Enjoy Summer While It Lasts

I rode a bicycle the other day. Just because.

I paid the fee to rent a Citi Bike in New York City, then peddled my way from Wall Street to 57th, about five miles or so. Have you ever been upset about anything while riding on a bicycle on a fine summer's day, the sun shining off the water—it can be any body of water, really—and feeling the wind on your face and hearing the low hum of your wheels rolling over asphalt? No, it's impossible. Nothing can cloud your mind. Something about riding a bike in the summertime transports you out of the things that make you grind your teeth. I don't know: I think it has something to do with freedom, that it's all tied to once being a kid on summer break and having this machine, this simple, wonderful machine, that'll speed you across the neighborhood to your friends, to a carefree afternoon, to something new.

Even once we become adults, summer still has a magical way of opening up possibilities and making us put important things aside, even for a moment. It's beautiful what a little warmth can do. I guess what I'm saying is: Enjoy the summer while it lasts, my friend, my dear reader who found this post through the magic of the internet. Because when the heat is gone, when the leaves begin to fall, the summertime haze will fade and a truth will be laid bare: Everything is fucked. 

That summer heat? Climate change. We're likely on pace for the second-hottest year on record, and an iceberg the size of Delaware—a fine state, I might add, one that deserves recognition for things outside of being roughly the same size as a calamity—has broken off the Antarctic Peninsula. But for now, pay that no mind. Such things are for the Autumn Version of You. Think not of the ice floating out to sea—think of the ice you could crush and use to make a frosé (that's frozen rosé, otherwise known as "the most Instagram-friendly drink of the summer"). 

Sit on a porch! Sit on a deck! Sit on a beach! Sit anywhere outside in the summer (perhaps with a frosé or something else wet and cold). It's an American tradition: Find somewhere nice and plant your ass in a chair and go completely numb to everything except good weather and hopefully some decent company. In the summer I'll gladly drive two hours just for the privilege of sitting on a stretch of sand among a few dozen people doing the same.

It's easy, now, to forget the state of everything, because we've signed some social contract that we're at the shore or the park and we're there for beauty and recreation. We're there to make the memories that we'll later fondly recall. The president did what? His son met with whom? Investigating, huh?

It's not that the current political situation is fully avoidable in the summer—Donald Trump is like air: Even if you can't see his influence, rest assured, it's present—it's just easier to escape these days. There are things to look forward to. Maybe in late August you'll be vacationing with your family: You'll hit the beach during the day, come home, have a drink on the deck and eat food with more salt and fat than any doctor could ever be comfortable with. Your palm will be free of your phone, and while you'll still hear things about Trump—something about a crisis (Was it a constitutional crisisA PR crisis? A North Korea crisis with an intercontinental missile?)—they'll be in passing and you'll move on.

People will tell you summer is coming to a close. Brands, especially. My God, do the brands want summer to end. Staples might try to tell you summer is over—stock up on Trapper Keepers now before it's too late!—but do not listen to the corporate shills, this summer is eternal. It must be forever, for when it perishes, surely, so do we all. There are so many bad things: They're all out there, just waiting for you to digest them so a low-grade panic can seep into your skin.

Fireworks! July 4 has passed, but fireworks remain. You likely live near a minor league baseball team, and they likely have fireworks nights. You should go. It's an amazing thing we do as humans: taking a destructive, deadly force, stuffing it into a tube and shooting it into the night sky for no real reason at all. We just do it because we can. And because there's something fascinating about watching things explode.

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