My 2011 Summer Mixter entry for ccMixter. It’s a kind of stream-of-consciousness about my Australian summers of childhood – inspired by the beautiful guitar work of Clarence Simpson.
The sky is streaks of pink in the east. It’s gunna be a real scorcher! A blowfly headbutts the old screen door as it slams. You yell over your shoulder Bye mum! See you before dark. You meet up with some mates. Pumping the pedals for an hour, the chain tic-ticking as you freewheel, pulled towards the coast. Bathers and towel in a plastic bag spring-clamped on the bike’s carrier. The sky’s as blue as those copper sulphate crystals you grew in Chem lesson and when you ride over that last dune the sea is molten glass with an edge of lace. The white sand’s already squeaking hot under your bare feet. The whole day ahead of you to swim, talk to girls you might meet, lie down on a towel near someone with a transistor which trebles out those Top 40 summer hits.
You don’t have any money but you find a few coke bottles and you cash them in at the kiosk for a Splice and a musk stick. Icecream and salt on the tongue… smell of suntan lotion on backs – coconut oil mixed with sweat – pinke zinke stripes on noses… towelling hats. Hours of fun in the surf with an old tennis ball or car-tyre inner-tube.
(Everyone’s days should be these. Held in the arms of the sea. Everyone’s days should be these. Purposeless endlessness. Free. Free… )
Lots of laughter. Freedom. Holidays stretching ahead as infinite as the sky. No rules. No school. No responsibilities. Knowing that when you get home there’ll be food on the table. Having parents who care, but let you go. A time when you’re beginning to think for yourself. To like clothes and music that mum and dad don’t like. But you don’t have the worries of adults yet. And the whole day stretches out like an unpainted canvas. Endless possibilities. And the days stretch out to weeks and months.
Summer. As endless as space and time.
All kids deserve this.