Summer, at last

I’ve been on the road so much these past couple of years that the precession of seasons has begun to slip in significance – emotionally, practically.

On the one hand, constant travel dices up the calendar pretty viciously. The year just whips by when it’s divided into fourteen or fifteen two-week intervals of between-trip time, so seasonal conditions never seem to have much in the way of dwell time, or purchase on the emotions. It’s also the case that whatever resonances ideas like “spring” or “November” may have banked up in my childhood, they’re largely irrelevant to this itinerant life, in which the climate seems to have come permanently decoupled from the calendar. (Monsoons and white nights, I confess, were not big features of a Philadelphia upbringing.)

But seasons are, y’know, kind of important. They register at the social level, at the animal, even at the molecular level. So I kind of feel like I’ve sacrificed something really crucial to the project regime – the ineluctable logic of Empire that’s enfolded me for going on half a decade now, and seems likely to keep me pinging between nodes of the network for the foreseeable future.

Maybe that’s why I’m so frankly luxuriating in what has been a few solid weeks of honest, low-exertion summer. Afternoons I’ll make a tumbler of gin and tonic and lie all dozy and stuporous in the garden, my plastic chair tilted back against one of the glorious London planes at a thoroughly alarming angle. In the evenings Nurri and I have been strolling – again, gloriously, almost voluptuously, through the streets and gentle breezes: down to catch a midnight movie on Houston, across the long stretch of 23rd to the Chelsea galleries. Yesterday I pedalled more-or-less lazily over to Williamsburg and spent a good long stretch at Oslo, nursing a coffee and working my way through the collected J.G. Ballard short stories: not earth-shaking, I know, but that’s kind of the point.

Dag, this is what summer feels like. I had almost forgotten.

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