a swing. Or to paddle down winding creeks, through overhanging weeping willows, playfully splashing pure, oar-flung water on the hippie maiden at the bow. My breath would tingle with peppermint freshness! My new and improved hair, winged and floating around my head!

After the dreamy advertisements, my sisters’ convoluted stories took over once again. I would fill my unfulfilled fantasies with imagined tragic endings. Pouring mourning on my pre-teen sorrow.

Closing my eyes, the frolicking fake lover fell, choking out a few last breaths of Sylvia Plath or Anne Sexton. Other days, our canoe capsized and we slept forever, embracing underwater. A warming smile would spread as we felt the soil simultaneously falling over our gentle heads.

I was a fun kid.

The crushes began in summer. Hampton Beach, Echo Lake. Through the arms, glimpsing from my manmade lookout. The tan lines that suggested clothes could move or, further, be removed. Names that were repeated in breezeless heat. Kara, Elizabeth, Paige, Stacy and Stacey. These names were junior high mantras, titles to the best tortures under the intransigent sun.

Unselfconscious eyes and an honest grin. That was all I was ever sought. That the was the key. Then I could begin whittling away, spouting my senseless stories of pointless discoveries and frog facts.

If it worked, we would stay there and dig into the beach with our fingers and talk. The soft sound of waves perfectly filling in all the awkward silences.

The crush is the undercurrent of all desire. It is the beginning and end of innocence. An unspoken ache of the unattainable. The lonely beachfront look between folded arms.

A little heartache never hurt anyone. In fact, I don’t think anything would’ve ever been created without it.


To nobly live in vain is as godlike as we can get. Even Freya still searches for her oft missing husband. Casting magnificent spells and crying red gold. In a chariot pulled by two cats, Pickles and Ginger.