This stretch of the summer always races away a little too quickly, just on the other side of total comprehension. The heat of the breeze was a cell block wall, and when I looked, you were out of sight. 

It’s sunburn weather, time for laying under a blue sky and baking and roasting, drinking and sweating, battling mosquitos and drowning in sunscreen. It’s my favorite time of year, without a doubt.

I’ve never had a bad summer. Some, like ’09 and ’12 and ’14, are unforgettable and represent chapters in my life that are so vividly unique and well-defined that they’ve left indelible marks on me, long after I’ve outgrown the person who lived them.

Eugene, Denver, Montana, Brooklyn, Connecticut.

Those are my last five summers.

Five different states and states of mind. One spent floating the river; two spent East; three spent working in newsrooms; three spent in love with a girl; three spent outdoors; three spent with Chief; four spent looking for work; four spent away from my family; five spent at concerts and bonfires; five summers spent chasing, always chasing, chasing girls, chasing Chief, chasing stray basketballs, chasing The Perfect Day, chasing an unending night, chasing the ephemeral Godly glory of a setting sun, and then chasing those last drops of sunlight to steal and keep for me.

When I was a kid, summer meant no school and sleeping in late and mowing lawns and stealing kisses. Summer’s added more depth now, more shades of blue and yellow tinged with a greater freedom to be foolish. Seeing more of them pass by has intensified the urgency to seize a sunsoaked afternoon, too.

But adding more chapters hasn’t changed the dazzling, white-hot core of it all, that summer to me is chainless.

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