Summer, 1969Mature

A California teen spends his summer with friends before his last year of high school.

I eat clouds and other unearthly particles in space.

Nebulas and galaxies crowd around me with warm gestures.

Aliens play guitar riffs.

I’m only on top of the roof, but I feel like I’m in another atmosphere.


I want to feel this feeling for these next two months. It gets scary sometimes, too. I think I jumped off Sid Sellaroli’s roof once. People keep telling me that and I’ll always deny it. Then again, I had a major headache when I woke up in my bed the next morning. I probably thought it was a pool.

Summer officially starts tomorrow. It’s like the light at the end of the tunnel or trumpet after the war. After long, endless nights full of textbooks after tests, I’m emancipated once again from this 10-month prison sentence. I won’t claim any pupils of mine until I go back in September and I won’t even be the slightest upset if anyone else does the same. I’m about me now. I have to be. I go to school for my parents, I do homework for my teachers, and I’m conservative Monday through Friday for Jesus. Did anyone ask what Benjamin wanted? Nope, nada.

I’m staying over Sid’s house again. He lives on Cedar Street, which is nothing but two blocks away from my house, Washington Street. Sidney’s an old pal of mine. I consider him one of my best friends, actually. We have attended the same school ever since Kindergarten. We’ve gone to each other’s houses for parties and sleepovers. Anytime you see him, 65% of the time, you’ll see me. I’m his sidekick, his bud, his partner-in-crime. We aren’t as close as we used to be, however. Both of us went off to high school and he became the popular freshman. I have no hard feelings about it and most times, it has its benefits. I get invited to all the stellar parties and am able meet stellar people. Stellar, I like that word. Still, Sid’s the brother I never had and I’m always there to bail him out of his troubles. He needs me more than he thinks.

I’ll mainly stay over because his huge kickoff summer joint is tomorrow night and I’ll be willing to help him set up. These joints usually start off outside in his backyard, which is basically this huge green field. Then, we end up inside his house in the attic, which isn’t so big. We go there when more people leave early. We call it the “after-party”. Lastly, we open the attic window and make our way up top on the roof. This is the after-party after the after-party which consists of about six to seven people. These people, you ask? Those are the coolest cats in the world. Stay tuned.

Sid sings his heart out to the sky and his voice echoes against any surface his vibrations penetrate. He’ll nearly break his fingers while playing Hendrix. I lay my head and cross my ankles and . . . breathe. Moments like this are moments without price tags. You have to cherish the simplicity of it all, you must!

“I am so tired, man. You wouldn’t even believe.” I think I hear Sid say.

“I’m not. I slept in the afternoon, like a baby.” I’m clearly bragging. I’ve seen this dude stay up to see the sun rise like a rooster.

Sid breathily chuckles to himself, “The fact that you can understand anything I’m saying right now is awesome.” He looks at me with adoration.

I nod. I might not even be experiencing any side effects. I heard walls were supposed to breathe and dogs were supposed to speak Spanish or something. That was one time where my Golden Retriever, Noble, did lecture me about geometric angles. I have a really deep dog, in all seriousness, of course. Gladly, I do think the side effects are wearing off and I won’t have to go back home and wake my parent’s up. That would be awkward. I don’t even think I’m tripping.

Sid flips his long, brown hair out his face. It looks like he just got it feathered. He plucks his guitar until it screeches. “Alright, I’m done for the night.” He protests. “It’s 2:00 AM.” 

“Is it really?” I think it’s amazing how time goes by fast when you don’t want it to and vice versa. “Why so early, man?”

“Because, man. It’s good for your body and your skin and your brain and whatever.”


“Yeah. I read it in this magazine.”

“We’re reading magazines now? Period?”

Sid gives me his disgusted face; eyes squinted and lips frowned. “Aren’t you the wise guy?” He violently throws his electric guitar in my lap. Ouch. It’s the one he bought for his birthday, not the one he stole.

“Goodnight and lock that down.” I give him his salutes. 

It's the first day of summer and I want this to be endless.


The End

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