An ice cream truck has been patrolling my Queens neighborhood nearly 24 hours a day for the past month, always blaring a Casio keyboard rendition of “Turkey In the Straw.” I get so fucking depressed during the summer months. It’s not just the overwhelming heat and humidity in New York, the blinding sun. It’s picnics, watermelon, BBQs, fireworks, popsicles, parks, beaches, pools, margaritas, camping, state fairs, badmitton, hot dogs. It’s ice cream trucks that play “Turkey In The Straw” all night. It’s summer culture itself.
And it’s the way people are hellbent on doing something, going somewhere, desperate to make something, anything, happen. The way everyone is always determined, no matter the cost, to have themselves a ball. The way the newsanchors on the local channels are always pretending to beg the weatherman for a sunshine-filled forecast. (The sun icon used on the screen is inevitably a smiling face.) The way everyone is forever asking one another, “So, what are your plans for the weekend?”
Implying that to not have plans is somehow abnormal.
Well, fuck you. Those are my plans.
There’s something false in all this relentless cheeriness. Something that doesn’t ring true to me.
One of my neighbors invited me out to his Hamptons house. A college friend tried to get me to go down to Breezey Point in Brooklyn last weekend. Still another invited me to a cookout in his tiny backyard in Park Slope.
Thanks, but no. Instead, I draw the blinds. I run the air conditioner. I sit in the dark and watch DVDs. I drink beer and play videogames. I get more pale, more mushroomy, by the second. I rarely go out, and only then if I absolutely must. (For more beer, or DVDs, or kitty litter.)
Sometimes I think I suffer from a rare brand of seasonal affective disorder. Only instead of being afflicted during the dark, bitter months of winter, as most people are, I get it during the summer.
Or maybe I’m just on my way to becoming a cranky old fuck.