I've always wondered if the title of my favorite Lana del Rey song is meant to signify her being particularly sad during the year's hottest months or as a lament of the season's [always too quick] passing. Of course, me being me, I internalize it as the latter - there's usually always a melancholy that comes with the ending of summer for me. I'm not all into layering or pumpkins or Halloween or socks or shoes with laces or the early setting sun or the cold wind or the dry, static-y hair (ugh, especially not that last one - my hair appreciates humidity).
As I mentioned in my previous post, I do most of my writing - thus spend most of my daytime hours - sitting at my dining room table in the bay window of my 3rd floor apartment. It's a light-filled space that I love and, like I mentioned in my previous post, the place where I can "spy" on my neighbors across the alley.
I say "spy" because...I mean, they're just right there in their backyard. I only have to turn my head to the right 45 degrees and they're literally RIGHT There so it's not exactly snoop-y of me but yeah, sure, ok, they don't know they have an audience. Anyway, I moved into this place in August, at the height of the heat index, and quickly fell into a routine with these two.
They're a retired couple, both gone gray, with sass and class coming out their...well, you know. I love them and want to be their friends so hard. He's tall, strong-looking and tanned; he likes plaid shorts and tank tops in the morning and plaid button-downs and khakis in the evening. She's a bit hunched over, her hair always secured with a barrette in a neat twist with a kind of relaxed Annie Hall vibe going, style-wise. In the summer mornings they'd putter around their backyard, pulling weeds, planting flowers and watering plants. Come lunchtime (for all of us!) she would bring out lemonade with a kiss on the cheek and they'd chat quietly (too quietly, I mean HELLO, I'm over HERE) before packing it in to escape the brutal late-afternoon heat. I'd feel productive in a weirdly communal way, sitting at my table writing while they tended their garden.
It was the evening ritual, though, that most warmed my heart and is the thing that I'll miss the most now that the temperatures are dropping. Around 6:30pm, I'd see them back outside, this time with friends on their iron furniture and gin in their martini glasses. Seriously though, those two entertained almost every night of the week! And what an elegant, classy affair it was, too - they'd have gotten a little dressed up (once, I saw him standing in the doorway, struggling a bit with his cufflinks, and I almost died from the civility of it all) and a little boozed up - both just enough to be comfortable and relaxed. There would always be lots of laughing, engaged conversation and drink refills.
Sweet and charming, it was the kind of thing that brought me some measure of comfort and routine during an otherwise upended couple of months in my own life. So, a couple weeks ago when we had that week-long storm cloud hanging above our heads, I resigned myself to the fact that the backyard cocktail hour would be over for the season. But ah! Tonight - tonight, there they were again with their friends, laughing and drinking (though maybe it was red wine in the glasses this time?) and enjoying this moderate and sunny fall weather.
It made me so happy to see them again! Hi, friends, how are you? I can feel nostalgia for just about anything in just about any length of time. Seeing them out there after not for only a few weeks made me remember - fondly, already! - my first few weeks in this apartment, only two months ago. Being new in a place can be rough on a emotionally needy person like myself so that little bit of [faux] companionability was a [real] help.
I'm hoping by the time May rolls around we'll have become friends and I'll be over there, talking about Walt Whitman and NPR (I just know that's what they talk about) with my own martini glass balanced on my knee.