Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Perfect Summer Day

My body is slowly aroused from sleep by the chirping birds and growing light outside my basement bedroom window. The light shining through the hunter green blinds make lines on my tiled ceiling and shines awareness into the holes where a tile is missing. I have somehow ignored my mother's calls to 'get up' and 'not sleep the day away' and she has inevitably given up trying for a more rewarding task. I lay in my bed, eyes open, enjoying the feeling of having nowhere be and no one to answer to. I glance around at my purple walls, the black and white posters of old movie stars, the way the small round mirrors cast a glow on the opposite wall. I smile, pleased at my decorating abilities and giving myself a mental reminder to hang  my red, flying V guitar above the red bookshelf that I painfully stripped and repainted. I finally pull myself out of bed and my feet find the clothes-carpeted floor, just the way I like it. I carefully avoid several dust bunnies and manage to find the cleanest looking bathing suit on the arm of my futon where I left it the last time I wore it. I pull a thin cotton dress over the bathing suit, grab my cell phone, and shuffle up the stairs in search of sustenance.

Luckily, no parental figure is immediately in sight, clearing the way of any danger of possible chores. I crack an egg into a hot skillet and as it sizzles, check the blinking envelope on my phone. It's Mallory, who has also gotten up late but is on her way over. I quickly finish cooking my egg and immediately crack another and put in two more pieces of toast. Soon both egg sandwiches are finished and plated and shortly afterwards Mallory waltzes in the front door, parks herself at the table and in mid chew bids me good morning. My best friend looks stunning first thing in the morning and I would hate her for it if she weren't so humble about her beauty. I can see her bikini poking out of the top of a short summer dress that hangs loosely on her thin frame. The elegant picture stops there as she pulls one leg up into her chest and leans over it to finish eating. She denies my offers of apple juice but I guzzle my large, cold, glass in delight.

As we run out the door, bare foot with towels, ipod, book, sunscreen and phone in tow, I yell something about heading to the pool, hoping that my mom has heard me but not waiting for her response. We take Mallory's car an easily walk-able distance to the pool. The air smells warm and damp in the Georgia summer. I get sweet wafts of honey suckles on our way down the hill and briefly wonder when I last tasted their nectar.

Once inside the gated pool, we situate our towels over beach chairs and then unceremoniously plop ourselves down before applying a minimal amount of sunscreen. We are both quiet for a moment as we enjoy the blanket of warmth the sun provides, like being wrapped in a warm hug. And then, as if someone had cued us, we begin talking about anything and everything. Mallory turns on her ipod, she always was the music person between the two of us, and we spend the afternoon relaxing, reading, talking and sleeping.
When the heat becomes more than we can bare, we ease ourselves into the cool pool, carefully avoiding splashes from children playing so as not to get our hair wet. Then we immediately make our way to our nest of towels and dry by the light of the sun.

As afternoon approaches, Mcdonald's beckons us with promises of $1 cheeseburgers and icy cold refreshment. We hop in the car, still damp and shoeless, bound for the drive thru. Not more than 5 miles down the road, the most important decision on the way there is what music we will listen to. Replenished, we head back to the pool and complete our afternoon as happily as we began it.

A warm rain shower sends us back to my house, but not inside. We are already in our bathing suits, after all. First a booming thunder and then the rain pours down in sheets and we make our way through the garage into the overly air conditioned basement where our wet bodies freeze. Since our sunbathing until nightfall plans have been squandered, we make our way into the kitchen to do something equally as useless- bake a cake. Words can't describe our incessant giggling over nothing in particular or the way we can entertain each other by simply being ridiculous.

Finally evening rolls around. We pick a movie, but unable to watch it without some form of snack, we head back down the road to Kroger and fill a basket with anything and everything that strikes our fancy. Energy drinks, cheez-its, ice cream, frosting, zebra cakes, potato chips and swedish fish all make the cut. The ride back home on the dark country road, the windows are down and the air is filled with the booming sound of Paramore and we sing so loud and off key that our voices become hoarse. The words are irrelevant, but I have never felt more alive.

We settle on the couch in the basement, our assortment of food laid out before us, and the movie begins. 30 minutes in, I fall asleep and Mallory is left to her own devices until the movie is over and she too succumbs to sleep. At some point during the night, my cat joins us and finds her way to her favorite perch on Mallory's face. The night is still and quiet as my perfect day ends. Only to be repeated in one form or another tomorrow.

I miss my best friend.

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