I really need a happy summer memory right now

by me

I know there must have been some happy memories when I was a child. But I don’t remember much. I remember holding a sparkler for the 4th of July, and it burned a hole in my sock. Everything around that memory is a grey blur, no substance. I don’t like the heat anymore, it wears me out, weakens me. If I go to the beach during the day, I hide in the shade…of an umbrella, a lifeguard tower, an air-conditioned restaurant nearby. But at night, the beach is a completely different world. I have many wonderful memories of attending beach bonfires. If I’ve gotten there before sunset, I get to watch the sky darken slowly, burst into brilliant beautiful colors, and then wink into darkness. The wood crackles, the heat is comforting, the smokey smell merges all the memories together. The sand is between my toes and all over my clothes. I’m dirty but I don’t care. There are hot dogs on hanger wires, and marshmallows too. And conversation between good friends as the fire light dances across our faces. I feel at peace. I feel solid. I feel real.