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Me, My Best Friend, and the Boys of Summer

by Britt Zimmerman

It was late spring and Arizona summer
loomed like the devil, waiting to snatch us
into the fiery arms of hell.

It was sometime in the nineties
when big hair glamour
Was begining to lose it's way
And fall victim to the shadows
Of the dirty grunge bands
Invading from Seattle

I held tight to the big haired
Sex, drugs, and rock n roll
Not wanting any part
Of the angsty, angry youth
That was replacing my
"Party all the time" childhood

I had dreams of bikinis and
Saguaro lake on a raft...
In an alcove
Surrounded by Palo Verdes
And cactus
And green muddy water
Cooling, my slowly
"burning from the sun" skin

Watching for tan lines to form
And for hot boys on jet skis
To ride up and offer us
A lukewarm can of Budwieser

My best friend and I were
inseparable and fearless
Wild and untamed
Rebel youth

We shared bedrooms
And family
Boyfriends and heart break
Wishes and dreams

We had secret handshakes
"Low two!"
Finished each other's sentences
Hell, I think at one point
We shared the same brain
...psychically speaking
Of course "zzzt ditto,dude"

And life was good

That year we ran head first into summer
But instead of Saguaro lake
We found ourselves in
Encinitas, California

Two rocker chick's from Arizona
Driving around SoCal
in a beautiful black Porche

Life couldn't be better,
sand, sun, freedom
And the PCH

The PCH is a road that
winds along the coast
And travels you
through small little beach towns

If you went North
You would find beach camping,
and surfer's changing out of
Their wetsuits on the side of the road
Their sun kissed blonde hair
Drenched with sea water
And clinging to their "always slightly sunburned" faces
A sight to see at 17!

If you went South,
LA Jolla's ritzy neighborhood awaited
with window shopping
And sea lions
And the Hard Rock Cafe

That year my mom
Introduced us to
What we affectionately call
Our "boys of summer"

His name was Sean
and he was a surfer
He washed my mom's car
for spending cash

He invited us to a surf competition
In Carlsbad
We sat on the beach
watching the competition
Completely out of place
Sitting next to the cute
Giggly bleach blonde's
Of California

But we had a coolness about us...
Charisma and a
"screw you if you don't like it"
So we fit in fine with the boys

Sean had a surfer friend also named Sean
And we were in heaven

After the surf competition
"The Sean's" took us back to their house
where we plotted the amount of trouble we might get ourselves into
We decided to walk to the corner liquor store
and along the way decided that I looked the closest to 21
So I should go in and buy the beer

Either the liquor store employee
hated his job...
or just didn't care
and thanks to them both
I walked out of the store beer in hand

Back at the house now
we drank our beers like
we were the Kings and Queens of Carlsbad
and the boys feeling good and buzzed
brought out the bong

We smoked... a lot...
Then we zoned out and ate cheese quesadillas
and watched Cheech and Chong's the next movie

I never laughed so much in my life
sitting in this darkly lit room with the
smell of the surf and weed swirling around us
Cheech and Chong singing songs about
Mexican Americans and Beaners kicking you in the face

When I look back, I think...
How did I not realize at the time
the beauty of that moment...

The bond between teenagers
that only summer vacations
can bring...


Posted on 12/13/2014
Copyright © 2023 Britt Zimmerman

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