Page 7 - Scene Magazine June 2022 4706
P. 7

 The Way I’ve Scene I
   Brothers and Sister Rose tugging at my heart with strains of “It’s Too Late to Turn Back Now,” while we hang out in the cool shade of the Winer’s garage in 1971, and the older girls draw smoke off snitched cigarette butts from the ashtray of temptation.
few of the hash marks on the face of June’s clock,
At other times, she is coaxing
me to sing along with “Philadelphia Freedom,” and I am pulled back to the tennis courts at Lakeview High School with our handsome neighbor, Jeff Hathaway, who is effortlessly batting tennis balls around with the giggling gaggle of girls who have no idea how to play the game but like spending time with uber-cool dark haired, dark eyed boy who is maybe a tiny bit too old for our teenaged hearts, but he is nice and does not leverage his advantage.
She is the tch, tch, tch of the sprin- kler and the smell of chicken cooking over charcoal on the grill. Her sweet voice sounds like neighbor kids playing kick the can or the mamas calling their kiddos home for dinner. She is the whirring sound of playing cards clothes pinned to the spokes of bike tires sailing down the street. She whispers of summer dances and long- ago boy crushes and lets me forget if they liked me back. Her voice purred of hope and she made me believe in magic.
I step out from behind wonderful memories of all those precious days gone by and directly into a steaming pile of emptiness. I am keenly aware of all of what is forever gone, and for an instant, I am homesick. I want it all back – even if just for a short time. When that happens, I pick myself up, shush her sassy siren mouth, hold my head high, and focus on what is in front of me.
She sings sweetly of summers long ago. She pulls me in. She is the sound of a box fan with a perpetual rattle that would otherwise be annoying, but it’s summer, and June has come
to beckon us with her warmth and
The Summer’s Siren is not a prob- lem in and of herself. The problem
is within me. If I let her sing and
keep my heart on the right side of the invisible line, I can carry on with her as she choreographs our annual dance. We move effortlessly in step, though nostalgia woos me to come ever near- er to the other side. At the core of me,
I am slow to close the windows
on Michigan’s humid heat and hold
the drone of the air conditioner at bay for a bit longer, so the Siren can sit in the room with me for a while. It is a delicious challenge to arrange yester- day and today onto the same plate, so both can be savored and neither at the expense of the other. I wonder what
in years to come this year’s Summer Siren will find to sing about to pull at my heart. For now, I will just listen and wait, and stay on my side of the line.
The song of the Summer Siren sings hypnotical- ly, luring me into her wreckage. Her voice is some- times the sound
of the Cornelius
allure. The Summer Siren is the hum of a million mosquitos and the tapping of June bugs on the screen. She is the smell of freshly cut grass and OFF! Despite my beautiful sister Jen’s opin- ion to the contrary (she says the smell keeps her awake), the Summer Siren fills my nostrils with the delicious smell of line-dried sheets, and I sleep like a baby if only for just an occa- sional night here and there.
she feels like home. She is like my favorite pair of jeans or my well-worn flip flops. She is the echo of family and friends who are long gone. She is comfortable and reassuring. She sings to my true center. When I step over that line, she is harsh and punishing. As time’s hand sweeps over just a
Stay in Your Lane

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