It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
While being interviewed for All Over Albany, I was asked by the most wonderful Mary Darcy what my favorite summer memory was. I love summer, and often use it as an excuse to go out, do things, make memories. It took a few minutes to figure it out, but I managed to pick one. In honor of the holiday, I’ll elaborate on it.
Two summers ago, I was lovelorn and feeling lonely and left behind. We weren’t dating by any sort of meaning of the word, but there was a guy and I was close to him. We supported each other physically and emotionally and he helped me learn a lot about trust. But he was taking the summer to visit family and friends and see some of the world leaving me in Albany, in a stressful employment situation. I didn’t even want to do anything for the 4th of July, but one of our common friends convinced me otherwise. So, with great trepidation, I left my painting and my The West Wing marathon, I went into Albany.
We watched the fire works together. I realized that I was invited because our friend needed a friend – he was breaking up with his girlfriend. Together we decided that we both needed to rage, to blow off steam, and to just have a good time. The morning would bring our troubles to us, but we needed to escape, if just for a night. So we crashed a party held on the stoop of an apartment on Madison Ave, one held by some friends of ours. We each had a four-pack of Sparks and a deep desire to forget.
We watched the gridlocked traffic and set off our own fireworks on the sidewalks. A young tween boy crashed, and we taught him to respect his girlfriend. As the night progressed, our party got larger and larger as anyone who wanted to join us was welcomed with a can of cheap beer. It was then that a few men, decked out in Uncle Sam clothing, were reading the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. I was immediately attracted to them, and ran off.
I joined their reading of these documents. It’s here that I want to state that I’m by no means patriotic. However, reading those very important words, those statements that had never been written down before, I felt a swell of pride. Yes, America has terrible problems with it. Yes, this government is horribly corrupt. And yes, some of the things we do are inexcusable. But like the English’s Magna Carta, the ideal of human rights and civil liberties written down into law, was a novel idea for the time. What we were reading was revolutionary and new. It helped shape two hundred plus years of world history.
And then, well, we all went skinny dipping. There was some making out in the streets in the glow of patriotic fever. And when the sun rose that morning, we let go of each other’s hands knowing we had shared something special. I no longer felt so alone. Yes, things were complicated – and more so now that I had kissed people I probably shouldn’t have – but that night is forever burned in my mind with a pleasant hue.