02. June 2011 here now 5
E. wants a summer anthem, and I have a couple of options, but what kind of summer do we want? What kind of summer would each song summon? The summer I worked with E., I lived in North Adams, just outside of Williamstown, Mass. I shared a house with a fabulous redhead who went by Chuck. We had a party. We lit votives in brown paper lunchbags and lined the walk with them. We filled buckets and vases with branches and leaves. We put out wine and beer and cups that didn’t match. Chuck had furnished the house by hitting estate sales up and down the Berkshires. It did not look like a frat party. We were sure someone wonderful would show up. And then the same people I had just seen at work arrived. It was a very small town. Chuck and I abandoned ship. We took our wine and tore through the bushes down to the park below the house. There was no path. We fell out of the thicket at the bottom of the hill and went on the swings, pumping as high as we could go, warm air up the back of our thighs. Our boss at the startup where I worked was pure east coast. He found it inevitable that MTV and Wired would send reporters to this small town to cover his blond good looks and his millions in venture capital. He was 23 and he was a CEO and the Internet was new. We published articles online and had something called a “homepage builder” and it all seemed very important. He arrived at the party just as Chuck and I came crashing back out of the undergrowth. We were covered in scratches and leaves, heaving and panting and shrieking. We almost knocked him over. He looked at me like I was foreign and dangerous and had twigs in my hair. I remember him asking me if I was alright. After the party, Chuck and I lay on our backs in the middle of the living room. The night lifted the curtains. We said foolish things to each other, like how we wanted to meet older men. Lost for you, I’m so lost for you. We played two songs by Dave Matthews, Say Goodbye and Crash Into Me, over and over and over again. Just for an evening. Run away. I hated Dave Matthews fans, with their dirty white Lacrosse caps pulled low. They saw a jam band that made prosaic misbehavior seem romantic to girls. And I questioned his use of the flute. But that summer, those two songs were perfect. Hike up your skirt a little more, and show your world to me.