I stepped outside with Monkey, into the still-dark morning and noticed a cool breeze for the first time in weeks and weeks. My brain puts everything to music and when I felt the cool, it sang "...summer's beginning to give up her fight..." as the song floated around in my head and I walked through the darkness with the pooch, I was transported back to the summer of 1994, where, in my brain, that song lives.
That summer Anni came to stay in my apartment in Richmond. It was that summer that my boyfriend moved out, and I realized all the furniture in the place had been his. While I was at work, Anni made me a "bed" using all the blankets and sheets (at least those were mine) on the bedroom floor where the real bed once stood. My parents, without ever once grumbling about how they never approved of my decision to live in sin, came to visit and brought a bunch of kitchen items for me. I still use some of those things they brought me to this day, and every time I do, I think of how grateful I was to get them back then. It was blistering hot that summer, as all summers in Richmond seem to be, and the apartment had no air conditioning. I frequently couldn't sleep because of the heat, and would get up and go sit on the front stoop, waiting for the infrequent breeze, thinking it was ironic that the air was so still in The Fan.
It's magical what the mind does for us, given time. The heat, the lack of furniture, the loss of love - those things troubled me back then. Thinking of it now, however, it stands out as one of my favorite summers on record. We went to see the Indigo Girls at Strawberry Hill; they'd recently released Swamp Ophelia. I worked double shifts at The Tobacco Company and Anni and I sometimes had beer and ice cream for dinner. Nothing about the time seems all that remarkable, but I remember it all so fondly. One year later, I met Jeremiah.