And now Ray LaMontagne is stuck in my head.

This is kind of true! I mean, it's a bit of a downer, but I mostly agree with the sentiment. Summer is over, it says, by the 4th of July; "the plans you made have either fallen through or have been executed half-heartedly and with regret. The failures of the season have already been written in the Book of Life underneath all the failures of summers past."

The timeline of summer has shifted over the years. As a kid, of course, it was decided by school, two bookends that determined when you were free and when you weren't. As a teen, summer started even earlier -- Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend if you worked in a resort town like me, or early May to mid August if you're in college, no matter the weather, no matter how many finals you still had to take. Now, summer is whenever you can get your hands on it.

Already, the official beginning of summer -- June -- feels like a distant memory, clouded by the heat and weight that was July. It's true the sunlight feels different now than it did eight weeks ago; it's true I'm still waiting for a tan that will likely never come, and I've forgotten to buy that new pair of flip-flops I wanted. Unopened bottles of sunblock are taking up space in my bathroom. I haven't yet been in the ocean.


I will be on vacation in 1.5 weeks, finally; a sure-to-be blissful week in a beach house with some dear friends. The island might be half empty (full?), and it will probably feel like we're closing some sort of chapter there, because August always does (in that same way Sundays always do), even as it crawls forward like a lazy spider. So I'm not done with summer yet.

Sing it, Ray.